There’s never a month, let alone a year, without changes in the IT industry. So what should you expect from 2013?
Lots of Phones
Sometime in the next year, phones will overtake PCs as the number one way of connecting to the net. Employees will increasingly use tablets and phones to complete work tasks, and IT managers should ensure they have made preparations and put policies in place so they’re ready for these changes.
Standardised software won’t be as easy to enforce in the next twelve months, since competition between the three major mobile operating systems is fierce, and neither Apple, Google or Microsoft look like adopting their competitors’ OS or products. The absorption of mobile devices into corporate life will be hastened by web-based apps that allow users to work from anywhere and store their data on the cloud.
IT departments should be ready to begin supporting multiple operating systems and be formulating sensible and secure policies around BYOD practices that businesses and staff will inevitably require.
Storing your information on remote servers and accessing it either through the net or private networks is nothing new. But 2013 might be the year you decommission the server in your office and start living and working in the cloud.
With IT budgets under stress and storage space needs increasing, it makes sense to outsource at least some of your storage needs to cloud services.
The need for hybrid cloud services will lead businesses and their IT departments to find suitable managed service providers to deliver the cloud-based aspects of their IT strategy. While non-sensitive data can be stored on public clouds, application delivery, storage of sensitive information and the need for a stable, private network will see businesses combining public and private cloud storage to fulfil their own objectives. Every organisation will have to assess their own needs, and determine how best to use a combination of public and private cloud services as an extension of their own IT department. With managed services, a company can select the pressure points that need additional skills and support, the level of assistance they receive, the manner in which this assistance is delivered (be it helpdesk, remote or on-site) and a choice of payment methods to best suit the company.
Additionally, managed services offers a proactive approach to IT Support through live system monitoring which allows the service provider to identify any potential problems which may arise, and remedy them through maintenance before they become an issue and have an impact on the business. This eradicates system downtime, and the costs and demands on resources are decreased.
The next year will see a shift in the way organisations and their IT departments think about and deal with data. We’re going to be less concerned with “what”, and more worried about “how”. Questions like “What is this data?, “What does it say?” and “What are we going to do with it?” will have to exist alongside concerns like “How is this stored?”, “How does it fit into our overall data strategy?” and “How much are we paying for all of this anyhow?”
The focus will shift from data for individual projects to questions of the overall shape, type and amount of a company’s data, and how it can be arranged analysed and stored to best serve their business.
Stephen Sims is Brennan IT’s Managing Director for Sales and Marketing.