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Top Five IT Trends for 2013

From BYOD to Mobile Device Management

Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill Group, gives his top five IT trends for 2013.

1. BYOD
BYOD was arguably the biggest buzz word of 2012 and is now an unstoppable, user-driven wave which will continue to make a major impact on the IT world in 2013 and beyond. Smartphones, tablets and laptops all come under this category, as well as desktop PCs used remotely from home.

BYOD is a transformative technology and 2013 will see companies trying to integrate it into their networks. While tactical needs will drive integration, strategic requirements will become increasingly important.

Alongside this, and dependent on the penetration of Windows 8, we can expect to see the growth of Windows to Go secure USB sticks, which provide remote users with the supported version of the corporate desktop. These are available from a limited number of suppliers authorised by MicroSoft and include Imation's IronKey Workspace for Windows to Go.

2. Mobile Device Management
The very rapid growth of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, but particularly smartphones, led to concerns about their management and security in 2012. With employees using their smartphones for both business and personal use, the security and management issues became blurred. Mobile Device Management solutions were a strong growth area in 2012, which will accelerate in 2013.

Growth will be strongest for MDM solutions that offer features such as ensuring mobile device usage complies with company security policies, allocating access rights, managing configuration, updating policies, dealing with data leakage issues, and dealing with lost or stolen devices.

Additionally, MDM solutions need to address the problem of managing both employer-owned and employee owned devices, and differentiating between business use and personal use. A crucial component for continued growth will be the clear separation between the management of business and personal data on devices. There are over 100 suppliers in mobile device management many of them are good but niche solutions. The Gartner Magic Quadrant identifies the strategic leaders, which includes Zenprise.

3. High density wireless
Wireless requirements have been significantly incrementing over the last year and this trend will continue in 2013. BYOD has changed both the data transfer and performance expectations of users. However, these expectations have not been met, with many networks still inadequate in their coverage and performance.

The new 802.11ac standard, with 1 gigabit per second throughput rates, will be a key driver in organisations moving to high density wireless in 2013. High density wireless will provide companies with high coverage and high performance, supporting business critical applications and delivering complete site coverage.

As legacy wireless implementations buckle under the strain of demand organisations are moving from tactical deployment of wireless to strategic implementations. There will continue to be a shift from niche solutions towards more strategic solutions. Again, the Gartner Magic Quadrant identifies those companies with solutions that meet strategic as well as tactical needs. Alongside some of the more familiar names is Xirrus, which has been experiencing and will continue to experience stratospheric growth.

4. Data back-up and recovery
While large organisations have always been at the forefront of back-up and recovery, data centres and big data have put significant demands on them during 2012. Alongside that, smaller organisations have been under immense pressures from ever increasing data volumes, archiving and compliance requirements.

At the top end, new data replication technologies will have a major impact for data centres in 2013. For smaller organisations, the shift from tape will continue apace. For conservative organisations, the move to disc (and, in particular, RDX technologies which combine the best of tape and disc) will accelerate. Hybrid back-up to RDX and then the cloud will increase. In volume terms, the lowest move (but in market-hype the biggest) will be significant growth in direct back-up to the cloud.

RDX, hybrid and cloud data back-up solutions are available from vendors such as Imation and Barracuda Networks.

5. Data leakage protection
With growing volumes of data and with regulatory bodies increasingly prepared to levy fines for various non-compliance issues, data leakage protection will continue to be a major cause for concern during 2013. Companies will be looking closely at how to secure and manage their data as their network boundaries spread even wider, with increased use of social networking and BYOD, increased remote access, the rapid growth of wireless, increased virtualisation and the move towards convergence.

Increasingly, organisations will couple DLP products with SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solutions. DLP concerns will also continue the growth curve for authentication (much of it hosted in the cloud) and encryption, to protect data, both in motion and at rest. Some companies will look to hosted security services and the cloud to cope with an increasingly complex security situation.

SIEM and authentication solutions are available from companies such as LogLogic, Check Point VASCO and SafeNet .

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