I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas on behalf of the entire Beyond Technology team.
Beyond Technology has again had its best ever year. Thank you for your continued support and hope that 2013 is looking exciting 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.
- Increasing need for governance and board-level oversight of IT operations – The increasing importance of appropriate, reliable and efficient IT to support the competitiveness of businesses will continue for the foreseeable future, however several industry developments are likely to sharpen the boards attitude to oversight of IT operations in 2013. Data sovereignty has become an increasing concern as cloud services not only often seek to store data in different legislative domains, but the treatment of data (and its security and protection) become less transparent to the users. This combined with often poor internal IT governance of the server sprawl created by the flexibility given through virtualization has left many organizations unable to answer basic questions on their risk levels for data integrity, information protection and privacy compliance. We expect many organizations will focus their oversight of such concerns during 2013.
- Death of Blackberry – While only a short time ago the most often heard quote regarding blackberry’s was “the only way you can take my Blackberry is out of my cold dead hand”, nowadays IT departments can’t give them away. Real concerns about the ongoing viability of the company and therefore support for the technology and the user driven demand and significant improvements in manageability of alternate smartphones has turned into a tsunami of change. Plan 2013 to be the year to close down your BES and stop paying the blackberry tax to Canada.
- Windows SmartPhone to hit the prime time – Only a few months ago it seemed unlikely that Microsoft would ever be able to mount a challenge to the Smartphone marketplace. With Windows mobile 8 the viability of enterprise fully supporting the platform is risen significantly, and with the new devices being released (including in the tablet space) we can expect that user driven demand will see Windows Smartphones being a real alternative.
- Growing Device Envy & BYO Device Strategies – Forget Ultrabooks, Convertibles, Windows8, USB3, 802.11ac, WQXGA, 10point touch, Ivy Bridge or Haswell – these are all just components to device envy. Certainly the increasing penetration of Windows8 “touchbooks” at home will drive disenchantment with existing notebooks in a similar manner that the iPad did, however the generational change to the notebooks in 2013 will be a serious challenge to manage. BYO device strategies (Smartphone, Tablet and Notebook) are increasingly become common place across enterprise IT. Getting in front of the need and proactively developing a management strategy to leverage the advantages without being caught without a plan is key. Any organization that has not developed a strategy yet would need to make this a priority in 2013.
- Criticality of Heterogeneous MDM and device security policies – With the changes in the device market place, more BYOD and the increasingly active hacker activity targeting mobile devices the necessity of a Heterogeneous Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform is clear. If you do not have a MDM deployed with clear security policies defined and communicated around mobile devices this should be one of your highest priorities for 2013.
- Windows XP & WindowsServer2003 end of support planning – Any organization that still has Windows XP or Server2003 deployed in their environment must develop and implement an exit strategy in 2013. With Microsoft putting an end to security updates in early 2014, no organization can afford to leave these machines within their environment past that point. In some organizations this will be a major planning an logistical exercise and will be a critical part of their 2013 work program.
- NBN, 4G Mobile & IPv6 – The rapid rollout of LTE devices and network coverage during 2012 has surprised many observers. Although the achievable speeds on the current networks is patchy depending on load the opportunity presented by the technology is clear. The NBN on the other hand has yet to impact many organisations with rollout appearing glacially slow. Again the opportunity is clear, however the timeframe is not. Ipv4 address space has run out, however the impact of this has yet to be felt by Australian enterprise. This should be maintained on a watching brief and be seriously considered in any medium to long term planing. Any development or refresh of your telecommunications strategy or procurement activity in 2013 should give clear consideration to these technologies.
- Social Media Policy – The speed at which damage can be done to an organisations brand, and the potential
information security threat that inappropriate use of social media can pose should put the development of an
organization wide social media policy as a high priority. If your organization does not have a formal well
communication policy it should be a joint priority of HR and IT during 2013.
- 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 organisations productivity improvement opportunity. “Communications enabled business processes” is the buzz word for 2013, Remote diagnostics, Real-time field worker situation aware information, mobile analytics & re-tasking are all areas of keen interest for many organisations..