5) How will consumerisation shape up in 2012?
The rate of adoption of mobile technology and its use over a network has been staggering. Adding to that the increase in use of high-performance applications such as video streaming, IPTV and real-time image transferring have made customers realise that within a short period of time, their networks could hit breaking point. The need to reinvent their data centre with an agile and scalable solution is becoming widely accepted in the region.
From a vendor's perspective, we expect continued growth of data in zetabytes. There will be innovations in virtualisation and switches next year that will re-define the economics of entering the cloud. Ethernet fabric technology will continue to gain popularity as the most efficient way to move data through a network.
6) What is going to be on top of your customers' agendas in 2012?
Given the expected squeeze on the economy in 2012, it is interesting that our customers have not reduced their IT investment budgets drastically.
CIOs are being given a freer reign as the benefits of virtualisation and cloud computing are being understood by other C-level executives within the organisation. For 2012, we see our customers focusing on three key areas - attracting business through new customers in new markets and geographies, improving the technical infrastructure, and retaining existing customers.
The first two focus areas go hand in hand. A better technical infrastructure will allow an organisation to be quicker to market and smarter through sophisticated analytics, which will help them tailor their offering to that particular market.
The final focus area to retain old customers will become especially important if the economy takes a turn for the worse. Enterprises will want to lock in and secure this business into their pipeline first. In the coming decade, organisations are going to succeed or fail according to the alignment of their IT strategy.
7) What are the challenges IT leaders will be facing in 2012?
Enterprises are getting smarter about improving their IT infrastructure and investing in technology. We see a fundamental shift taking place in the role of the CIO. Rather than just managing the technology needs of the organisation, the pressure on the CIO will be to match technology objectives closely with business objectives to enhance IT-enabled business growth. CIOs must not only look at today when they make decisions but also five years into the future and always ask themselves: "Does it make sense to adopt or commit to this technology today, given the direction the organisation is going over the next five years?"
8) To round things up, what are your key messages for 2012?
Virtualisation is driving the migration to private clouds with the level of virtual workloads directly correlating to an enterprise's private cloud-readiness, in which the deployment of fabric-based networks has become a fundamental requirement. Brocade is a pioneer and industry leader in delivering innovative networking solutions utilising both the Fibre channel and Ethernet fabric technologies that provide the scalability, high-performance and operational simplicity that is needed for cloud-optimised networks.
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