Global tech company Verizon has unveiled its top 10 technology trends for 2012, with a renewed focus on improving connections between people, equipment and their environments.
Verizon is a global provider of IT, communication and security solutions for business and government, operating in countries throughout the world including Australia.
According to Verizon Business Australia area vice president John Karabin, enterprise technology will continue to help business leaders re-engineer the workplace.
“Things like collaboration and social media are all kind of coming together to shift the way that we do business… SMEs that take advantage of that will of course do much better,” Karabin says.
Verizon’s top technology trends likely to affect businesses and their employees in 2012:
- The high-IQ network effect revolves around all devices and endpoints becoming smarter, benefitting businesses through increasingly reliable connections.
- The enterprise cloud will allow businesses to shift workloads between a corporate data centre and their cloud of choice, whether it be public, private or a hybrid model.
According to Karabin, cloud computing is a “big ticket item”, allowing businesses to store and use data as they need it.
- Large data sets will be managed to determine data quality and applied to empower businesses to make decisions, giving them a competitive edge.
- Social enterprise will become even more social, with eased access, giving businesses the opportunity to produce, find and convey information.
- Video is emerging to create new opportunities for small businesses through high bandwidth capabilities and the combination of global IP networks and 4G LTE wireless.
According to Karabin, video-enabled contact is becoming the preferred business-to-consumer application as well as for enterprise activities.
“Small businesses are able to start to take advantage of accessing more people in a more interactive way,” Karabin says.
“So rather than just kind of accessing people via news adverts in the past, they’re setting up their own social networks.”
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- Personalisation will create new opportunities for businesses to meet consumers on their terms through the integration of applications and physical environments.
- IT departments are increasingly being influenced by their users, with companies tailoring IT policies to support productive measures in the workplace.
- Machine-to-machine-to-people communications will change the business landscape in 2012, playing a role in energy consumption, product inventory and digital intelligence.
“All the devices around you are starting to get smarter,” Karabin says.
“They’re putting little processors inside them now that are increasingly able to communicate with each other and… then communicate back to central data gatherers.”
- Compliance with security standards will equate to good business practice in 2012, with difficult economic conditions leading to increased interest in holistic security approaches.
- Energy-efficient business practices are drawing the attention of small businesses, which will increasing participate in public-private partnerships.
Meanwhile, cloud computing pioneer Alex Perkins, chief information officer at software company Altium, has revealed his top tips for moving business IT services into the cloud.
“A lot of people ask me for my advice on what are the most important things to consider when moving the business into the cloud,” Perkins wrote in a blog.
This prompted Perkins to list his top tips for businesses that are considering cloud computing:
- Make sure you know how to get your data out again.
“You should have a fully tested means of accessing your data offline. The more mission-critical the data, the more real-time the recoverability needs to be,” Perkins wrote.
- Think differently. Perkins says you need to think differently when it comes to the cloud in order to leverage it successfully.
“There are plenty of ways the cloud can transform how you do business if you allow it.”
- Make sure your systems interactions are atomic.
“Make sure you are not telling the customer that his request for information has been placed in a queue unless you know for sure that the request has been placed in a queue.”
- Start with upside, not downside.
“Traditional methods require risky investments. Cloud models are far more flexible, and this allows for more optimistic thinking.”
- Check what API options are available.
“Having a rich API in your bag of tricks enables you to innovate with freedom, seeing the cloud as one cloud rather than… disparate products offered by a host of different people.”
- Seek to understand the inner workings of the vendors’ various risk mitigation strategies.
“If you don’t know what steps are being taken to guarantee the preservation of the data, you won’t be able to tell [customers] and you will come across poorly.”
- Remember, it’s your data and the buck still stops with you.
“The reality is that if your services are down, it is your responsibility, no matter how you host them… You are responsible for its availability and its security.”