Businesses need to be versatile enough to adapt to change, and yet be flexible enough to know what lies ahead in order to make informed decisions. Here are the areas to focus on.
As we move towards the end of the first quarter of 2014, let us look at six key trends that will drive business forward.
- Effective BYOD management becomes a competitive advantage
By 2018, the size of the mobile workforce will double. Smartphones and tablets have transformed more than consumer behaviour. These devices are also redefining how businesses consume information and interact both internally and externally. Business executives are demanding the same real time access to information, data and company information they have with, and IT Managers are going to have to set policies and architecture to keep the network infrastructure and resources safe. To compete effectively, organisations will need to support the use of these devices in the corporate environment.
- Rise of next-generation communication
The rise in adoption of OTT content has radically changed the way end-users communicate both in the personal space and the professional space. Users are increasingly adopting next-generation multimedia communications that provides fuller and more dynamic conversations. The growing number of applications end-users can choose from has also made real time communication from anywhere and on any platform incredibly intuitive and accessible.
At the same time, increasing mobility of people, assets and transactions have driven the growth of mobile computing in the past decade, leading to individuals owning multiple communications devices. And as these devices and increasingly become entrenched in personal lives, employees are expecting the same level of convenience in their business communications.
With these trends on the rise, IT leaders will need to change the way they approach and manage business communications. Enabling conversations where users can seamlessly switch between voice and video will become a priority. With increasing mobility, there will also be greater demand for communications services which users can access and transition conversations across their federation of desktop, desk phone and mobile devices.
- Mobile becomes the new desktop
In today's business environment, smartphones and tablets represent far more than just user end-point devices. They represent the shift towards mobile, cloud-based and cross platform web applications. Enterprises will have to restructure their Enterprise applications to suit for mobile devices as well. Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) on device platforms will likely to be deployed on enterprise systems that protect sensitive company information.
- Personal clouds will dominate
Employees and consumers will have multiple devices and personal cloud services will become the new repositories for content. The Personal Cloud is a user's virtual collection of personal and professional digital resources and applications that are accessible anywhere from any device. Organisations will continue to invest in fulfilling the needs of a more mobile and collaborative workforce, and IT departments will have to redefine their role and adapt their mandate and mission to changing business conditions.
- Software-defined networks become ubiquitous
As the trend towards server and desktop virtualisation gains momentum, networks will strain to provide optimum performance to the business. Software defined networking technologies will provide coordinated virtual infrastructure enabling applications and the network to collaborate for a high quality user experience and optimised resource consumption.
- Performance drives data centre design
Driven by end user needs, enterprise data centres will be forced to mimic the speed, user experience and availability of consumer interfaces of platforms like Amazon, Facebook and Google. Server virtualisation has enabled rapid application deployment and increased movement of applications between virtualised servers or data centres. Data centers will need industrial design that cut waste at every point. Data centre automation technologies will be deployed to eliminate latency and optimise application delivery thereby cutting down waste.
F.L. Leow is Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific Region, at Alcatel Lucent Enterprise
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