There’s no getting away from the inevitable round of IT predictions that mark the end of every year. Just about every research company and IT vendor has its own list — and 451 Research is no exception.

This time it comes in the shape of 6 C’s for 2015 that cover a range of issues from content management to containers to cloud and crowd working. Combined, they envisage a year that will see workers using more agile IT, largely through cloud and converged platforms. These same workers will also be more mobile and disassociated from the enterprise.

A Look at the List

The common theme running through each prediction is agile and efficient IT, with a very big E.

Since predictions this time of year are almost endless, we should be able to identify a number of trends and perhaps hone in on ones destined for reality in the coming year.

Only last week, IDC published its list of emerging IT trends for the coming year. And guess what? They are mostly repeated in this 451 Research list. Here are 451 Research’s predictions and, like something out of Sesame Street, they come to you beginning with the letter C.

1. Containers

451 Research predicts IT departments will start using Docker and containerization technology over the year to such a point that it will disrupt IT departments at least through the end of next year.

The Docker website describes it as an open platform for developers and systems administrators to build, ship, and run distributed applications. It comes with Docker Engine, a portable, lightweight runtime and packaging tool, and Docker Hub, a cloud service for sharing applications and automating workflows. The result is that IT will be able to ship the same app on laptops, data centers, laptops, virtual machines and cloud platforms.

451 analysts believe Docker will be adopted by large enterprises to work alongside, as well as replace, traditional VMs because of its management and efficiency advantages. Docker has not yet achieved parity with traditional VMs in some critical areas, including integration and security, and a large number of vendors are rapidly addressing this.

2. Convergence

Technology and platform convergence will be one of the big flavors of next year, particularly hyper-convergence, which has exploded in recent years and will start showing the first signs of widespread adoption in 2015. A hyper-converged infrastructure tightly integrates storage, compute, networking and server virtualization resources in the same box.

451 Research thinks enterprises are being attracted to these kinds of infrastructures because of improved efficiencies from integrating computing, storage and networking while, vendors use it to differentiate product offerings in the face of commodification. The larger question is whether either of these expectations can be realized and what the move to new product categories means for the IT marketplace.

3. Cloud Security

According to 451 Research, security spending is up again. The security space itself will be marked by mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, venture capital and private equity at a level of activity that is higher than it ever has. 451 Research points out that security is, to a large extent, reactive with new tools emerging as new IT, software and architecture emerge, but two years slower than other IT developments.

Not only are new security products matching IT developments and widespread vulnerabilities, but they’re also all claiming to be complementary to the existing security. The result is many more security layers that are a lot more efficient at protecting infrastructure than they have been to date.

4. Closets

Demand for more effective and efficient data processing continues, but there are still many technical and commercial constraints involved in accessing, or delivering, data over wide area and public networks. One of the possible solutions to this is the development of micro-modular data centers that can process and store data near the point of use and which are offered as complete, self-contained products.

These micro modular data centers include IT capabilities including processing, storage and connectivity functions, coupled with the supporting infrastructure.

5. Crowd Workers

With the rise of mobile, the way people are working is changing at a faster pace than companies’ abilities to effectively manage that change. Human resources systems that were developed to manage on-premises work forces are starting to buckle under the strain created by the development and multiplicity of working structures.

The disconnect will be aggravated over the year as workers become increasingly mobile and work remotely. This will impact processes like on-boarding and off-boarding, corporate communications, and task tracking. Next year will be dominated by this and enterprises’ attempted to deal with it.

6. Coexistence

Data management and the data management space, which was once controlled by IT is changing too; Self-service data preparation tools coming from a bunch of start-up companies is putting data in the hands of analysts making the whole data management process a lot more efficient.

As 2015 progresses, the number of DIY offerings for importing, cleansing, mapping, combining and transforming datasets will grow. They will be accessible to data-savvy marketers and sales personnel, who are already using self-service discovery tools and visual-analysis tools.

451 thinks self-service data preparation and harmonization will complement and coexist with its traditional data management tools.

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