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On the horizon: IT trends in 2014
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On the horizon: IT trends in 2014 

This year, organizations will learn when it comes to the cloud, one size does not fit all. “While organizations may know they want to use cloud, they need expert guidance from a trusted technology partner to pursue the cloud or clouds that are right for their needs – whether public, private or hybrid – factoring in their current IT environment, budget, workloads and applications, industry compliance and security needs,” Menon explained. He noted that many businesses use private clouds to manage their data securely and on their own premises. In addition, Menon pointed to the rise of composite applications that are made from components running on different clouds. “With monolithic solutions, everything could run on one cloud,” he noted. “However, that is not the case with composite apps, where you are getting different parts of the solution from different services and each potentially runs on its own cloud.”

Menon predicted that the enterprise will begin to master mobility this year. The BYOD trend will be replaced by CYOD- choose your own device. “Choose your own device is happening across many regions as part of companies’ broader BYOD strategy, and represents a step in the transition over time to BYOD,” he remarked. Instead of employees bringing their personal mobile devices to work and creating security headaches for the IT staff, they select a mobile device from a pre-approved list. “CYOD allows IT to suggest a set of devices that work well with the company’s IT strategy while giving employees choice and freedom in selecting the device that’s right for their needs, workloads and preferences,” Menon commented.

Social media will remain an important issue for businesses. In 2014, more companies move beyond transactions to form relationships with customers through this medium. Menon acknowledged that some firms already understand the importance of forming connections with the public through social media. “However, not all vendors know how to leverage social insights to modify their offerings and personalize them,” he said. “In particular, it is difficult to bridge the gap between the IT professionals handling the various data intakes and the business professionals extracting the knowledge embedded in the data to derive insights and make informed decisions. Vendors that can effectively do this have an advantage in the marketplace.” Businesses that cannot bridge this gap will find themselves falling behind and struggling to survive.

The permanence of social media as a fixture in the IT landscape means Big Data is not going anywhere, either. Menon believes that as a result of Big Data’s ubiquity, vendors will offer simpler solutions to deal with the flood of information. “Vendors and their offerings need to support their customers on their journey along the curve from descriptive to predictive and prescriptive analytics, either by supplying the appropriate platforms or providing analytics-as-a-service,” he remarked. “When an enterprise gets to prescriptive analytics, it sees a simplification of their big data solutions because the burden to make decisions moves from an individual or organization to software. In its ideal embodiment, a solution would not only inform on what needs to be done, but would also implement it.”

Security, unlike these other technological developments, is not a new issue. What will change about it in 2014, though, is that it will become a core part of enterprise strategy. “While security has been a component to IT strategy for some time, approaching security in a holistic, connected manor from the inside-out and outside-in is what’s changing,” Menon noted. “Moving from managing security in silos to taking a connected approach to security is crucial to protecting business-critical data from the endpoint to the datacenter to the cloud.” However, security needs to be built in to any technology a business uses. “If vendor solutions are not designed with security in mind, security is hard to add as an afterthought,” Menon cautioned.

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