IT Pro Leader Board: 2012 tech hopes

Cloud providers need to understand this move and let our users access the enterprise data they need the way they want to.

My hope would be that someone can challenge Apple's grip on the tablet market. It is potentially too important a technology to be almost entirely proprietary.

In the last 12 months, the number of our users opting for laptops has fallen through the floor and almost all our home workers use tablets. We will be working with our trusted cloud provider Star, to embrace this move."

Liam Quinn, IT director, Richmond Events

"I have two hopes, one personal, one professional.

Personally, I would like to see technology continue to take steps to protect the innocent online. Either in chat rooms, on social media sites or on peer-to-peer networks, I would hope that someone can crack the evil predators' ability to hide behind tech.

I know it's a vain hope as there is always a product to fulfil a need - however depraved that need might be - but no one said my hope had to be certain of delivery!

On a professional basis, my hope would be that someone can challenge Apple's grip on the tablet market. It is potentially too important a technology to be almost entirely proprietary.

RIM has tried and monumentally failed - good hardware, very few apps. Android has tried and seems the most likely candidate to oppose Apple, but the quality of apps is, er, "questionable" at times.

Microsoft will launch Windows 8 with the Metro interface in 2012 with a view to tapping into the tablet market, but - and I have to declare an interest as an MCSE from Windows NT4 days - I honestly feel that Microsoft is being led by the nose by Apple.

Apple is defining the market and everyone else is desperately playing catch-up. It may be a different game once Steve Jobs' legacy pipeline dries up, but that may be three years away.

For Microsoft to change software licensing models, or - worse still - try to maintain the status quo with expensive Enterprise Agreements for companies whilst trying to offer the next version of Office as a downloadable "app" for potentially 3 per application to members of the public is too confusing for people who buy software (and I include myself in that number).

Without a cohesive, understandable and fair system of app purchasing, Microsoft tablets could go the way of the RIM PlayBook.

Tablet PCs live or die by the quality, availability and the affordability of the apps in their particular marketplace. If any of the three elements (quality, availability, affordability) fails, the whole edifice comes tumbling down and we see the immediate fire sale of technologically impressive, application-neutered hardware fit only to be used as a novelty for young children.

Microsoft has to decide what its future is and not try to hedge its bets, because that only creates confusion and deepens distrust.

If Samsung, Microsoft or someone else - someone new - can take the battle to Apple and create a broad tablet "ecology" of competing technologies then I foresee the ubiquity of tablet computers and the availability of the cloud changing everyone's life directly or indirectly, for the better."

Mark Evans, IT manager, RLB

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.