Top 3 Trends in Emerging IT
There is nothing more exciting than taking a peak into the future and observing the changes that are coming in the world of technology.
We’re pretty fortunate here at WBM because quite often we get to see products in their development phase, and we get an early glimpse of how technology will shape future trends. Obviously we’re bound by non-disclosure agreements when we see products that haven’t hit the market yet, but we definitely can use this information to shape the conversations we have with our clients about their Information Technology needs for now and in the future.
The whole “practice” of this is called Emerging IT, and, as I’ve mentioned, communicating these trends to our clients is probably the most exciting aspect of our jobs as Account Executives.
So what exactly are these Emerging Trends in IT?
From my perspective, there are a couple key themes that keep popping up. Although many of these are not new concepts, they are now being adopted widely across the both the SMB and Enterprise Segments. I’ve categorized them into three distinct themes for the purpose of this blog, but really they are all interconnected:
Everything as a Service
People are transitioning more and more to a consumption mindset. One needs to look no further than major technology platforms such as Apple’s Music or iCloud to see these trends in action. These platforms are now paid for in flat monthly rate blocks, and users consume what they want, how much they want, and when they want it. This “pay a flat monthly rate” is the permeating mindset and it is being expanded to include any and all types of hardware now – from tablets and small accessories to servers and mainframes, paying for these items on a monthly basis “as a service” is indisputably the leading trend in IT at the moment.
Saying that users and customers are no longer looking to invest in technology is an understatement. Consumption based acquisition methods are the very definition of Everything as a Service and I view this as being the most important conversation I can have with my customers now so that they don’t waste money investing cash into depreciating IT assets. Enterprise solutions like device lifecycle management as a service continue to grow in popularity in Canada and beyond.
The Shifting Value Around Technology
With increased commoditization around everything from PC’s to Storage, organizations are no longer comparing specification sheets to find the best piece of hardware for a particular application. Now they are looking more towards how the technology helps to drive certain broader outcomes. These outcomes can be as simple as driving out cost, or as broad based as enabling more advanced collaboration between users. Why is this? The proliferation of products and choices has made the chosen brand or standard become irrelevant. Every brand can do everything now. It’s the application of the technology and specific understanding of how technology actually enables better outcomes that is the differentiator.
This is a fundamental shift in the paradigm of how customers essentially view Information Technology – Technology is no longer a product, Technology itself is now completely a service. What was once a critical piece of internal infrastructure spending has morphed into a consulting practice. The main difference being the ability to understand, implement, and execute.
The Mobile Workplace
People are becoming more and more mobile and with huge leaps in connectivity in the last five years. Users are now expecting (i.e. demanding!) to be able to access information, applications and data from anywhere, any place from any device. This is driving organizations to come up with increasingly complex solutions to provide the right end user experience, but also keep data and proprietary information secure.
Once again, providing the quintessential mobile workplace for a customer comes down to executing a plan and a service that is governed by an outcome. Mobile technologies morphed to the technology as as service platform years ago (when was the last time you bought a smartphone outright?), but understanding how to connect these devices to the broader IT and organizational goals is the overriding yardstick of success.
To summarize, although we see so many product breakthroughs and “gotta have” trinkets, the real emerging future of IT seems to be service, and, more specifically, the proper execution of these services.