I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas on behalf of the entire Beyond Technology team. Thank you for your continued support and I hope that the challenges ahead in 2014 bring you success and exciting opportunities. 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.
- Fortress Datacentre – with the continued race to the cloud for commodity application and infrastructure we expect many organisations to cross the line where more services will be accessed from the internet than from their own infrastructure. This is leading a security paradigm shift where rather than having a private network connected to the internet, some organisations will start to only secure the endpoints rather than the network.
- Death of the SOE and the 3 year refresh – large corporates have been holding onto the notion of command and control standardising PC’s in an effort to reduce support efforts. App store style application delivery and cheaper more mobile devices will reinforce the desire of users to not be controlled by IT.
- CYOD – Rise of the “Choose your own device” infrastructure model. The enormous variety of form factors combined with the management tools developed to support BYOD computing will combine to move traditional IT service to let users define their own consumption model.
- Increased digital disruption – All organisations cannot hide from competitive innovation lead by technology. Simple examples include company’s leveraging social media to engage with their customer base (in product development, promotion and general customer engagement), or professional services organisations leveraging collaboration tools to make teams more productive and agile. The form will change depending on the industry however the increased reliance on technology driven innovation will be constant.
- Finally the end of Windows XP and Office 2003 – As the end to support and security updates finally arrives early in 2014, thankfully most organisations have plans in place to remove these systems from the production network. Unfortunately there is increasing levels of evidence that hacker groups are stockpiling XP exploits to unleash once they are safe from a Microsoft response, increasing the security risk for everyone from increasing numbers of rouge “botnets” across the globe.
- New Privacy Act considerations – The new Australian Privacy Principles (APP) will come into force March 2014. This formally outlines the responsibility of organisations to take effective steps to protect the information security of private information and has mandatory disclosure requirements for security events.
- Increased Security threats – The face of Information security crime is changing rapidly. While previously your biggest threat was malicious insiders or board teenagers, international crime gangs now threaten even the most innocuous organisations. Motives range from stealing your data to denying you access to your systems for ransom, or even using your systems and PCs as a platform to launch an attack on another target. Reported breaches of information security have been rising 50% annually, we expect this to escalate in 2014.
- Technology based business productivity improvement opportunity to support growth – The Australian economy is forecast to hit rough waters in 2014. We are continuing to see boards focusing on understanding how they can deliver organisational capacity for more sustainable growth through productivity improvements. Mobility, collaboration, CRM and real-time business intelligence capabilities will be an ongoing technology focus to deliver these improvements
- Increased board-level oversight of IT operations – With information security likely to be in the headlines often in 2014, the importance of secure, reliable and efficient IT to support the competitiveness of businesses will be a focal point for many boards. Data custody has become an increasing concern as increasingly complex supply chain and IT environments threaten to affect the “line of sight” of organisations to its information. The cloud or managed service providers false claim of “you don’t need to know the complexity behind the curtain” has been exposed with several high profile failures in 2013. Boards will start to ask questions on their risk levels for data integrity, information protection and privacy compliance. We expect many more organisations will opt for Independent external review to provide appropriate oversight directly to the board.
- NextGen Workflow Automation – We expect to see continued work in organisations updating Application Strategies and growing deployments of next generation workflow automation and other technologies to reduce business lag and improve accountability.
Organisations that are not embracing recent advances in their IT Strategy planning will be left behind with IT that slows the business down rather than facilitates improved business velocity. They will be left with a legacy cost base leaving them uncompetitive and be in the dark compared to others that will be leveraging better data analysis and social media tools to inform them of market opportunities.