Home » Technology » Cloud Computing » Five future buying trends in business technology
“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. It’s a quote often attributed to physicist Niels Bohr which despite its ubiquity remains true. Driven by humankind’s desire to understand the future, this difficulty has never prevented us from doing exactly that. That said, it may be easier to make predictions about the short term future – so here we present our view of the next 12 months in business tech.
Businesses large and small are gearing up for the Internet of Things – whether or not they call it that. Enabled by high-speed networking and continuous improvements in computing power and software sophistication, the ability to digitalise their environments brings big benefits to many organisations. It means enhanced connectivity to customers and partners, inter-connecting hundreds of internal business processes, gathering data about those environments, and, through analytics and other methodologies, achieving a greater understanding of the environment. The end goal being a better decision making process with which to steer the business forward.
It may sound like an old trend today, but the number of businesses that have yet to take advantage of cloud services remains large. Small businesses often prefer to keep things under control, while large organisations are wrestling with enormous complexity and the amortisation of huge volumes of infrastructure before they can contemplate moving the services provided by that infrastructure into the cloud. The buying of cloud-based services and its corollary, an understanding of simpler migration to end-to-end solutions and a reduction in the buying of infrastructure hardware and software, are key trends for the foreseeable future.
Generation Y employees, aka millennials, are becoming an increasing proportion of the workforce, and they are picky. They will choose to work for those organisations that allow them to control their digitally inter-connected lives. This, allied to the huge and growing proportion of employees who use their own devices for work purposes, will drive increasing numbers of businesses towards purchases of products and services that release their people to work whenever and wherever they are. Purchased technologies will include mobile devices of all sorts, mobile device management systems, and end user devices. With connectivity to corporate data supplied by cloud connectivity and the growing reach of mobile networks and WiFi hotspots, this trend has a long way to run.
We will see a steady growth in the purchasing and deployment of UC systems, driven by mobility and the increasing number of applications and communications channels, such as social media messaging. The enterprise will need to bring these channels together so allowing communication capabilities to catch up with increasingly fragmented workplaces. This will help glue project teams back together, allowing them to operate as virtual teams both internally and externally to the enterprise. More specifically, this may require the purchase of new phones and servers, but will certainly demand software to manage and drive these new communications channels.
The old model of an organisation with perimeter security protecting the soft centre is gone, and the increasingly porous and distributed enterprise is becoming a reality. As a consequence, anti-virus software and firewalls are not the right solutions to protect data. Rather, companies are increasingly be thinking about ways of protecting data irrespective of its location or the technology that stores, transports or processes it. So, a big buying trend will be technology that provides policy-based security for distributed data, such as limiting access by authentication, location, or storage platform, and adding attributes such as limited lifespan to reduce the chance of it falling into the wrong hands.