As we start the New Year, we’re taking a look at the new developments we might expect to see this year. Most commentators agree that IT spending will increase in 2014, as the recovery gains pace. At Connect Communications we have been studying the analysts’ predictions, and listening to our customers, to see what their priorities are going to be in the coming year.
Gartner’s Top 10 Technology Trends for 2014 make an interesting read. This is the list of priorities which Gartner identifies as being key to companies’ IT strategy in the next three years, and it’s very different to the Top Ten they identified last year.
Mobile Device Diversity and Management has shot to first place, with Mobile Apps and Applications close behind at Number Two. Clearly, Mobility will be the top priority for most CIOs this year.
Gartner’s explanation for this being such a high priority is that BYOD has had an unexpected effect. The mobile workforce has doubled or even tripled as a consequence of BYOD. The growing number of devices that people are bringing to work, and the many different ways of using them, is creating a situation that is increasingly difficult to manage. Gartner points out that most organisations are still trying to agree their policies towards people who are accessing company networks with hardware devices that don’t belong to the business, and the challenge for companies is to get this policy right – and find the right balance between flexibility and confidentiality or privacy.
Mobile Apps and Applications is, of course, closely related to Mobile Device Diversity and Management, but this affects software developers. As browsers become more suitable for application development, and HTML5 will enable multimedia and cross-platform mobile applications that run on smart phones and tablet computers, Gartner expects that the typical approach to development will move away from traditional software application development, towards using Apps, and working within development structures that use Apps as building blocks to deliver larger business applications. It is a complex area with a wide choice of software tools available and no with no obvious standards so far, organisations are likely to work with several software tools.
At Connect, we expected that 2014 would bring a continuation of the main technology trends that we noticed in 2013. We are quite sure that there will be more smart phones and more tablets in the workplace, and that more people will be “bringing their own devices” to work. The trend towards using Apps in the work place will continue, with the workplace becoming even more mobile, as we start to use smartphones to manage our calendars and contacts, and the mobile work environment converges with the desktop. We expect to see more organisations needing UC services to make these ideas a reality as we move through the new year.