Top 5 technology predictions for 2012 by Stace Hipperson, CTO at Real Status

Stace Hipperson, Chief Technology Officer
at  Real Status, a company focused on innovation in modelling and
visualising IT and cloud computing infrastructure, believes 2012 will be a
year of infrastructure simplification and great visibility.  Here he gives
his top five predictions for 2012:

(1)     OpenFlow networking technology – Vendors will need to have a
believable OpenFlow story otherwise Enterprises will look elsewhere in
OpenFlow is an open standard that allows the separation of the data
switching path and the software that controls the routing of that packet
flow (control path).  It is now being added as a feature to commercial
Ethernet switches, routers and wireless access points.  At the moment there
is a lack of end to end flow visibility and the ability to easily segment
and define an end to end path.  OpenFlow allows the logical separation of
networks thus enhancing security and allows the complete end to end
visibility needed to effectively monitor and manage a large IT estate.
Network architects will be looking to vendors to have a cohesive, believable
story and roadmap in 2012. If they don’t, customers will look elsewhere to
vendors that do.

(2)     Rise of Merchant Silicon – In 2012, these ’good enough’ devices
will begin to be used in non-critical network points.
Merchant silicon is a marketing term used to describe the use of ‘off the
shelf’ chip components to create a networking product.  It is changing the
rules around who makes what.  There will be a real shift towards start-ups
and even component makers using merchant silicon to create generic ‘good
enough’ switches and routers, which will also be OpenFlow enabled.  As the
economic situation worsens, companies will be looking to save more money on
purchases and reduce costs. These ‘good enough’ devices will move to
general acceptance as the cost benefit becomes apparent.  Although these
devices are not as fast and feature rich as the top end big vendor routers
and switches, most companies do not need either the top end speed or feature
bloat that exists in most current networking products.

(3)     Simplified applications – Companies will stop paying for bloated
enterprise applications and go back to basics.
A large percentage of enterprise applications feature sets are simply not
being used.  According to client feedback gleaned by Real Status, only about
10% of application features are being used in any meaningful way. The
revolution enabled by Apple with its easy to use, simple user interface will
be carried in to the enterprise as people will demand the ease of use and
practicality that Apple and other similar products enable. Users will get
rid of larger applications in 2012 and move to simpler applications that do
one or very few things simply and easily.

(4)     Gamification – This will be big in 2012 as more start-ups use game
theory to manipulate enterprise users into following procedure and complete
repetitive tasks.
Gamification is the integration of game mechanics and game-thinking in
non-game environments to boost engagement, loyalty and fun. There will be a
real trend towards using ‘compulsion loops’, a form of instant
gratification with a move towards more ‘enterprise face’.  Help desk
staff will be the first ones to see and use this software.

(5)     Cloud monitoring – Cloud monitoring to allow production to finally
move to the cloud.
As increasingly more organisations move to the cloud, there will be many new
players in cloud monitoring and the management of space.  Application to
Application data flow is increasingly being looked at to ensure good
response times to customers and this trend will increase in 2012.

Stace comments, “Simplification and visibility will be the over-arching
theme in 2012. Too many companies have complicated IT infrastructures that
are under-utilised, with a clear lack of IT visibility.  CTOs are often
making decisions without hard facts and millions of pounds are lost because
IT operating and planning judgments are often taken without understanding
the business impact or risk.”

He continued, “Our rationale behind developing Hyperglance was to provide
this visibility.  As the world’s first real-time IT modelling and
visualisation software, Hyperglance automatically builds three dimensional
models that show the dependencies between IT applications and