The big shift in big data, virtualization, enterprise mobility and complex integrated systems that are causing so much disruption today, is heading to an emphasis on platforms as opposed to projects that call for too many integration points.
New technology is often disruptive. It takes time to understand it, and to find the best way to leverage it for business advantage. Right now the IT industry is reeling from the challenges and complexity of trends like consumerization, mobility, and the diversified workforce. The need to manage this new technology, and face down the rising specter of malware, is pressing.
But CIOs should not despair. It’s time to move beyond reactive fire-fighting to embrace these complexities, and really start to exploit the technology. Disruption encourages differentiation, and, as we learn to extract business value from new technology, it becomes an enabler. If 2014 was the year of consumerization, 2015 is the year of seamless collaboration, knowledge share, and user experience.
Platform over projects or programs
Managing mobility or virtualization as distinct programs or projects is really increasing complexity and throwing up all kinds of integration challenges. It makes a great deal more sense to move to a single platform, because it enables you to fully exploit that platform. Based on 1 million mobile devices under Fujitsu management, we have witnessed how the cloud affords a 40% savings when compared to managing and maintaining a more complex set of environments.
The cloud saves 40% on average across our 1M mobile devices under Fujitsu mgmt.
The benefits are clear in terms of fewer integration points, increased scalability, enhanced mobile capabilities, and greater stability. Testing is also done once, and it’s proactive. You can work with a platform provider to test new features and functionality before they proliferate in your environment. That means you have room to get comfortable and confident in something before you roll it out.
Improving the user experience
The single platform approach places the user in the center. The user experience is the focus of the system, and the technology is there to serve. The freedom to switch between different cloud-based platforms and software tools is retained, but the experience is seamless, because you are accessing different technologies through a single lens.
Real-time collaboration is vital for modern business, and a platform approach provides new ways to exchange information. It doesn’t matter what device, or what specific software you are using, because the platform is agnostic. This facilitates a move from siloed knowledge to collective knowledge. Whether it’s an open stack or an open source technology, everyone can be a contributor to that shared knowledge base.
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A single platform also ensures that there’s a consistent security layer. Although cybersecurity remains a serious concern, there is plenty of action on this front. According to Gartner, the industry plans to spend around $67 billion on information security this year, but that’s going to increase by 50% to around $93 billion in the next two years. The federal government proposed $13 billion on cybersecurity in this year’s IT budget. We can be certain things are going to get more secure.
Seeking the services marketplace
Around 45% of organizations compute capacity today is on-premises, according to Tata Consulting that figure will drop to 12% by 2020. The cloud is providing a faster, lower risk service with better support, and it’s utility based.
A whopping 69% of the companies surveyed by SAP and Oxford Economic plan on heavy cloud investments over the next three years, Nearly all of the 200 executives surveyed said cloud computing was part of their environment.
Cloud aggregation is inevitable
Forward thinking platform providers looking to deliver value for customers are going to support popular cloud platforms from Citrix, Google, Joyent, Microsoft’s Azure and other enterprise players. Taking the sting out of integration, but leaving workplace-anywhere options to pick and choose the combinations that best suit users. This offers upside to companies because they can pick the best of the best in terms of solution features, and ask the platform provider to aggregate them. There’s no need to settle or compromise.
The collective force of all this technology that’s gradually being integrated and aggregated is tremendously exciting. Super computers processing data in real-time, simulating environments, and predicting outcomes, could have a huge impact for every industry. The future will be simulated and forecasted. Cloud adoption will further commoditize our IT services. The speed of deployment could drop from weeks to hours.
A new services, integration and management framework will empower enterprises to choose the different components they want, and enable cloud and service aggregation on a new scale. Services will become smarter, more efficient, and very importantly, more secure. Digital disruption, with multiple service options, is gradually giving way to seamless integration of services, as technology becomes a digital enabler. Businesses will become smarter, they’ll learn to differentiate faster, and the flexibility will preserve the business value.
By Nicholas Lee