Top 10 for 2011 and BEYOND

By December 1, 2010Predictions

I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas on behalf of the entire Beyond Technology team.

I thank you for your support this year and hope that 2011 is looking bright and productive. In thinking of the year ahead, I thought that I would share with you what the BTC Team has identified as the key trends and challenges that we feel our clients will be facing next year. As independent IT management consultants, we not only see a variety of different industries suffering the same issues, but it’s our job to help you identify and form the solutions. Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss how Beyond Technology can help your organisation.

  1. More Virtualisation – The average level of virtualisation across most enterprises in Australia has been stuck at the 30% level through much of 2010. The very simple reason is that this is normally the level that the quick wins run out. Given the maturity of hypervisor technology and the available management frameworks, we believe that 2011 will see a major upswing in the number of core applications that are refreshed into virtual environments at their next upgrade. The potential improvement in infrastructure efficiency, availability, manageability and business agility in virtual environments is now compelling for many applications that were until recently considered tied to a physical platform.
  2. More Storage – We see no end in sight for the continued explosion of data storage requirements. Information management, archival policies and capacity planning processes will continue to be key and proper governance around your backup and recovery environment needs to be observed. Any IT director or CIO that has been just “holding it together” through 2010 should yell out for help now.
  3. More Video – 2010 has seen corporate video conferencing step up to 1080p, webcams move to a 720p standard, Skype deploy a Brady Bunch multi-point video client, Apple start the consumer push for “Facetime” and Microsoft ready their next generation OCS called “Lync”. I don’t think you need to be Nostradamus to predict that 2011 is going to see the network managers paradigm change with more and more video being expected across corporate networks. If your organisation has yet to consider its video collaboration strategy its time to put it on the agenda.
  4. More Cloud – Office 365 is just the latest and most widely advertised cloud offering that has significant repercussions for enterprise IT departments. CEO’s have been asking our clients all year “What is our cloud strategy?” 2011 is the year that you will need a good answer. Strategic use of cloud based services can improve your efficiency and effectively out-task some areas that you are not able to leverage the economies of scale available. This can be an excellent strategy to focus on your teams key strengths in service delivery and improve IT’s relationship with the business. An independent consultant like Beyond Technology can provide you with appropriate benchmark information that quickly identifies the cloud opportunities that are appropriate for your organisation now and into the future.
  5. More Mobility – Organisations have long since stopped accepting being tied to the desk, the continued reduction of mobile telecommunications costs, the increase in the capability of mobile hardware and improvement in mobility applications will continue to drive the increased adoption of mobile technologies. More and more organisations are developing policies and support technologies for BYO devices and we expect to see significant development of mobile and remote collaboration in 2011. Organisations should be planning for the implications of growing smartphone fleets and connected laptops in their telecommunication contracts and support arrangements.
  6. More Operational Cost Pressures – Unfortunately IT directors and CIO’s will still be expected to do more with less. Cost reduction opportunity assessments and cost/service level audits will continue to be a growing part of Beyond Technology’s business offering.
  7. More Governance – Virgin Blue’s recent spectacular IT failure has rattled many boards and executive teams. IT management should expect and prepare for higher governance expectations in 2011. Independent IT Audit activity of 3rd party providers, Data Recovery and Disaster preparedness will be on Santa’s list for many organisations. Get ahead of the curve and plan this activity before it is forced upon you.
  8. The Influence of IPv6 – Geoff Huston has been telling all of Australia’s media about the impending exhaustion of IPv4 address space. Most of us have been around long enough to have heard this all before, the difference this time is cause. We strongly believe that IPv6 will hit the prime time over the next 24 months and organisations should be planning for it now. Those that are ill prepared will be left on legacy telecommunication platforms and not be able to leverage the cost savings that will become available.
  9. The Influence of the NBN and 4G Mobile – The planning and/or rollout of the National Broadband Network and 4G mobile services should be a major factor in any Australian organisations IT strategy plan. It is considered appropriate practice to undertake an IT strategy plan refresh on an annual basis, with a new 3 year horizon business focused planning cycle undertaken every second year.
Many organisations have already been in discussion with us about assisting with an out of sequence planning cycle next year in order to drive the initiative and expose the opportunities that these changes will deliver to the business. This represents one of the few opportunities for IT to take a step up at the executive and use a well publicised external factor to increase their corporate influence.

I look forward to working with you in the new year and hope that you get to enjoy some time off before then.

About Greg Spencer

Greg is a Founding Partner of Beyond Technology Consulting. Having held a number of senior executive positions in the past in a variety of technology industries; these roles included Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of Network & Operations and Chief Operations Officer. Greg’s engineering qualifications provides a sound technology base and he still retains solid technical credentials in IP and application network architectures today. With over fifteen years of industry technology management experience, Gregory is now part of the Beyond Technology Consulting team providing specialist telecommunications, business, program management and consulting skills.

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