What do you need to consider when making workflows and workflow driven apps in SharePoint?

The vast majority of organizations that use SharePoint see a need for these types of workflow driven apps. Apps that make it easy for end users to streamline their work, or take action against tasks when and where action is needed, and to manage it all from one place.

But SharePoint out of the box has a few major hurdles to getting there:

  • Integration is a challenge, and not just integration within SharePoint across SharePoint sites and environments, but also integration with other data sources – think about how these workflows have to pull data from other line-of-business systems within the organization or even data sources on the web.
  • A major issue is the time and cost that it takes to build and maintain these applications – most of which require custom development, and the resources and skills that that requires.
  • And even in getting these things right, end user adoption can still be a challenge – a big piece of this is due to the difficulty of creating great user interfaces that deliver a good user experience and make your users WANT to use your applications.

According to a SharePoint Adoption Survey by MPS Partners, 73% of surveyed SharePoint organizations say that there see a clear need for workflow driven apps. But more than half of them see integration as being a challenge that’s holding them back from these apps. Nearly a third responded that the time and effort to build these applications was a challenge, and over 20 percent cited the end user interface as being a hurdle to building these applications and workflows.

To learn more, click here to view our recent webinar where we explain how K2 can solve your workflow issues for good!

Why Implementing Document Management Properly in SharePoint is Important

Creating SharePoint document libraries isn’t exactly a tough thing. Just throw a bunch of folders together and put the information into each folder, right? Just like you do on your hard drives at home! Well, that is certainly a very common way to implement SharePoint document libraries, but it’s definitely not the ideal way.

One of the biggest goals in creating one of these libraries is to ensure that your staff are consistently using them, thus gaining the maximum efficiencies from SharePoint. But how do you ensure that the users are

Now this next part might seem a little obvious, but as you’ll see throughout this webinar, sometimes the most obvious things are the easiest to overlook. So the first thing you should do when setting up a library is to speak to the people who will be using said library to figure out the best way to have them buy in to using it. For example, your marketing department will need a different setup than your IT department. They’ll be using different content types and have vastly different metadata for their content.

Imagine how much easier it will be for your sales and marketing departments to use the document libraries when you’ve set up a list of predefined templates for them to use whenever they click “New!” Those SOWs, proposals, and one-sheets will all be in the proper format and stored right where they’re supposed to be stored, greatly increasing efficiency.

Plus, so long as you set these templates up with some care, the information entered in the documents can be captured as filterable metadata in the library, making search and retrieval a breeze!

Why are Security Definitions Important in SharePoint?

by Brett Gillin

We recently had a webinar on the top 10 security mistakes companies make in their SharePoint implementations (which you can view here if you’re so inclined). One of the topics that generated the most discussion was regarding the importance of security definitions. Why is it important to have and stick with security definitions in your SharePoint environment? Well, let’s take this story as a perfect example:

This is the story of a multi-million dollar company who has about a dozen users with complete “Administrator” access to SharePoint, meaning each of these users could change literally any aspect of SharePoint whenever they pleased. When one of these employees is fired (for excessive time off) the other administrators made a glaring mistake. They didn’t deactivate the recently fired user’s account!

This allowed the user to go home, log in to the SharePoint site with their still-valid credentials, and delete thousands of documents and empty the recycle bin before someone caught wind. The kicker in this story is that the guy who went in and deleted all these documents was a sales representative for the company, not a technical resource for SharePoint. This employee should have never had this level of access to the SharePoint environment in the first place.

Luckily, the company in this story was regularly backing up their information, and was able to restore most of the deleted documents, but this is just one example of why your company needs to make sure that users only have the access that they need to your SharePoint environment. This is exactly the type of mistake that can be avoided if your company uses proper security definitions for your SharePoint environment.

So if you don’t already have a detailed security definition in place at your organization, what are you waiting for? Contact AAJ Technologies today to get the help you need!

Gartner Recognizes Microsoft as an Application Platform as a Service Leader

2013 was an amazing year for Windows Azure.  Every month saw new records for customer usage, and in April we hit a major milestone with the GA of Windows Azure Infrastructure Service, which received unprecedented adoption.  2014 is looking to be even better as we reached another breakthrough moment with Gartner recognizing Microsoft as a
Leader in the Enterprise Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS) market per its 2014 Enterprise aPaaS Magic Quadrant, published January 7, 2014.

Our enterprise customers tell us that they need a cloud services platform for developing new applications as much as providing infrastructures services for development, testing and hosting of existing applications. Windows Azure’s placement in both the aPaaS Magic Quadrant as a Leader and the Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant as a Visionary on August 19,
2013, we believe speaks to the completeness of our vision across these scenarios and (far more importantly) our ability to execute successfully to meet the short and long term needs of our enterprise customers. This interest has meant tremendous growth for Azure in just the past six months from new customer sign-ups to the amount of data stored within the platform:

  • Averaging 8,000 new customers a week
  • Windows Azure uses more server compute than the entire planet used in 2000
  • Demand for Compute continues to double every 6-9 months
  • More information is stored in Windows Azure than has been printed in history

Ambitious Goals for Windows Azure

Our cloud-first approach has driven an increase in revenue of 103 percent in the first quarter of FY14 for our commercial cloud business. We continue to deliver on the Cloud OS vision by integrating our tools, management products and server platform with Azure to meet the needs of developers and IT.  

Developers have been asking for a seamless cloud development experience, and Visual Studio 2013 (VS), which launched last month, provides the ability for developers to write code, deploy directly to Azure and manage their environments without having to go to the Azure Management Portal.

We also added over 200 new services over the past year to Windows Azure, such as Mobile Services, Media Services and Web Sites, for customers who are driving new business value through cloud-native applications. And in the last year, we continue to expand our datacenter footprint around the world with launches in  mainland China and Japan and an intent to launch in Australia and Brazil.

Open and Flexible Windows Azure

Windows Azure has also become a driving force for change at Microsoft, as we have adopted and begun supporting technologies that are not proprietary to Microsoft. This includes new frameworks and languages like node.js, Java, PHP and Python, as well as non-Windows operating systems like SUSE, CentOS and Ubuntu. Customers can use Azure for mobile development of non-Microsoft devices and operating systems like iOS and Android. Our recent partnership with Oracle makes Windows Azure the most comprehensive, fully supported cloud platform for Oracle Database and WebLogic Server. All of this means Windows Azure is becoming the cloud platform for anyone and everyone.

Our Customers Tell the Story

Many of your peers have adopted Azure and are achieving success. Learn about what some of our customers are doing with the cloud in the case studies below:

We are excited that Gartner has recognized both our ability to execute and our completeness of vision in the aPaaS market, and look forward to bringing new Azure services and helping our customers become cloud nimble in 2014. If you’d like to read the full report, “Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Application Platform as a Service,” you can find it here.

*Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all
warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

The Follies of Using One Master Account in SharePoint

by Brett Gillin

I’d like to start off this blog post by asking a simple question. Does one single key open every door in your neighborhood? And can that same key be used to open up all the doors and filing cabinets in your office after starting your car and checking your safety deposit box?

If you answered yes, please stop reading this blog, make a copy of that key, and send it to me along with your address, because you live in a crazy utopia that I’d love to visit.

More likely, you see that first paragraph as an insane scenario that no one lives in. But you’d be surprised to find out that a slight variation of that story might be happening at the company you work for!

I’m referencing a common shortcut that many companies make when implementing collaboration tools like Microsoft SharePoint. So many companies use the Domain Administrator account to do just about everything they need in SharePoint. But this causes an enormous problem.

Think about it, if there’s one account that can control everything, and multiple people who know the password to use the account, there’s quite simply no accountability in SharePoint anymore. You completely lose control of figuring out who made what changes to SharePoint. Plus, if a worst-case scenario happens and that account or account password is compromised, you might be looking at a lengthy downtime for your SharePoint environment while you fix the issue. Or, worse yet, you could be looking for a new job because all of your company’s sensitive information just got posted on every blog in the blogosphere!

If you’d like to hear more about this issue, or find out even more common security mistakes people make when implementing SharePoint, join us next Wednesday for our webinar.

Click here to register!

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 October 6-10 in Orlando

 

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top ten technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2014.  Analysts presented their findings during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 10.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

“We have identified the top 10 technologies that companies should factor into their strategic planning processes,” said David Cearley. “This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the listed technologies, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.”

Mr. Cearley said that the Nexus of Forces, the convergence of four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, continues to drive change and create new opportunities, creating demand for advanced programmable infrastructure that can execute at web-scale.

The top ten strategic technology trends for 2014 include:

Mobile Device Diversity and Management

Through 2018, the growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make “everything everywhere” strategies unachievable. The unexpected consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is a doubling or even tripling of the size of the mobile workforce. This is placing tremendous strain on IT and Finance organizations. Enterprise policies on employee-owned hardware usage need to be thoroughly reviewed and, where necessary, updated and extended. Most companies only have policies for employees accessing their networks through devices that the enterprise owns and manages. Set policies to define clear expectations around what they can and can’t do. Balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements

Mobile Apps and Applications

Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment. Gartner recommends that developers focus on creating expanded user interface models including richer voice and video that can connect people in new and different ways. Apps will continue to grow while applications will begin to shrink. Apps are smaller, and more targeted, while a larger application is more comprehensive. Devlopers should look for ways to snap together apps to create larger applications. Building application user interfaces that span a variety of devices require an understanding of fragmented building blocks and an adaptable programming structure that assembles them into optimized content for each device. The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. The next evolution in user experience will be to leverage intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.

The Internet of Everything

The Internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The problem is that most enterprises and technology vendors have yet to explore the possibilities of an expanded internet and are not operationally or organizationally ready. Imagine digitizing the most important products, services and assets. The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models – Manage; Monetize; Operate; Extend. These four basic models can be applied to any of the four “internets” (people, things, information and places).  Enterprises should not limit themselves to thinking that only the Internet of Things (i.e., assets and machines) has the potential to leverage these four models. Enterprises from all industries (heavy, mixed, and weightless) can leverage these four models.

Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker

Bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is an imperative. Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration/interoperability is possible. Hybrid cloud services can be composed in many ways, varying from relatively static to very dynamic. Managing this composition will often be the responsibility of something filling the role of cloud service broker (CSB), which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. Enterprises that are expanding into hybrid cloud computing from private cloud services are taking on the CSB role. Terms like “overdrafting” and “cloudbursting” are often used to describe what hybrid cloud computing will make possible. However, the vast majority of hybrid cloud services will initially be much less dynamic than that. Early hybrid cloud services will likely be more static, engineered compositions (such as integration between an internal private cloud and a public cloud service for certain functionality or data). More deployment compositions will emerge as CSBs evolve (for example, private infrastructure as a service [IaaS] offerings that can leverage external service providers based on policy and utilization).

Cloud/Client Architecture

Cloud/client computing models are shifting. In the cloud/client architecture, the client is a rich application running on an Internet-connected device, and the server is a set of application services hosted in an increasingly elastically scalable cloud computing platform. The cloud is the control point and system or record and applications can span multiple client devices. The client environment may be a native application or browser-based; the increasing power of the browser is available to many client devices, mobile and desktop alike. Robust capabilities in many mobile devices, the increased demand on networks, the cost of networks and the need to manage bandwidth use creates incentives, in some cases, to minimize the cloud application computing and storage footprint, and to exploit the intelligence and storage of the client device. However, the increasingly complex demands of mobile users will drive apps to demand increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity.

The Era of Personal Cloud

The personal cloud era will mark a power shift away from devices toward services. In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about, although the devices will still be necessary. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.

Software Defined Anything

Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As a collective, SDx also incorporates various initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, the Open Compute Project and Open Rack, which share similar visions. As individual SDx technology silos evolve and consortiums arise, look for emerging standards and bridging capabilities to benefit portfolios, but challenge individual technology suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to true interoperability standards within their specific domains. While openness will always be a claimed vendor objective, different interpretations of SDx definitions may be anything but open. Vendors of SDN (network), SDDC (data center), SDS (storage), and SDI (infrastructure) technologies are all trying to maintain leadership in their respective domains, while deploying SDx initiatives to aid market adjacency plays. So vendors who dominate a sector of the infrastructure may only reluctantly want to abide by standards that have the potential to lower margins and open broader competitive opportunities, even when the consumer will benefit by simplicity, cost reduction and consolidation efficiency.

Web-Scale IT

Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions. Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are re-inventing the way IT in which IT services can be delivered.  Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. If enterprises want to keep pace, then they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers. Gartner calls the combination of all of these elements Web-scale IT. Web-scale IT looks to change the IT value chain in a systemic fashion.  Data centers are designed with an industrial engineering perspective that looks for every opportunity to reduce cost and waste.  This goes beyond re-designing facilities to be more energy efficient to also include in-house design of key hardware components such as servers, storage and networks. Web-oriented architectures allows developers to build very flexible and resilient systems that recover from failure more quickly.

Smart Machines

Through 2020, the smart machine era will blossom with a proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems and public availability of early examples of autonomous vehicles. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT. New systems that begin to fulfill some of the earliest visions for what information technologies might accomplish — doing what we thought only people could do and machines could not —are now finally emerging. Gartner expects individuals will invest in, control and use their own smart machines to become more successful. Enterprises will similarly invest in smart machines. Consumerization versus central control tensions will not abate in the era of smart-machine-driven disruption. If anything, smart machines will strengthen the forces of consumerization after the first surge of enterprise buying commences.

3-D Printing

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 75 percent in 2014 followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. While very expensive “additive manufacturing” devices have been around for 20 years, the market for devices ranging from $50,000 to $500, and with commensurate material and build capabilities, is nascent yet growing rapidly. The consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world’s leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner’s annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees’ annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.

Additional information about Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, is available atwww.gartner.com/symposium/us. Video replays of keynotes and sessions are available on Gartner Events on Demand at www.gartnerondemand.com. Follow news, photos and video coming from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GartnerSymposium, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_incand using #GartnerSym.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:

October 15-17, Tokyo, Japan: www.gartner.com/jp/symposium

October 21-24, Goa, India: www.gartner.com/in/symposium

October 28-31, Gold Coast, Australia: www.gartner.com/au/symposium

November 4-7, Sao Paulo, Brazil: www.gartner.com/br/symposium

November 10-14, Barcelona, Spain: www.gartner.com/eu/symposium

Contacts
About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner in over 13,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 5,800 associates, including 1,450 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Uploading a VHD file to Windows Azure

by Ali Zaman

Although there are many ways to upload an image file to Azure (including GUI based tools) but I think Powershell is still the best and the most efficient option.

Why? because of the following reasons:

  1. Add-AzureVHD commandlet automatically converts a VHDX file to VHD during upload. This is useful since Windows Azure only supports VHD for now.
  2. Add-AzureVHD is “aware” of the VHD format and so copies only the bytes that contain data and skips the empty ones. This saves a lot of time – it took 10 minutes to upload a file with Add-AzureVHD vs. 80 minutes for the same file with another GUI based tool.
  3. Add-Azure also uses a checksum to verify the integrity of the uploaded file.

Click here to read more

2013 in review

Here’s a summary of AAJ’s blogging activity for 2013.  Take a look at the posts drawing the most comments and interests.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,200 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Gartner Says the Nexus of Forces Will Drive More Than 26 Percent of Total Enterprise Software Market Revenue by 2017

STAMFORD, Conn., December 11, 2013

Impact of Cloud, Information, Mobile and Social Initiatives on Enterprise Software Markets Will Far Outpace Overall Market Growth

Enterprise software buying is increasingly shaped by the Nexus of Forces, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that technology providers must realize that the disruptive forces of cloud, information, mobile and social will reach mainstream status in 2014 and create new technology requirements, drive new purchasing and establish new competitive realities.

“Starting in 2014, the enterprise software markets will undergo their greatest level of disruptions, growth and new opportunities since the year 2000,” said Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner. “By 2017, Gartner estimates that new IT buying based on the Nexus of Forces will drive more than 26 percent of total enterprise software market revenue, up from 12 percent in 2012. This represents more than $104 billion to new worldwide enterprise software revenue from cloud, information, mobile and social initiatives in 2017.”

Mr. Eid said that the nexus forces must be evaluated, analyzed and understood as adjacent and synergistic and not solely as independent or nonconnected.

“While there has been a great deal of excitement from the vendor community regarding cloud, information, mobile, social, and other forces and technologies, adoption in organizations and businesses has yet to catch up with the hype,” said Mr. Eid. “Adoption trends of new technologies frequently take many years before reaching maturity, stability and broad market usage. The nexus should be seen as a development and design philosophy rather than as a packaged product.”

While the use of collaboration technologies, data analytics, mobile devices and software as a service (SaaS) have been in effect for more than a decade, their adoption and popularity have increased significantly over the last few years. Vendors’ offerings continue to improve, and usage benefits are becoming more tangible. Gartner expects that new revenue generation and growth rates derived from the Nexus of Forces’ impact on enterprise software markets will far outpace overall market growth through 2017.

Cloud-Based Services
Cloud and SaaS popularity and adoption have continued to increase since 2008. Buyers are under pressure to mitigate operational costs, evaluating less-capital-intensive alternatives and more modern software. In addition, annual increases in technical support and maintenance fees and business disruption because of upgrades from suite vendors are prompting IT managers to evaluate other options and vendor choices.

Cloud-based offerings need to be tailored to specific needs and requirements. First-time purchases are commonly characterized by short time frames, limited computing requirements, and line-of-business or departmental buying. More comprehensive and mature usage of cloud-based offerings is more strategic and frequently represented by long-term projects to transform technology access/use with oversight and funding from IT management.

Information, Analytics and Content
While business intelligence (BI) and analytics have been a top CIO priority for years, recent purchasing patterns show that spending with CIOs is in more of a “wait and see” mode. Most net new spending is currently driven from outside the IT department. BI, analytics and data analysis are well-established for most large companies in traditional subject areas, such as finance and sales, but there is still extensive growth potential for diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive projects.

The emerging data-as-a-service trend is anticipated to significantly grow the market for BI and analytic platforms. Today, the business model is largely “build” driven. Organizations license software capabilities to build analytic applications. However, organizations increasingly will subscribe to industry-specific data services that bundle a narrow set of data with BI and analytic capabilities embedded.

Enterprise content management (ECM) can be viewed as both a business-IT strategy as well as a set of software technologies. As an IT strategy, ECM helps organizations take control of their content and, in so doing, boost effectiveness, encourage collaboration and make information easier to share. As software technologies, ECM consists of applications for content life cycle management that interoperate, but that can also be sold and used separately.

Mobile and social forces are frequently leveraged for new ECM projects with purchasing from line-of-business managers and marketing/sales groups. New strategic and sophisticated ECM initiatives are being funded at the CxO level to focus on information governance and regulatory compliance requirements.

 Mobility
Emphasis over the next few years will be on providing enterprise-class support for mobile data and applications, rising on top of the existing enterprise mobile architectures. This will be driven by key technologies, such as enterprise mobile management systems (EMMSs), mobile containers, enterprise application stores and mobile collaboration.

Tablet and mobile users are demanding mobile device applications that exploit the capabilities of these devices and that can integrate into existing corporate systems. This trend is pushing the application software market in a new direction, and a mobile application product strategy has become a strategic imperative for all application vendors.

Social and Collaboration
The promise of the converging social, mobile, cloud and information forces is directly relevant to delivering successful collaboration and social software initiatives.

For many organizations, first-time internal usage of social and collaboration software is primarily focused on individual and small-group communication and sharing. For organizations that are looking to move from an initial or trial phase to a richer experience and more sophisticated stage of usage, emphasis shifts to focusing on collaboration in the context of work activities. This includes enterprise-level commitments for collective intelligence, community building, knowledge sharing and virtual teaming as key drivers of expanding and enhancing usage. IT managers need to work with their users so that social and collaboration software blends naturally with the tasks they need to carry out every day.

More detailed analysis is available in the report “Market Trends: Monetizing Gartner’s Nexus of Forces in the Enterprise Software Markets.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2630428?ref=QuickSearch&sthkw=eid%20AND%20nexus.

Contacts
Janessa Rivera
Gartner
janessa.rivera@gartner.com

Rob van der Meulen
Gartner
rob.vandermeulen@gartner.com

About Gartner
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner in over 13,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 5,800 associates, including 1,450 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 October 6-10 in Orlando

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top ten technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2014.  Analysts presented their findings during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 10.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

“We have identified the top 10 technologies that companies should factor into their strategic planning processes,” said David Cearley. “This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the listed technologies, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.”

Mr. Cearley said that the Nexus of Forces, the convergence of four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, continues to drive change and create new opportunities, creating demand for advanced programmable infrastructure that can execute at web-scale.

The top ten strategic technology trends for 2014 include:

Mobile Device Diversity and Management

Through 2018, the growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make “everything everywhere” strategies unachievable. The unexpected consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is a doubling or even tripling of the size of the mobile workforce. This is placing tremendous strain on IT and Finance organizations. Enterprise policies on employee-owned hardware usage need to be thoroughly reviewed and, where necessary, updated and extended. Most companies only have policies for employees accessing their networks through devices that the enterprise owns and manages. Set policies to define clear expectations around what they can and can’t do. Balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements

Mobile Apps and Applications

Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment. Gartner recommends that developers focus on creating expanded user interface models including richer voice and video that can connect people in new and different ways. Apps will continue to grow while applications will begin to shrink. Apps are smaller, and more targeted, while a larger application is more comprehensive. Devlopers should look for ways to snap together apps to create larger applications. Building application user interfaces that span a variety of devices require an understanding of fragmented building blocks and an adaptable programming structure that assembles them into optimized content for each device. The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. The next evolution in user experience will be to leverage intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.

The Internet of Everything

The Internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The problem is that most enterprises and technology vendors have yet to explore the possibilities of an expanded internet and are not operationally or organizationally ready. Imagine digitizing the most important products, services and assets. The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models – Manage; Monetize; Operate; Extend. These four basic models can be applied to any of the four “internets” (people, things, information and places).  Enterprises should not limit themselves to thinking that only the Internet of Things (i.e., assets and machines) has the potential to leverage these four models. Enterprises from all industries (heavy, mixed, and weightless) can leverage these four models.

Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker

Bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is an imperative. Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration/interoperability is possible. Hybrid cloud services can be composed in many ways, varying from relatively static to very dynamic. Managing this composition will often be the responsibility of something filling the role of cloud service broker (CSB), which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. Enterprises that are expanding into hybrid cloud computing from private cloud services are taking on the CSB role. Terms like “overdrafting” and “cloudbursting” are often used to describe what hybrid cloud computing will make possible. However, the vast majority of hybrid cloud services will initially be much less dynamic than that. Early hybrid cloud services will likely be more static, engineered compositions (such as integration between an internal private cloud and a public cloud service for certain functionality or data). More deployment compositions will emerge as CSBs evolve (for example, private infrastructure as a service [IaaS] offerings that can leverage external service providers based on policy and utilization).

Cloud/Client Architecture

Cloud/client computing models are shifting. In the cloud/client architecture, the client is a rich application running on an Internet-connected device, and the server is a set of application services hosted in an increasingly elastically scalable cloud computing platform. The cloud is the control point and system or record and applications can span multiple client devices. The client environment may be a native application or browser-based; the increasing power of the browser is available to many client devices, mobile and desktop alike. Robust capabilities in many mobile devices, the increased demand on networks, the cost of networks and the need to manage bandwidth use creates incentives, in some cases, to minimize the cloud application computing and storage footprint, and to exploit the intelligence and storage of the client device. However, the increasingly complex demands of mobile users will drive apps to demand increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity.

The Era of Personal Cloud

The personal cloud era will mark a power shift away from devices toward services. In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about, although the devices will still be necessary. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.

Software Defined Anything

Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As a collective, SDx also incorporates various initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, the Open Compute Project and Open Rack, which share similar visions. As individual SDx technology silos evolve and consortiums arise, look for emerging standards and bridging capabilities to benefit portfolios, but challenge individual technology suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to true interoperability standards within their specific domains. While openness will always be a claimed vendor objective, different interpretations of SDx definitions may be anything but open. Vendors of SDN (network), SDDC (data center), SDS (storage), and SDI (infrastructure) technologies are all trying to maintain leadership in their respective domains, while deploying SDx initiatives to aid market adjacency plays. So vendors who dominate a sector of the infrastructure may only reluctantly want to abide by standards that have the potential to lower margins and open broader competitive opportunities, even when the consumer will benefit by simplicity, cost reduction and consolidation efficiency.

Web-Scale IT

Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions. Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are re-inventing the way IT in which IT services can be delivered.  Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. If enterprises want to keep pace, then they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers. Gartner calls the combination of all of these elements Web-scale IT. Web-scale IT looks to change the IT value chain in a systemic fashion.  Data centers are designed with an industrial engineering perspective that looks for every opportunity to reduce cost and waste.  This goes beyond re-designing facilities to be more energy efficient to also include in-house design of key hardware components such as servers, storage and networks. Web-oriented architectures allows developers to build very flexible and resilient systems that recover from failure more quickly.

Smart Machines

Through 2020, the smart machine era will blossom with a proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems and public availability of early examples of autonomous vehicles. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT. New systems that begin to fulfill some of the earliest visions for what information technologies might accomplish — doing what we thought only people could do and machines could not —are now finally emerging. Gartner expects individuals will invest in, control and use their own smart machines to become more successful. Enterprises will similarly invest in smart machines. Consumerization versus central control tensions will not abate in the era of smart-machine-driven disruption. If anything, smart machines will strengthen the forces of consumerization after the first surge of enterprise buying commences.

3-D Printing

Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 75 percent in 2014 followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. While very expensive “additive manufacturing” devices have been around for 20 years, the market for devices ranging from $50,000 to $500, and with commensurate material and build capabilities, is nascent yet growing rapidly. The consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.

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About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner in over 13,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 5,800 associates, including 1,450 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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