2011: A new consumer era in IT

Clouds will reign
It is not just an incremental advance in IT; cloud computing represents a paradigm shift in the IT industry and for how technology will transform business. In 2010, there was a lot of talk about cloud computing. In 2011, the talk will become a reality, and cloud computing will become the predominate way that organizations operate – either via public, private or hybrid clouds.
Organizations will uncover realistic, practical uses that give them the flexibility and speed they require to better meet the fast-changing needs of the business. Service providers will prove to be the guidepost for enterprises, as IT pros look to them for lessons learned.
Additionally, the role that technology plays within the enterprise will shift as cloud computing takes hold. IT will now become a major business driver and become vital to how the business functions – from operations and sales to branding. The new role of the CIO will be to strategically manage an IT supply chain pulling in resources as needed -- everything from complete applications to massive amounts of cloud-based processing capacity and data storage.
Increasingly, the IT department’s role will be less about hands-on technology management and more about bringing together business and IT governance. At the same time, you can expect non-technical executives and managers to become more deeply involved in technology.
Consumerization of IT … “To the Cloud”
The groundswell of consumer technology is taking over the enterprise. Businesses now want speed, choice, secure, and agile technology at their fingertips. The cloud, virtualization and mobile devices are making this possible. The IT professional will need to move quickly in order to provide the necessary infrastructure and services that its users increasingly demand.
Organizations will change their perception of cloud security as stronger, more advanced security options are deployed as cloud services from organizations that specialize in security. This specialization provides a level of security that most organizations cannot reach on their own.
In doing so, it increases security confidence and makes security an enabler of cloud adoption. For example, Identity and Access Management capabilities such as advanced authentication and fraud prevention, single sign-on, identity governance and others are offered as a cloud service. They are more easily adopted, deployed and managed by both growing enterprises and very large enterprises, and they give users the confidence that they can control who has access to what.
Smart devices will displace laptops
The consumerization of IT also means that smart mobile devices, like tablets and iPads, will start displacing laptops as the device of choice for employees. While many enterprises have tried to resist the deployment of these devices, user demand has been too strong to resist.
As a result, technology and services will be delivered differently and there will be an array of new IT challenges - specifically security and authentication - to be managed.
Automation is the secret weapon
Most CIOs are still working with budgets that remain flat, or are even down. Meanwhile virtualization deployments require more skills, more people, faster cycle times, and fewer errors to overcome virtual stall and be successful.
Automation is the only way to deal with this conflict, accelerate virtualization, and build an efficient, cost-effective, dynamic data center. It is also essential to cloud computing. The momentum behind virtual infrastructure automation, and virtual service automation, will therefore continue to gather steam - and deliver results - throughout 2011. It may even overshadow virtualization itself as one of the hottest topics in IT.
Insider security threats surge
The insider will be the next security attack vector for the enterprise. The insider is a direct line to corporate data which is high quality, valuable and lucrative . As companies continue to have better and more sophisticated security, it will become easier to social engineer someone on the inside than to continually create new malware. 
With companies opening up social networking sites and increasing employee mobility, there will also be more access points to sneak out classified information. Organizations will begin using behavioral analysis to predict threats from the inside.