I wish you and your family happy holidays on behalf of the entire Beyond Technology team. Thank you for your continued support and I hope that the challenges ahead in 2018 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.
- Robots building Robots – In what we see as being an escalation of the data wars (where organisations are seeking to leverage their ongoing investment in Data Warehousing, CRM, BI and BigData to apply competitive pressure to their market) vendors are increasingly deploying machine learning solutions where the hard work of process and data analysis is being skipped in favour of an outcome based approach. For example, the development of a system to control a self driving car where each detail of what to do for every unexpected event needed to be defined and coded would take many decades of development by large teams, whereas when the computer learns through watching – those events are not defined and deliberate defined actions taken, the computer makes a judgement call. The implications of this approach for many business processes will likely start being considered in the coming year and will provide an enormous opportunity for transformational innovation.
- SD-WAN continues to be the WAN technology of choice – During the uncertainty of forced NBN migrations over the next 24 months, the ability of the technology to intelligently choose between two alternate links to both improve resilience and bandwidth, together with it effectively re-engineering TCP flow control to more intelligently handle modern network dimensioning will continue to be compelling.
- Ongoing focus on IT governance – The importance of technology strategy and execution has never been higher, boards have continued to ask questions of organisations executive team on IT strategy, risk management and benefits realisation which has spurred on the deployment of more formal IT governance frameworks. Independent external advisors to boards and steering committees have become common place and IT governance frameworks based on the ISO/IEC 38500:2008(E) are the norm.
- Digital Engagement transformations – As second order digital disruption became common place over the last few year the organisations response continues to seek more involvement of IT in defining the business needs. Boards and CEO’s continue to move away from the focus on the defensive play to instead seek out digital engagement and transformational opportunities.
- EMM device management – As more and more organisations are managing hybrid device fleets the idea of a “Standard Operating Environment” is becoming less and less common. As the EMM technology capabilities continue to improve we expect to see less locked down SOE devices and more policy based management of all devices weather they are mobile phones or PC’s
- 5G planning and new NBN capabilities – Although it will take some time for the exact use-cases to be derived for 5G services, the higher bandwidth and lower latency will start to make an impact in technology planning in the later part of the year. We can expect that fixed line player will start to get more serious in there approach to bandwidth with clarity on reporting of contention and congestion being expected and the start of the commoditisation of 10G interfaces.
- Serverless Computing – We expect to see the beginning of a wave of change away from COTS business systems (Commercial Off The Shelf) towards bespoke development using serverless computing. Time will tell on how this shift is adopted in Australia, however it has the potential to be the current generation’s business users excel macro or access database.
- Further increased board-level oversight of IT operations – 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.
- Security as an Immune system – With cyber criminal gangs proving to be the most digitally agile organisations on the planet we continue to evolve our defensive security posture. As always the trade-off between high security and high functionality continues to be a fine balance, however new approaches seek to imbed security responses into the core of our environment. We have reached the conclusion that healthy living through isolation is not feasible and our systems need an immune system that can respond to the inevitable breach.
- Digital Workplace Strategy – We expect to see deliberate development of digital workplace transformational strategies that will see to improve staff productivity and business processes. Although we think that material workplace change driven by IoT devices or BYOA (Bring your own Apps) is unlikely in the short term, we see real-time collaboration and digitally enhanced work practices to continue to drive workplace innovation and productivity.
Organisations that are waiting to be digitally disrupted will simply not survive into the future. To take advantage of digital innovation and transformation opportunities CEO’s must have confidence in their Technology capabilities. Those that don’t have this confidence must act quickly before being left with a legacy cost base leaving them uncompetitive and be in the dark compared to others that will be leveraging digital innovation to exploit market opportunities.