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 2016 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.
- Emergence of the “Hacker Industry” – An increase in unreported business impacting cyber security events of over 350% in the last 9 months of 2015 has set the scene for 2016. Relying on perimeter defence and rule-based security is now clearly inadequate. Application self-protection, as well as user and entity behaviour analytics, will help fulfill the adaptive security architecture.
- Ongoing focus on IT governance – With an increased visibility of high profile information security and IT project failure events 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.
- Gen 3.0 Flexible working – Ongoing improvements in enabling technologies and greater acceptance by corporate Australia has reached a point where adoption is accelerating. Combining improved take up of digital collaboration tools, activity based working technologies in the office and improved availability of supportive broadband speeds provided by the NBN has improved the business cases for mass deployment of hyper-portable PC’s (such as SurfacePro’s etc), and has seen working from non-office locations more mainstream.
- Multi-point Collaboration – The Microsoft Office ecosystem has made significant progress with Office2016 and Skype for Business supporting real-time document co-editing and room based conference integration. BlueJeans and other technologies are bridging the gap between traditional conferencing technologies and the more widely deployed and cost effective desktop conferencing setting up 2016 to be a tipping point for collaboration technology deployment.
- Information Arms race – the old adage, you don’t need to swim fast to escape a shark, just faster than the guy next to you is true in the quest for business intelligence. Organisations are seeking to leverage their recent investment in Data Warehousing, CRM, BI and BigData to apply competitive pressure to their market. Those organisations that have failed to invest in automation and analytic technology are increasingly being left flatfooted as competitors are able to drive efficiency and take advantage of market insights provided by new predictive analytics.
- 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.
- Human Firewall Engagement – Users has always been the week link for information technology security. With the emergence of the “Hacker Industry” and the increasingly targeted approach to their trade the requirement to engage more directly with users to demonstrate the vulnerabilities and educate with respect to their responsibilities.
- New business applications for augmented and virtual reality – With Samsung, Oculus, Microsoft and others seeking to bring consumer electronics global scale and pricing to the new generation of technology in this space there is increasing potential for useful deployments outside of the entertainment industry. Much in the way that 3D printers has had unexpected industry impacts, firms in the property development, construction and engineering sectors are seeking to use new visualization technologies to provide insights prior to physical construction.
- Increased board-level oversight of IT operations – With information security likely to be in the headlines again in 2016, 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. Boards will continue 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.
- Robotic Process Automation – Realising increases in both efficiency and effectivity recent implementations of this technology has produced incredible ROI numbers. Although the technology is considered “inelegant” by many technologists, the pragmatic approach to systems integration for work flow value chains means that the complexity, cost and risk of the implementation projects is far more attractive than most alternatives. We expect to see RPA being a common project is 2016.
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.