Setting the ANZ IT agenda in 2014

As another calendar year draws to a close, it’s time to review the technologies and trends that will impact our industry over the next 12 months.

2014 is shaping up to be a landmark year for Australian and New Zealand businesses as they begin to realise the business benefits of big data, cloud and mobility.

As the buzzwords become reality, organisations will look to adapt their IT infrastructures to accommodate these changes, and here’s an outline of what we can expect to see in the coming year:

Staff will set the IT agenda:

Rather than employees connecting to the enterprise in 2014, the business will have to connect to the workforce.

Bring your own device is no longer just a buzz word; it’s here and is a reality that ANZ businesses must come to grips with.

Today, staff are joining organisations already equipped with their own devices, which are being used to connect to the enterprise regardless of whether they are approved to do so or not.

We are particularly seeing this trend take off in Australia, a country that leads the world in smartphone ownership rates. Workers in Australia are driving the demand for mobility in the enterprise rather than the other way around.

IT teams will need to accommodate this change to ensure the security of the network – in fact, failure to acknowledge devices joining the network “under the radar” can leave businesses exposed.

Aside from simply satisfying worker demand for mobility, in 2014 businesses in the region will start to take advantage of the productivity benefits of mobility – by delivering enterprise mobile apps.

Citrix expects to see an increasing number of business mobile applications installed on employees’ smartphones, tablets and laptops across ANZ in the New Year.

With users keen to maintain ownership of their personal devices and data it will be critical that the information contained in personal applications does not break out to corporate applications on the device and vica versa. As such, this must be a key consideration for organisations when selecting the relevant mobile device management software.

Allowing consumer IT devices to connect to the network will empower organisations to deliver IT services to all staff, irrelevant of their position or work environment, giving them direct access to corporate information and training materials enhancing their individual skill sets.

For the first time staff in companies that had not been traditionally seen as knowledge workers will have access to the same sets of enterprise content as their peers.

Desktop as a Service Goes Mainstream:

Despite the growing rise of mobile devices, the desktop is alive and well and remains a critical component of the IT experience. ANZ organisations still want and need the desktop – in some instances rolling out large numbers in a single deployment – they just do not want to install the infrastructures themselves.

As such, businesses will increasingly work with IT service providers who can rapidly and efficiently roll out the desktop services and virtual environments they need to scale and cater toward their individual business needs.

The Enterprise Will Become an Applications Programming Interface:

The most successful enterprises in 2014 will be those enabling third party organisations and channel partners to successfully integrate with their internal networks and the information they host, something which is made possible by businesses increasingly using SaaS solutions for CRM, ERP, SCM and HR and the API economy that these types of applications support.

Providing this level of access ensures all relevant parties can rapidly draw the insight they need to efficiently and seamlessly collaborate with partners on their respective projects to deliver a superior experience.

As more services are hosted in the cloud – enterprise IT will continue to shrink at its core, enabling organisations to commit more time to critical business functions.

Enterprises who adopt this approach will be empowered to enhance the services they are delivering to give them the edge over competitors.

Big Data, Big Advantage:

2014 is the year ANZ organisations of all shapes and sizes realise the business value of the increasing volume of data they have been collecting in recent years.

With data storage vastly accessible and a plethora of data mining technologies available, big data has transitioned from buzz to a real world business advantage. Smart organisations will begin to take advantage of the business intelligence derived through big data to enhance their businesses dramatically.

Activity Based Working Takes Its Seat in the Office:

At Citrix we also expect to see ANZ businesses experiment with different ways of working tied with an increase in formal mobility strategy implementations. There will be a growing acceptance among businesses that the way we’re working is evolving, with the boundaries between work and life becoming increasingly blurred.

To accommodate this change, businesses will begin to design certain areas of their offices so that they accommodate specific working styles, such as communication and collaboration areas and quiet concentration spaces.

Ultimately, it’s about providing staff with the tools and environment they need to engage with the task at hand and effectively carry it out.

Businesses will increasingly deploy virtualisation solutions and connected devices to take advantage of this shift, with increased employee productivity and reduced office footprint costs two of the many benefits to be had by doing so.

SMBs in Cloud Residence:

Over the next 12 months we anticipate that a large number of Australian SMBs will have moved their IT infrastructures into the cloud, empowering them to realise the plethora of business benefits this delivers.

Ahead of this move, SMBs will enhance their knowledge of cloud services and the associated technologies so that they fully understand what they can achieve with them and select the platforms suited to their individual business needs.

To support this change, traditional value added resellers and system integrators will be forced to reposition their business to the cloud – with those failing to make this change doing their clients a disservice.

2014 and beyond…

Next year is shaping up to be yet another step in our path to a more humanised computing experience, the trends mentioned are all about delivering an experience that is more natural and fits in with the way that we all want to work.

By Martin Duursma, VP Citrix Labs and CTO Office Chair

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