As we know, the world of IT is ever-changing. The coming years will be vibrant and there is huge potential for expansion.
Companies of all sizes can benefit from observing the trends which are gathered by industry experts. If anything, they will tell you what your customers and clients are beginning to expect from you. If you are proactive, these trends can get you ahead of the crowd. Do your research, and collaborate with experienced IT support teams to prepare and implement some or all of these ideas.
The faster you move to incorporate new tech, the faster you can harness consumer interest and convert it to experiences and ultimately, revenue.
Trend: Heuristic Automation
Automation of tasks continues to be a trend in IT. A serious flaw has been spotted in the method of creating automated processes, and it is limiting growth. Most automatic processes are controlled by scripts, which are written by IT professionals.
Generally speaking there is little documentation about how they are written, and changes made by subsequent coders are not tracked.
When an employee leaves a business, the intimate knowledge of the scripts is often lost. In order to avoid this, the field of automation is beginning to shift focus from scripting to a deterministic model. Ultimately this should lead to heuristic automation, whereby resources can be allocated to workloads as needed.
Trend: Big Data
It’s a phrase that continues to get good and bad press in equal measure. It’s not going away, no matter how you look at it. If you want to get ahead, learn to harness the data you have, and identify any blind spots. Deploy analytics teams to help make sense of the information your business generates. Never forget to access public data, as it can provide startling amounts of context for data-identified behaviours. Like many fields in IT, big data analysts and staff that can interpret the data are hard to come by. If you want to get the competitive edge, get HR to start looking for good people, and be prepared to pay for them.
Trend: Webscale IT
It’s unavoidable: global online companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon have changed the landscape of the internet. They’ve also changed consumer expectations about service, delivery and fulfilment. The Big 3 have managed to leave such an impression that consumers expect most or all online companies to perform at the same level, both technically and with customer service, pricing and delivery. The technical structures that support most businesses are simply not designed to scale to those levels. There will need to be a significant mind set shift to a software-defined world, rather than relying on finite hardware.
Trend: Bimodal IT
The delicate balancing act between maintaining existing IT structures and implementing new technology continues. IT teams are under a lot of pressure to keep the engine rooms running smoothly, but are also expected to innovate and deploy new systems flawlessly. It can be extremely complex to maintain a stable and predictable system in tandem with exploration. That testing and experimentation is critical for new growth and new opportunity. Don’t be afraid to foster a culture of experimentation within your IT teams. Without it, prime chances for innovation can be missed. Look into Bimodal IT and see how you can implement new programs while not losing performance.
Trend: Internet of Things
Probably the most significant shift in how we use IT since the advent of the internet itself, the IoT is here to stay. Every device in the office from the tea kettle to the security system can be connected with an IP address. That gives unprecedented opportunity to gather (big) data, streamline processes and identify new efficiency dividends. It also comes with a new wave of security risks. Make sure your IT support team can manage the higher quantities of inputs at the speed and level of cyber-security you need.
You might be wondering why we’ve put device mobility on a trends list. It’s true that mobile devices are ubiquitous. Work devices are used at home, and personal devices are used at the office. Sometimes they are one and the same. What does this mean for business owners and IT managers? The critical focus here is data segregation. Ensure your devices are managed so that corporate data is kept separate from personal data. It’s critical from a security perspective, and also could provide protection for employee and company alike if errors are made (personal post on the company social media page, anyone?).
Trend: Business Value Dashboards
Business value dashboards have the potential to become the central touchstone for IT and operations staff to communicate their value to the C-suite and investors. Instead of presenting metrics that need personal interpretation, a business value dashboard clearly outlines how IT directly impacts on the business (and it’s accessible without the need for an interpreter). This can include data across delivery, customer service, internal processes, downtime reduction and much more. The value is clearly communicated, and that can be a real boon for IT teams around budget time. Use this communication channel to outmanoeuvre competitors – when you know how your IT works, you can deploy it accurately and with fast results.
Actions to take
Some of these trends may not apply to your business situation, but you may have come across something in this article that could help your business save money or even grow the bottom line. Consult with your IT team and stakeholders to see if acting on any of this information will get you ahead of the curve.
About EC-MSP, your IT support partner
EC-MSP are one of the most trusted IT support providers in London. If you would like more help advice and support establishing your business tech support needs or being at the front of tech trends, contact us today to see how we can help.