EMC's Chuck Hollis Details IT Predictions for 2012

It's no secret that there's more uncertainty in the IT world today than ever before. Some IT departments are becoming overwhelmed with mobile device management (MDM) demand from customers and even from fellow employees amid the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) craze sweeping across the workplace. Others are trying to figure out how they fit into cloud computing environments. EMC Vice President and Chief Technology Offer Chuck Hollis speaks with IT professionals as part of his job every day. And coincidentally, he's one of us -- a technology blogger. In one of his latest pieces, Hollis makes ten IT predictions for 2012. I spoke with Hollis about some specific predictions that caught my attention.

They included:

  • Focused IT Service Providers: More Attractive Than Ever: We're already beginning to see some of this, but Hollis predicts that businesses wanting to work with IT service providers who know their employees, IT landscape and industries will be one of the main IT themes of 2012. He even said working with undifferentiated IT service providers is "an extremely unattractive proposition to so many IT leaders." This goal along with one of the big debates that took center stage at the Cloud Channel Summit: Do VARs Really Need to Go Vertical? According to Hollis, the answer to this question for IT service providers is undoubtedly "Yes."
  • Costs Will Drop, Consumption Will Go Up: Dropping costs is certainly good news for businesses in search of new IT services. Hollis says hardware and software, operational costs, and cost of consumption will all drop in 2012. And anyone who's ever taken Economics 101 knows that consumption goes up as prices go down. But there's another aspect to this: when it comes to technology, consumption goes WAY up as prices go down. Hollis predicts that businesses may spend even more on technology at the end of the day by aggregate.
  • IT Security: Time To Think Differently: This topic plays right into the the demand for new cloud skills, which Hollis predicted will rise in 2012. Hollis expects IT security functions to be "re-envisioned" as the role of IT evolves. And when it comes to the readiness of cloud security? "Technology [and security] is not the problem," Hollis told me. "It's a maturity problem.  We've been using external IT for decades. Companies have been handing their IT departments over to companies in other parts of the world. Why are they now concerned about the security of the cloud?"
One question I had about the IT landscape it 2012 that wasn't addressed in Hollis' IT predictions: As the demand for vertically-focused IT service providers rises, will companies be willing to, or have to, pay more for a more intimate relationship with a vertically-focused IT service provider? Hollis said himself that "relationships are expensive." Let us know what you think.

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