Looking back on 2015, many companies focused efforts on weathering the economic storm, brought about by the weak Canadian dollar and falling oil prices.
Organizations buckled down to maximize the potential of their existing infrastructures. However, over the course of next year organizations will look to do more with their IT. We’ll see a shift towards organizations webifying their applications (apps); migrating legacy apps and data to be more aligned with a mobile strategy. Increased demand and expectations from employees to have “anytime, anywhere” access to company apps and data will escalate this up the chain of priorities.
With workplace flexibility becoming the status quo, the hybrid cloud allows workloads to move freely between private and public clouds, which is good news for the end-user. Some enterprise organizations have resisted transferring workloads and the storage of information in the cloud out of concern for the security of their Intellectual Property (IP).
The cause for resistance is primarily due to the issue of data sovereignty, where information is subject to the law of the country in which the cloud is located. One of the other issues is the reality of the threat landscape and regardless of where the data resides – can it be secured and protected. However, over the next year, we’ll see an increase in enterprises using a blend of cloud-based infrastructure and on-premise IT infrastructure to comply with security policies and regulations.
Hybrid adoption will further increase as software vendors begin to introduce new management architectures that enable IT to simultaneously manage multiple clouds and internally-owned datacenters.
Security and BYO
Intuit reports that freelancers will make up about 40 per cent of the workforce by 2020. The demand for freelancers exemplifies the shifting workplace culture, one in which employees want better control of their time while corporations seek to move projects along quickly with the precise talent they need (for a shorter period of time).
This demand introduces new security and network concerns that organizations will have to address in 2016. To adapt a more freelance-friendly environment, carriers will move to provide integrated Bring Your Own (BYO) services for individuals and enterprises.
These services will need to support a rich set of BYO features across cellular, public Wi-Fi and private networks, all while maintaining security. The deep integration will place the carrier back as the center of connectivity as enterprises look to simplify the BYO experience, security and cost structures.
Internet of Things and the Enterprise
At the moment, the Internet of Things (IoT) is largely a consumer entity which seeks to enrich and simplify our day-to-day lives with connected homes and vehicles.
Over the next year, we’ll see this ideal and modern-day need for mobility and connectivity bleed into the workplace, through IoT and the Integration of Everything (IoE). For IT managers, the IoE can help operations by providing real-time notifications of critical system statuses before a business interruption and optimize operations through big data analytics.
For the end user, workspaces can become more productive through conference room automation or workplace automation by enabling flexible open workstations. Soon enough data entry will become obsolete as more connected devices will stream sensor data into IoT platforms. Currently, enterprises have thousands of devices, multiple locations and constant demands from business leaders that have to be addressed and updated by their IT departments. Having the ability to integrate and connect all these systems, services, people and things into automated workflows is the logical resolution.
As the needs of the enterprise continue to evolve, technology will continue to adapt and innovate. At the end of the day, the end-user must be kept in mind as enterprises look to improve their system functions and infrastructure.
Looking ahead to the next year we can predict the immediate trends based on our employees’ needs for today, but what those needs will be in the next decade? Only time will tell.
Michael Murphy is vice-president and country manager of Citrix Canada
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