This year, the way businesses interact with IT is going to change significantly as many new technologies are beginning to take a more prevalent form, in terms of the impact they have on corporations. I foresee this interaction to take a more definite shape as technology becomes more ingrained in day-to-day operations and have a direct consequence on business success.
There is a rapidly growing convergence between the physical and virtual world as business processes are becoming digitised - leading to a better streamlining and maintenance of operations. This will continue throughout 2014, where physical infrastructure will play a bigger role in integrating the physical and digital world. For example, in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, databases and purchase order forms are going to be fully digitised for ease of access on the go, which will improve the response time of field workers in ensuring tasks are completed as efficiently as possible.
Changing expectation of hardware
From a hardware perspective, businesses would be looking for devices that are able to deliver quick performance and handle a variety of workloads and provide a favourable return on investment (ROI). There will be particular an emphasis on connectivity as internet infrastructure across the world is improving in quality and service as well as other qualities such as computational power, the visual experience - with the emergence of 4K-enabled devices , look-and-feel, and durability. In short, users will be looking for reliable and compact devices.
Mobility as a key to business success
Mobility will continue to be a mainstay when defining successful business strategies as employees would continue to expect the flexibility and independence of working from places of convenience - whether it is within the office or from the field in highly mobile professions like manufacturing, construction, and oil & gas.
2013 saw the introduction of ruggedized IP67 consumer devices, as well as ruggedized smart device cases. While the popularity of some of these devices can be attributed to its novelty factor, it clearly outlines the opportunity of optimising a consumer device within an enterprise setting. As businesses look to upgrade consumer centric devices with ruggedized cases for work, we believe ruggedized devices will continue to dominate the enterprise mobility space in 2014.
Total Cost of Ownership
In today's business landscape, businesses are expected to strike a delicate balance between maintaining their competitive edge, while reducing overall cost. With technology playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses achieve that, Total Cost of Ownership has become a key consideration for businesses. Coupled with the trend of the mobile worker, the ability of field devices to withstand harsh and extreme conditions has become mandatory. Key to maintaining Total Cost of Ownership is utilising devices tailored specifically for mission-critical tasks.
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