Industry Solutions and Trends
Technology is more than just networking and Juniper experts share their views on all the trends affecting IT

As the Christmas lights go on and Christmas Carol’s begin to fill the air, what better time to look forward to the year ahead and pick out a few key trends that may have an impact on our industry.

 

Despite the plethora and variety of products and solutions out there, in many ways technology developments, whether in networking or applications tend to follow a pretty well worn path from hype to religion to reality.

 

2013 will be a year where in a number of areas we will see key transitions along that path that end users should be on the lookout for and figuring out what conclusions and actions to draw from the claims, noise and reality on offer.

 

 

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Consumerisation of IT (CoIT) has many implications affecting the business and the way that the business uses technology, but the most important implication is the change of role for the IT manager and the new skills they will need to develop and incorporate.

 

Lets first look at why,

 

IT departments are used to being prescriptive and precise, this culture has served them well as the data security implications of getting this wrong have deep impact on the business, so we are used to this function playing the command and control role. However, due to factors out of any of our control the stage is set for a momentous change and that is the CoIT phenomenon. This will directly impact on the IT Manger in a personal way. It directly affects the role of the IT manager and the whole IT department. To ignore this would put the organisation in a risky position.

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There is a mildly humorous saying amongst the acting fraternity that you should never work with children or animals, the inference being that they are likely to do unpredictable things at the most inappropriate times.  In marketing that saying translates to never ask end users opinions on anything because they either tell you things you don’t want to hear or come back with comments you were not expecting.

Not strictly true of course and said a little tongue in cheek but as we looked through the results of the Juniper Networks Trusted Mobility Index report, there were some real surprises.

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Many years ago when my father questioned why I was enjoying the music of the **bleep** Pistols and the singing of Johnny Rotten so much whilst he still espoused the merits of Frank Sinatra it was clear there was both a generational and cultural gap at play between us – to me Pogoing and Punk were everything, he could not see beyond Crosby and the crooners.  And whilst we disagreed musically and I continued my love of all things punk, I did so recognising the rules of the house I lived in and that maybe having a safety pin through my nose and spiky fluorescent hair would have maybe been a step too far.


 


So, cultural and generational gaps and differences of opinion like that have existed probably since time began and will continue in all likelihood until the earth stops spinning.


 


That leads me to the key item of discussion in this blog.  Is the current trend towards the consumerization of IT really a cultural / generational challenge or is it more of a gap in technology development waiting to be filled?

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A slightly schizophrenic start to this blog but before I go on to explain my reasoning behind the title, I wanted to make clear that in my view the Consumerisation of IT and in particular the phenomenon of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) will both have a positive impact on businesses and IT departments if proactively embraced.   Those benefits will accrue from progressive HR policies that recognise the growing importance of social media tools both in productivity terms (yes, social media tools can and will have a positive impact on employee productivity) combined with attracting and keeping the next generation of top talent from the so called ‘Generation Y’  genre.

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IT Trends bear a striking resemblance to London buses. 

 

You can wait ages for one to come along and then find that, annoyingly, three arrive all at the same time.  Think of it, as we came out of the dot com crash of the early 2000’s, things were relatively quiet in terms of major trends and then, seemingly from nowhere, we get hit with Cloud, Consumerization, Machine to Machine and Smart Grid to name but a few, all of which leave businesses looking at their IT departments with the same facial expression that a child has when confronting parents with their latest homework: knowledge and expectation.

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