Ovum foretells enterprise "radical change"

past and future

The IT landscape will "change dramatically" over the next seven years, compared to the previous 30, according to a new report by industry analysts Ovum.

In its Enterprise 2020 report, Ovum said that the acceleration of consumerisation and the influx of devices and platforms entering the workplace would mean that future employees would no longer be "tethered to one location". These employees would be able to share and access knowledge more easily.

It said that a wide range of interconnected, social, mobile and cloud-based collaboration platforms on multiple devices will enable employees to participate in the "shareconomy", a key theme at CeBit last week.

The analysts said that organisations must act now to adapt to this changing landscape or risk being left behind by both their markets and their employees.

"The way in which we work will change dramatically over the next seven years, more than in the previous 30, meaning the enterprise of 2020 will need to be more agile and more responsive than it is today," says Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum.

"To remain successful, there will have to be significant change in operations, systems and cultural levels. By 2020, knowledge workers will need and want a set of tools far different to those of today, so for the CIO, the important choice will be which vendor to follow."

The report outline four players in the industry that would have most effect in changing the IT landscape: Google, Yammer, Citrix and VMware.

Ovum said that Google is at the "apex of consumer web behaviour". It said this behaviour is finding its way into the enterprise and affecting employees' expectations of the collaboration tools and connected devices they use for work. "Google's position across cloud services markets, mobility and social networking means that it brings a unique perspective on the road ahead for enterprise IT," the report said.

The analysts said that Yammer has pioneered what social networking and collaboration can do in the enterprise, taking behaviours learned in the consumer space on platforms such as Facebook and converting them into business productivity and new models for management.

"It is an exciting business with an exciting take on the future of work. Microsoft thought so too, acquiring it in the middle of this project and making it part of the Microsoft Office Division," said the report.

Ovum said that Citrix is evolving as the IT market evolves. It added that the company was striking a delicate balance between the governance needs of the IT department and usability and accessibility requirements of the increasingly connected employee.

VMware was praised by the analysts for transforming from an IT-focused organisation to one focused on the end user, "enabling end users to connect to their data, applications and desktops from any device without having to sacrifice IT security and control."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.