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 2015 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.
- Next Gen Security Concerns– Information security experts are now advising organisations to prepare for cyber security breaches rather than just their depth of defence. In 2014 we saw zero-day malware attacks increasing to 70% of reported attacks. This requires an entirely new approach to network security and a change of cultural acceptance of user impacts. While awareness and education campaigns remain the most effective tool, new technology approaches will be a big focus on 2015.
- New focus on IT governance – boards have continued to ask questions of organisations executive team on IT strategy, risk and benefits realisation which has spurred on the deployment of more formal IT governance frameworks. During these deployments questions are asked about the organisations skills, experience and independence. Independent external advisors to boards and steering committees are becoming common place and IT governance frameworks based on the ISO/IEC 38500:2008(E) the norm.
- The new wireless carrier wars – 2015 brings the introduction of the 700Mhz mobile spectrum into the Optus and Telstra network which will at last bring in-building capital city coverage onto a level playing field. Telstra has leveraged the technical superiority of their 850Mhz 3G spectrum without mercy leaving its competitors floundering. With both the iPhone6 and Samsung S5 both already supporting the APT700 band the typical wait for devices will be avoided and all carriers are spending big on expanding their 4G coverage and capabilities. Adding to this the opportunity for WiFi calling and VoLTE that is also supported in new devices, we can expect to see significant improvements in effective coverage and competition across the board.
- The beginning of the end for the desk phone – Although many organisations have been questioning the need for a desk phone for some time, they have proved difficult to remove on mass. Our prediction is that the combination of improvements in mobile and softphone technologies will provide a level of reliability and functionality to match the humble desk phone, and with the ongoing uptake of collaboration and video technologies, we will see 2015 be the point of decline for desk phone deployments.
- Data considered a corporate asset – Big Data and self service BI tools has driven the technical capability, however the cultural change within the business is only just beginning. As the organisation starts to recognise their data as a corporate asset the expectations on IT to protect and help facilitate the organisations exploitation becomes a key focal point.
- More external advisory – The only thing increasing faster than the opportunity for IT to improve business productivity and competitive advantage is the number of things that can go wrong. The rate of change in the IT industry spurred by the growing diversity of “cloud” offerings and sourcing options seems to be increasing exponentially. Organisations are seeking access to experience and insights from independent advisors to cut through the complexity and protect from potential catastrophes.
- Changing desktop – The new year promises several areas on innovation for how knowledge worker interact with their PC. From wireless docking stations (including wireless power), 4K monitors and improved Hybrid PC form factors, we will start to see changing expectations of users within the workplace where mobility and desk based productivity is no longer seen as a trade-off.
- New Privacy Act considerations – The new Australian Privacy Principles (APP) came into force March 2014. Some organisations have taken steps to address their obligations, however many have deferred technical privacy audits until the new year with critical steps such as developing a personally identifiable information data inventory not being completed.
- Ongoing 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 and ongoing.
- Technology based business productivity improvement opportunity to support growth – As was seen in 2014, IT is being asked to do more with less. 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 continue to be an ongoing technology focus to deliver these improvements.
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