I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas on behalf of the entire Beyond Technology team. Beyond Technology has had its best ever year. This year has brought an increased velocity of technology and business change. I thank you for your continued support and hope that 2012 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.
- More Independent Review – We have noticed a marked increase in board involvement in technology and this is continuing to drive independent reviews. What has been long seen as standard practice across other business disciplines is increasing being used to drive ongoing improvements. We have seen this focus initially on the review/audit of 3rd party IT service providers and move steadily towards the review of internal service delivery and strategy.
- Ongoing 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. However we are also seeing a trend towards cautious targeted technology investments while maintaining pressure on ongoing technology cost base.
- Higher levels of DR Governance – With a series of significant DR events over the last 18 months starting with the Virgin Blue melt down, and then early this year the impacts of the Brisbane floods and the Christchurch earthquakes, boards across Australia have started asking direct questions on DR preparedness. The experiences of these events have started to be shared among the business community and many technology managers are being left carrying the can for years of neglect and non-investment.
- 4G Mobile is a reality – Many of us this year have been impressed with the initial results experienced with LTE devices. Telstra have launched a geographically constrained service but have active plans to rapidly expand this footprint; Optus are a bit further behind and will follow a similar phase rollout through 2012; Vodafone still struggle to iron the kinks out of their 3G network. It is time now to rethink your mobile strategy: how will you leverage 4G technology for point solutions in 2012? When is the right time to ramp down 3G fleets and switch to 4G? How you generate competitive pressure across a hybrid fleet in an increasingly two horse vendor market? Are there opportunistic gains to be made through short-term contracts during the market confusion?
- BYO Device Strategies – BYO device strategies (Smartphone, Tablet and Notebook) are increasingly become common place across enterprise IT. To HR this represents a chance to engage better with the Gen Y workforce, to Finance this is an opportunity to move costs, to IT this can simple represent a security and management nightmare. Getting in front of the need and proactively developing a management strategy to leverage the advantages without being caught without a plan is key. We expect that the majority of enterprises will have a strategy to deal with BYO devices before the end of 2012.
- Mobile Device Management– 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. Organisations need to have a mobile device management strategy or platform in place to manage this ongoing adoption in a safe and reliable manner. Where best effort support was once the norm, the business’s increasing reliance on these devices has driven the requirements for agreed service level targets and effective security management.
- Still More Cloud – Appropriate use of cloud in your technology strategy can be an excellent option 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.
- Technology based business productivity improvement opportunity to support growth – The Australian economy has recently been dependent on China for its economic growth which has led to our famous two speed economy. We are seeing boards focusing on understanding how they can deliver organisational capacity for more sustainable growth through productivity improvements. Mobility, collaboration, CRM and business intelligence capabilities will be an ongoing technology focus to deliver these improvements.
- Application Strategy Roadmap– Updating application strategy roadmaps to take into account recent changes in mobility and collaboration technologies should be undertaken with a broad view of the organsiations productivity improvement opportunity. Whether the impetus is business process change, or the promised insights of “Big Data”, 2012 is expected to be a year where many organisation refresh their application strategy roadmap.