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Gartner analysts on the 'Nexus of Forces'

What are the new forces that are transforming the way people and businesses relate to technology?

According to global research firm Gartner, they are "information, social, mobile and cloud". Gartner has named these converged trends the "Nexus of Forces".

Gartner held a local briefing "The Nexus of Forces and the Impact on Enterprise IT Beyond 2015" on 16 May 2013 in Singapore where its Singapore-based analysts Praveen Sengar, Gavin Tay, Song Chuan, To Chee Eng and Arun Chandrasekaran shared their insights on the biggest topics impacting businesses today. Their presentations covered areas such as CRM, Big Data, Business and Social, BYOD and Cloud.

Praveen Sengar, principal research analyst, Gartner Singapore, said there is information overload today and customers are educated about products and services. So, what matters today is experience, especially at a time when there is increased competition and shorter product lifecycles. Today's customers want to control the product or the service, he said, citing the example of Netflix. Customers want personalised engagement, he said. That's why CRM is high on the agenda of CEOs and CIOs.

Song Chuang, research director, Gartner Singapore, presented on the subject, Mobile Management & BYOD.

Chuang said that unlike in the past when management was about things being closed, mobility is about an 'open future'.

There is device diversity in the enterprise and iOS dominates the enterprise, he said. However, he added, by 2016, over 40 percent of enterprise-supported mobile devices will be Android.

How to manage diversity in such multi-platform circumstances? Chuang advised CIOs that they should encourage or incentivise only some platforms. The management can't be seen to support all platforms with full backing.

While Gavin Tay, research director, Gartner Singapore, highlighted the impact of social media on businesses and advised strategies on dealing with the 'social media effect', Arun Chandrasekaran, research director, Gartner Singapore, talked about big data and its true potential beyond the hype.

Big data is the most-hyped term in the market today, said Chandrasekaran, and it has encouraged people to think big: they ask questions that they did not dare to or did not imagine before.

He said that there was always 'dark data' but it is only recently that open source technologies like Hadoop have enabled enterprises to mine such data. Yet, there are many challenges before big data such as software maturity, skills deficiency, security, risk and reusability.

However, Chandrasekaran cautioned, big data should not come at a big cost.

As far as adoption of big data is concerned, he said that 90-95 percent of customers in the AP region are in planning stage.

Speaking on Cloud computing and when should companies start the migration to clouds, Chee Eng, Research Vice President, Gartner Singapore, declared that cloud is here!

Citing data, Eng said that US is leading the cloud marketplace in terms of adoption, followed by Australia. Singapore is not far behind and here cloud is on the way to become mainstream.

Still, according to him, mainstream cloud adoption is two years away in Singapore because of;

- lack of competitive pricing

- no mid-sized IT/managed service provider

- no experience in data centre outsourcing

- no large mid-market

"Future will evolve to hybrid cloud," Eng said. "IT infrastructure is a utility. Public cloud is on the way but with limitation."

Enterprise cloud is almost here, he said. Deployments can start now but don't lock down to long term contracts, he cautioned the CIOs.

Once you have deployed cloud, shift your manpower's IT skills to applications and outsourcing and management of vendors, he advised.


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