Seven key technology trends CIOs must consider for 2015

UXC LogoSydney – September 30, 2014 – CIOs and business leaders must be agile and capable of balancing short and long-term investments for business gain and to take advantage of the key technology trends that are set to shape the industry in 2015.

In launching Forecast UXC, an annual technology and business outlook developed by Telsyte, UXC’s independent technology research and advisory business, Cris Nicolli, Managing Director, UXC Limited, said, “While technology developments can improve business processes, create new avenues to customers and markets, and deliver competitive advantage, there are risks. CIOs must be prudent with the rate at which they innovate to effectively manage integration requirements and security risks.

“CIOs who can master this balance will spearhead agile organisations that can further adapt to change and deliver real value to the business across multiple dimensions.”

Forecast UXC, which draws on research and survey findings from 461 Australian CIOs and IT decision makers identifies seven key trends that will drive technology adoption and use across business in 2015:

1. Business unit IT spending will affect budgets
IT spending is increasingly being driven by line-of-business needs and facilitated by non-centralised budgets. Employees are combining mobile devices with cloud services and applications to bring their own IT to the workplace, relying less on corporate IT. This non-sanctioned investment brings risks. Forecast UXC shows that about one-third of Australian businesses have experienced problems resulting from IT-related purchasing outside of the IT department*.

However, IT still has the responsibility of managing and securing all information used by the organisation, including from services procured outside of the IT department’s control. As a result, CIOs must be aware of what IT services are being purchased by line-of-business and take appropriate steps to integrate and secure them as appropriate.

2. Service-centric delivery will lead to ITaaS
To maintain relevance in the face of increasing self-service, CIOs should consider transforming IT operations to be more of a business partner with a service-centric delivery capability rather than being focused on managing discrete projects.

IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) describes a structure where lines of business act as customers of IT and the cost of the IT services they consume is accounted for as if the IT department was an external supplier. ITaaS lets the centralised IT department represent costs in a way that makes it easy to compare with off-the-shelf or outsourced solutions. Better IT cost accounting and business agility are the result.

In 2015 and beyond, organisations need to start evolving to ITaaS to remain competitive and consistent with other delivery models. All IT projects should include long-term costs and how business units are charged to consume the service. This shift will take time as traditional IT departments adapt to being part of an overall enterprise services architecture.

3. Businesses will continue to shift to the cloud
The appetite for cloud computing remains strong and it is likely that cloud computing will continue to become more diverse and cater for workloads traditionally seen with on-premise IT. More multinational providers are likely to establish cloud operations on Australian soil, potentially alleviating concerns around data privacy.

More locally-developed clouds will also give Australian organisations more choice while maintaining compatibility with international services. According to Forecast UXC, nearly 40 per cent of Australian companies using cloud services use an international provider that hosts data offshore.

In 2015 the availability of cloud compatibility and management tools will mature, letting CIOs manage data based on how complex and sensitive it is. Organisations that prepare for a hybrid on-premises and cloud delivery model will be most successful.

4. Collaboration will replace communication
The future of unified communications (UC) is strong and will be driven by an on-demand procurement model. Many organisations will need on-premise systems as well as cloud UC, forcing them into a hybrid approach that combines PABX systems and cloud providers.

As existing equipment reaches end-of-life, more organisations will look to moving enterprise communications to cloud services. Effective communication and collaboration tools facilitate the modern workplace and future-proof communications. Cloud-based UC can overcome the implementation and integration challenges of large UC projects.

5. Big data will bring new business intelligence
Forecast UXC shows that big data use among Australian organisations is well established with 25 per cent of respondents already using big data. A further 42 per cent of organisations are investigating the need for big data and its associated analytics. Integration with data sources has been a barrier to big data adoption.

Organisations should look at where big data can add the most value before capturing information indiscriminately. Effective big data analytics will deliver a competitive advantage and is an emerging opportunity for third-party integration. Big data analytics platforms and formats will become more widely implemented and being able to integrate with third parties on the same level will be as important as interfacing with older Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and more recent web-based services.

6. Location-free workplaces will increase
‘Work’ is no longer a location but an activity, with more and more workers able to leverage existing technology such as smartphones and high-speed broadband to work remotely. The ability to work outside the office depends on the person’s role and the nature of the business but Forecast UXC indicates that 65 per cent of teleworking organisations expect the number of people working from home to increase over the next 12 months.

To prepare for this, CIOs must have applications and security procedures in place to keep staff productive while ensuring the information they access is secure. Improved support for remote working will also help organisations remain productive in case of disruption, such as natural disasters, fires, vandalism or other factors.

7. Wearables will become the next business devices
Just as smartphones and tablets defined the ‘post-PC’ era, wearable devices are set to have a profound impact on business. Wearable devices have many applications from operator assistance to safety and alerts. For example, the medical industry has developed wearable computers for patient monitoring and the security industry uses wearable devices for access control. Employees are already beginning to bring their own wearable computers to work, such as Google Glass. This trend is likely to accelerate in the next 18 months as more wearable devices become available. Business leaders should begin investigating how wearable devices can improve productivity, balanced with security risks.

Cris Nicolli said, “Australian companies must prepare for larger-scale changes that the onset of new technology brings. They must be agile enough to balance the immediate and the longer-term requirements to invest appropriately for a competitive edge.”

You can download Forecast UXC here: http://www.uxc.com.au/forecast-uxc-2015

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About UXC LIMITED
UXC Limited is anis an S&P/ASX 300 listed Australian business solutions company, and the largest Australian owned ICT consultancy firm. UXC services medium to large entities in the private and public sectors across Australia and New Zealand.

UXC provides a range of unique, unmatched and formidable ICT Solutions in Consulting, Business Applications and Infrastructure that support our customers to plan & design, implement & enhance, and operate & manage their ICT requirements.

UXC strives to create simplicity and meaning in a complex world through the power of people and technology, by being the leading Tier 1 Australian IT Services and Solutions Company, delivering value, innovation and responsive business outcomes with excellent people. For more information visit: www.uxc.com.au.

About Telsyte
Telsyte delivers strategic insights and advisory services to businesses that are producing, or are impacted by, disruptive technologies. Telsyte publishes studies into emerging consumer and business markets and provides custom research and advisory services. Our market leading coverage includes mobility, enterprise IT, digital media and telecommunications. Telsyte is a wholly-owned independent business unit of UXC Limited. For more information visit: www.telsyte.com.au.

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