Comprehensive report highlights the most disruptive and significant trends expected to drive the enterprise IT agenda this year.

451 Research, a division of The 451 Group, has announced the publication of its 2012 Preview, an all-encompassing report highlighting the most disruptive and significant trends that the analyst firm expects to dominate and drive the enterprise IT industry agenda over the coming year.

The 93-page report provides an outlook and assessment across all 451 Research technology sectors and practice areas—including cloud enablement, enterprise security, hosting, datacenter technologies, information management, mobility, networking and eco-efficient IT—with input from its team of 40+ analysts.

"The coming 12 months stand to be a defining period for disruption in enterprise IT," said Simon Robinson, research director, 451 Research. "Economic concerns will weigh heavily on the minds of IT decision-makers this year, and will increasingly drive customers toward considering cloud-based approaches. Indeed, 2012 could be when the cloud comes of age, and for the first time will really begin to nip away at traditional IT deployment models in enterprise environments."

Key findings of the report include:

Enterprisecloud adoption moves from the playground to production - In 2012, cloud services will compete more aggressively with IT departments. There's a perfect storm of economic, technological and operational conditions in play that make cloud adoption inevitable.

Virtualization becomes mission-critical - Virtualization is evolving from a cost-effective extension to development and test-lab resources into a platform for mission-critical applications in production.

Cloud security questions linger - "Cloud security" is still too predicated on a one-enterprise view (whether it be the view from the customer side or the provider side), and although there are tools being adapted for the virtualized environment, vendors are only slowly working out how to scale in a multi-tenant fashion that takes into consideration the fact that an enterprise will never use just one cloud.

Cloud drives agenda and consolidation in hosting - We expect to see continued consolidation in hosting during 2012, particularly in Europe. Smaller players will be swallowed up by larger peers, or by telcos and SIs looking to build up their portfolios.

Mobile apps to drive the enterprise in 2012 - IT's focus on mobility for voice and messaging is coming to an end. More organizations will build or buy mobile apps, creating the need for mobile security and mobile application lifecycle management across the entire device and platform landscape.

Modularity drives the 2012 datacenter agenda - We expect the great majority of new datacenters to be highly modular in design, tightly integrated and pre-configured before actual construction or delivery. This will disrupt datacenter supply chains as suppliers and service companies seek new partnerships and routes to market.

Innovation returns to the systems world - Pre-integrated converged infrastructure, specialized application appliances and high-density blades for server farms using low-power processors will all play an increasing role, especially for midsized organizations as they look to squeeze more value from virtualization.

Storage spotlight focuses on efficiency - Continued data growth and a persistent tight spending environment will place more emphasis on efficiency than ever before, which will open opportunities for innovative approaches. The emergence of solid-state technologies will remain the hottest issue in storage in 2012.

Shift to software-defined networking accelerates - Software-defined networking will have a dramatic impact on the way in which datacenter and service-provider networks are built. There won't be any large production networks running OpenFlow in 2012, but its implications are causing ripples in the strategies of traditional networking vendors, swelling the ranks of new networking startups and creating a tide of new approaches to networking hardware.

Data, data everywhere - cloud to IT's rescue? - In 2012 the focus will be on making data more accessible via mobile and cloud strategies, without sacrificing governance goals. IT will have to meet the needs of business users with mobile devices (and Apple iPads especially) or take the risk that those users will go on their own to consumer services instead.

Questioning the value of "big data" - Big data will continue to be a hot topic, but the focus will shift from volume, variety and velocity to the all-important endgame of deriving value from data - what we term "Total Data."

(Some) clarity emerges in Eco-IT - Energy management will continue to gain ground as the focal point of eco-efficient IT, and will slowly but surely move up the priority lists of C-suite executives.

451 Research will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, February 9, at 12pm ET, where an assembly of the authoring research directors will be available to provide key findings from the report and participate in a structured Q&A session. To register for this special online event, please select the following link: Please note that the full 2012 Preview report is available upon request by completing this brief form. Additional information regarding 451 Research's team and coverage areas can be found at