Computer Merchants’ Norm Jefferies predicts IT trends for 2016
2015 has been an exciting year for Computer Merchants, and we have seen our customers inspire and innovate at record pace. We’ve even managed a few innovations of our own, like our new app that helps customers keep track of their IT systems. As the year draws to a close, though, it is time to look forward to what organisations can expect to be big in IT in 2016.
Consumer expectations – It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that customers, colleagues and communities will expect more from the businesses they interact with – and of course, they will want everything in real time. As a result, every business will have to be more agile than ever, ready to act on new ideas fast.
Systems of engagement – Most businesses have focused on improving their systems of record, and finding ways of storing the data created as a result. In 2016, we expect to see increased focus on systems of engagement, driven by customer expectations. This means new or improved ways of interacting, in particular via apps and social media. For organisations already along this path, systems of information will become a priority, using analytics to make sense of the wealth of information resources available.
Security – The changes in customer engagement, and the shift to more flexible work practices we have seen in recent times, mean that security is going to be a very high priority for most organisations in 2016. Risks have changed too. The popular image of hackers as individuals staying up late and infiltrating systems for kicks is far from accurate. Today’s businesses are increasingly likely to be targeted by organised crime or even foreign government groups. Cyber-crime is big business, with enormous resources available. With access increasingly achieved via mobile devices, securing BYOD is set to be an especially important area to get right.
Getting smart about cloud – Cloud offers exceptional value if you get it right, but the cloud market hasn’t levelled out yet, with many big providers still working on finding profitable business models. We’ve seen some cloud providers go out of business in 2015, and it is likely that more will go the same way in 2016. There have been high profile outages, with one major cloud provider having an entire day of downtime recently. Organisations need to have a plan for cloud outages, and they need to test it regularly. Savvy cloud choices and planning will be a differentiator for businesses in years to come.
Smaller businesses go corporate – We work with a lot of very big businesses, so we are used to seeing and understanding best of breed technology in action. Increasingly, small businesses will be seeking ways to translate the ideas and practices of the corporate world into their own budget and resource realities. We have helped small and mid-sized organisations to compete with far larger competitors on a shoestring budget – combining agility and ingenuity can go a remarkably long way.
2016 is set to be an exciting year for those organisations with the agility and boldness to grasp new opportunities. Market disruption will, if anything, accelerate, and traditional businesses will need to rise to the challenge. With some markets all but disappearing, clinging to the old may be like walking on quicksand, so business transformation becomes a necessity. We’re seeing many of our customers achieve remarkable things by reinventing themselves to stay relevant in the digital economy.
For more about staying agile and secure in a changing business world, contact the friendly Computer Merchants team.
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