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Top tech trends for 2014 – six changes business owners can expect

Tuesday, 3 December 2013 | By Melinda Oliver

Use of mobile technology for work purposes and harnessing the big data collected on customers are just some of the prominent technology trends business owners can expect in 2014.


In ‘The Australian IT Agenda in 2014’ report, Citrix explored what they think will be the big IT trends for the year ahead. The report finds that as the boundaries between personal technology and work technology blur, the flow-on effects to businesses are vast.


Citrix Labs vice president and Office Chair chief technology officer Martin Duursma said businesses will need to constantly adapt their IT infrastructure to cater for the changes.


Here are six key predictions for 2014 from the report.


1. Employees will drive the technology used


The report finds that as staff bring their own devices to the workspace such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, and connect them to work systems, businesses will have to boost IT security.


“Rather than employees connecting to the enterprise in 2014, the business will have to connect to the workforce,” Duursma said.


“IT teams will need to accommodate this change to ensure the security of the network – in fact, failure to acknowledge devices joining the network ‘under the radar’ can leave businesses exposed,” he said.


He said that enterprise mobile apps could take off, with an increase in the number of mobile apps installed on employees’ smartphones, tablets and laptops.


“With users keen to maintain ownership of their personal devices and data it will be critical that the information contained in personal applications does not break out to corporate applications on the device and vica versa. As such, this must be a key consideration for organisations when selecting the relevant mobile device management software.”


2. The desktop still has a place


The report found that despite the increase of mobile device use, businesses will still provide desktop facilities.


“Australian and New Zealand organisations still want and need the desktop – in some instances rolling out large numbers in a single deployment – they just do not want to install the infrastructures themselves,” Duursma said.


3. Integration of systems between businesses will boost


Businesses will enable third-party organisations and channel partners to integrate with their internal networks and the information they host, the report predicts.


This integration will be made possible through increased use of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.


“Providing this level of access ensures all relevant parties can rapidly draw the insight they need to efficiently and seamlessly collaborate with partners on their respective projects to deliver a superior experience,” he said.


4. Big data used to better advantage


In 2014 businesses will increasingly focus on the value of the data information they have already collected.


“With data storage vastly accessible and a plethora of data-mining technologies available, big data has transitioned from buzz to a real-world business advantage.


“Smart organisations will begin to take advantage of the business intelligence derived through big data to enhance their businesses dramatically,” he said.


5. Office design will shift to cater for mobile workers


The way employees use office spaces will shift in the year ahead, as businesses experiment with different ways of working tied with an increase in mobile device use.


As the boundaries between work and life become increasingly blurred, businesses will begin to design certain areas of their offices to accommodate changing working.


Areas for communication and collaboration, or quiet concentration spaces, will be key.


“Ultimately, it’s about providing staff with the tools and environment they need to engage with the task at hand and effectively carry it out.


“Businesses will increasingly deploy virtualisation solutions and connected devices to take advantage of this shift, with increased employee productivity and reduced office footprint costs two of the many benefits to be had by doing so.”


6. The cloud will get bigger


More businesses will shift their IT infrastructures to the cloud over the next year, the report predicts.


This will require business to enhance their knowledge of how cloud services operate and the connected technologies for maximum results.


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.