5 IT Trends for 2013

The future holds more than “mobility in the enterprise.” With the current level of energy and commitment from vendors and service providers, we see the potential of a truly mobile enterprise built on an expanded services model (read Cloud in any or all of its configurations) delivering business computing to even more powerful devices and a new class of empowered users.

As 2012 winds down and our preparations for Interchange  are hitting their full stride, we want to share five trends you need to be aware of to start 2013 out right.

1. The Nature of Mobile Work

There’s been so much focus on the up-to-the-minute conversations surrounding mobility that it’s easy to miss the big picture of what will develop over the next few years. The future holds more than “mobility in the enterprise.” After all, we have had mobile conversation/conferencing, web apps, and messaging capabilities for the past decade. With the current level of energy and commitment from vendors and service providers, we see the potential of a truly mobile enterprise built on an expanded services model (read Cloud in any or all of its configurations) delivering business computing to even more powerful devices and a new class of empowered users. In 2013 look for tablets to make a significant impact on “mobile work” as laptops become the new desktop, tablets become the new laptop, and smartphones maintain their literal on-the-go functionality.

2.   Mobile Apps and Self-Service

A leading indicator of the changing mindset surrounding the empowered end-user is the rising expectations of users regarding mobile apps and services. We see the current application architecture evolving to allow greater componentization of the application’s capabilities. These components are being presented to users as focused functionality spread out over multiple devices and roles. Today’s empowered user will likely prefer to get these enterprise apps and services for themselves, much as their current social and entertainment apps are delivered through platform App Stores. This will impact IT services and operations even more dramatically than today’s perception of the “consumerization” of IT as expressed in expanded user expectation, BYOD, or integrating social computing into business computing. In 2013, look for the notion of “mobile work” to emerge more clearly and to become more impactful on app development in the future.

 3.   Service Delivery and Support

It makes a lot of sense to comprehensively package access, application, and data as a service delivered to any device. IT as a service allows for the clear definition of boundaries and responsibilities that allow for SLAs to mature and becoming user-focused rather than data center-focused. What also makes sense is to use existing services and systems management models to support user’s requests. An App Store could be thought of as an open and automated front-end to traditional service catalog and service delivery functions with an enterprise grade follow-on support/delivery capability built-in. In 2013 look for evolution within service management to have a revolutionary impact on the advancement and automation potential of your service desk deployments.

4.   Your End-User as the Ultimate Endpoint

In the world of IT management, and particularly here at LANDesk, as we respond to both opportunities and responsibilities, we are seeing something new. In stepping up to meet the expanding expectations of both the business and users and with the growing services orientation of IT, it may prove beneficial moving forward to adopt a new perspective on what we are truly managing. Through our support of the growing list of various devices and in-demand services, we are managing not only this entire infrastructure, but the capabilities of the user as well. Instead of looking at the bits and pieces we integrate, maintain, and deliver, it is time to take a comprehensive look at user management. This comprehensive approach is not about managing the users themselves as much as it is about having all the tools to comprehensively manage the access, security, components, devices, and platforms that support users’ needs and requirements to get their jobs done.

5.   Management Intelligence

As an IT administrator, you are plugged in and aware of what happens in your shop and impact and the efforts of your operations team. However, turning that experience into more than an impression, creating operations information that is shareable and consumable is a lot of work that is just too far down “the list” to be practical. Yet it would be nice to demonstrate clearly and effectively the impact of your efforts on IT Operations and on the business. In the old days, enterprise systems were more tightly integrated. For example, the periodic chargeback for IT services would inform LOB managers and upstream management of your efforts. While the notion of chargeback still lives on,we see the idea of “showback” as a lot more attainable and a lot less hassle.

Management Intelligence is the technique of automated reporting that interrogates your management infrastructure to evaluate selected criteria and deliver that information to executive-level dashboards for immediate review. It doesn’t mitigate IT as a business cost center, but it accurately informs or “shows back” to the LOB manager or IT senior exec what is going on right now with their systems and support. In 2013 look for this kind of “showback” capability to be available and easily deliverable, which is a lot better than you fielding the periodic request or frantic phone call.

Well, that’s a load of our minds and now we can get back to our day jobs and to preparing for a great Interchange 2013 in January. Check in with us at the comments below and let us know how impactful our insights have been on your thinking in the New Year.