As previous years, most businesses have started planning for the new year, in regards to both projects and budget. With the new budget released December 2010 and the new Finance Act 2011, businesses are looking closer at what they spend, and whether the projects are crucial to the business operations. Crucial meaning whether the project is essential to the organisations future development or whether it’s just a nice-to-have project.
There are a number of interesting business software trends on the horizon for 2011. Some of these will significantly impact IT organisations, which plan to align itself with business objectives. IT managers need to keep these in mind when planning, changing or looking for the competitive advantage.
So, what are these trends and what is HiberniaEvros’ take on these?
Mobile computing: With the introduction of the new tablet devices from Samsung, Apple, Dell, and HP, additional considerations needs to be given to mobilising the business applications used for your staff. More and more applications are becoming thin clients sitting on mobile devices, and IT departments need to deploy mobility servers granting these thin clients access to corporate data.
If not designed correctly, this could have negative impact on the company, potentially exposing confidential data or costing too much money to develop/maintain. But furthermore, IT departments will have to familiarise themselves with new technologies and move outside their normal comfort zones.
New OS platforms are introduced, new security concerns, extended catalogue of supported devices and the business is now driving the IT roadmap. The days of the IT department saying NO to deploying new technologies are gone and now they have to react to business demands.
Back To Basics: Companies have, due to the impact of the recession, been forced to make drastic decisions on how to operate IT departments and also how to support the business with limited or fewer resources. Unfortunately, the brutal fact is that business most go on, despite having lost 20% of the work force or 25% of the IT budget.
IT departments have to adapt to this change. This trend is set to continue in 2011, despite the so-called positive upturn in the economy. So, 201 will force companies to look at their operating costs and where these can be optimised. Please note I didn’t say removed, but optimised.
IT Management has to look at outsourcing both services such as maintenance, but also analyse if it might be feasible to outsource data hosting. Outsourcing your data is obviously a concern, but if you discuss the requirements and concerns with your service provider, then you will see that it’s actually a very cost-effective and secure solution.
Consolidate the amount of vendors in use, by looking at all the products / services the organisation avail of. This will allow companies to negotiate better prices with vendors, based on more services purchased. Yes, you might have more eggs in one basket, but you have to weigh up the risks against the cost of running the organisation.
For SME’s running SaaS applications might be an option, but you need to be careful that you get all the cost details for running these; connectivity required (i.e. internet connection), customizations required and data migration. Cloud computing buzz will continue well into 2012, but you need to cross check the solution, as if you sign the dotted line, it might be difficult to back out at a later stage.
What this comes down to is paying attention to the SLAs provided by the supplier, and how these are managed.
Living in a Virtualized environment: Virtualizing servers and applications has been done for years now and we are all very good at it. Physical servers are becoming a commodity, providing the brain and power to the various applications running on them. But, what’s the next step in virtualization?
The latest trend is to explore the possibility of letting staff using their own purchased hardware run corporate applications – securely. What? Yes, let your staff bring in the Mac, Sony, HP, etc. equipment, and provide them with a secure ‘bubble’ to the corporate infrastructure. This means IT department needs to look at virtualizing not only hardware, but also corporate applications. It’s not easy to set-up, but once created, it’s fairly straight forward to maintain.
However, you need to re-skill your IT staff, allowing them to become masters in virtualizing hardware and applications.
Businesses in 2011, I’m sure,will be developing strategies to incorporate these new trends and options, which will stretch the boundaries and comfort zones of most IT professionals. Some might even refuse to move with this trend.
But, where does this leave suppliers/resellers like HiberniaEvros?
Well, HiberniaEvros can provide service to most of these new trends and HiberniaEvros will have to adapt to our customers requirements. Please contact us to discuss your 2011 plans and we’ll be more than happy to develop them further with you, based on your requirements.