Priority No. 1: Upgrade Current Infrastructure

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Priority No. 1: Upgrade Current Infrastructure

Data center physical infrastructure is the foundation of IT and telecommunication networks. It is the backbone of the business, and data center infrastructure should be optimized to address security, virtualization and other priorities properly.

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Priority No. 2: Increase Use of Virtualization

In Dell's global survey of 2,362 midmarket executives, IT decision makers said their second-highest priority was to increase the use of virtualization. Executives from Germany, India and the U.S. noted that more than 50 percent of their servers are currently virtualized. Benefits such as increased data center space efficiency and faster deployment are the advantages of virtualization that are driving competition among midsized businesses and providing an edge to their corporate counterparts.

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Priority No. 3: Adopt Cloud Computing

Now more than ever, businesses are looking at the cloud to accelerate growth. The cloud grants midsized businesses access to enterprise-class technology, allowing smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. When a company needs more bandwidth than usual, a cloud-based service can instantly meet the demand because of the vast capacity of the service's remote servers.

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Priority No. 4: Address Security Concerns

Midsize businesses face a heightened risk because many lack the resources to recover from the long-run consequences of a serious security breach. Global spending on security equipment and software by companies is in the midst of a multi-year run of 8.9 percent annual growth. Spending is projected to rise to $85.8 billion in 2016, up from $56 billion in 2011, according to Gartner Research.

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Priority No. 5: Implement BYOD

Gone are the days when most IT departments provided employees with a company-standard laptop and a generic phone. BYOD programs will continue to increase in 2013; employees will use sanctioned devices and apps to increase their own productivity.

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Priority No. 6: Adopt Software as a Service

As more companies seek ways to power through the present economy, the software as a service (SaaS) model has gained momentum. Businesses in many industries use this service delivery model in a variety of applications to reduce the cost of maintaining enterprise software applications. SaaS is great for midsized businesses because it gives organizations access to the same capabilities and benefits previously available to only the largest corporate enterprises.

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Priority No. 7: Upgrade Applications

From internal payroll systems to customer relationship management systems and online storefronts, an enterprise is only as strong as the applications that make it run. It is important to meet with an application's users regarding their needs for the application and review industry trends in order to recommend upgrades or replacements.

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Priority No. 8: Turn Data Into Insights

The predictable pathways of information are evolving to become the so-called "Internet of Things," which are networks that blend large volumes of data that flow to computers for analysis. This always-on society isn't based on a single technology, but a concept that will help improve business processes, create new business models and reduce costs. Big data is still big hype for many. This year will be about who can demonstrate how data can drive business results.

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Priority No. 9: Embrace Wireless Proliferation

Tablets are not the end-all, be-all. Use of wireless connectivity with all types of devices will continue to grow. In fact, the number of PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets sold in the markets are predicted to grow 34 percent between 2012 through 2014. With billions of connected devices entering the market over the next 10 years, IT professionals will continue to be challenged more than ever with the task of managing devices and protecting corporate data.

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Priority No. 10: Manage the Explosion of Data

The basis for these estimates remains a mystery to many people, but industry analysts predict the growth rate in new data sources will increase by 43 percent during the next 10 years. This presents increasing challenges for global businesses. Midmarket IT leaders are realizing that additional storage capacity alone won't handle the rampant growth in data and are faced with the task of how to store, manage and leverage the data. This explosion of data—along with the demand for access to this data any time, anywhere—will be among the most significant influences on the IT world in 2013.