As New Zealand businesses embark on 2016, digital transformation remains high on the corporate agenda because it’s already reshaping the competitive landscape.
According to Jo Healey, CEO, Dimension Data New Zealand, social, mobile, cloud, analytics, Internet of Things, and bimodal IT are all “hot topics” in the local industry which divide IT functions and teams in organisations worldwide.
“The developing trends in IT reflect the way businesses are using IT to serve a wider purpose,” says Healey, in examining the trends of 2016 and beyond at a local level.
For Healey, IT is now being used to enable digital transformation, allowing Kiwi organisations to adapt faster and prioritise the experience of people.
“In New Zealand we are seeing this more than ever,” Healey adds. “As a country with a high proportion of SMEs which are truly embracing the digital workplace.
“Many of these organisations were born in the cloud and use IT to accelerate their businesses - they often have a flexible and mobile workforce. They are also willing to try new approaches.”
Healey says Dimension Data’s IT predictions for 2016 centre around “key conversations” the company is currently having with local organisations, which focus on “data at the core of the transformation, hybrid cloud as mechanism for agility, workspaces for tomorrow, and cybersecurity.”
“All of these trends and technologies serve a larger purpose,” explains Ettienne Reinecke, CTO, Dimension Data, “because they enable the transformation of an organisation to become a digital enterprise.
“In other words, the business uses IT to respond faster to market opportunities and threats, and prioritises the experience of the people it works with, whether they’re customers, employees, or business partners.”
“It’s all about understanding your data, and how to exploit it,” says Healey, believing that the role of data has “fundamentally changed”.
For many years, data centre professionals would concentrate much of their time and energy on things like storage drives and backups, and how best to perform tasks such as replication and de-duplication.
Then, as Healey recalls, the primary focus was reducing the cost of managing data. Now, that’s all changed.
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“Today it’s all about honing your ability to exploit data and finding ways to turn it into business value,” Healey adds.
Looking ahead at a local level, Healey believes private cloud adoption will increase in 2016.
“The next twelve months will see an increase in private cloud adoption, as savvy IT decision-makers with a ‘cloud first’ strategy move to adopt new managed private cloud offerings with consumption-based commercial models,” Healey adds.
Workspaces for Tomorrow:
“Work behaviours will be shaped more radically by social media in 2016,” Healey predicts.
Much of social collaboration is enabled by consumer-focused tools. Technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and many others have given rise to robust and business-oriented counterparts that offer audio, video, file-sharing, and workflow integration.
These include applications such as Cisco’s ‘team-rooming’ solution Spark, Microsoft’s Yammer and Skype for Business, Viber, WhatsApp, Slack, and many others.
“These technologies encourage the creation of communities; living, working, shopping, and interacting ‘out loud’; sharing ideas; easily finding people and information; collaboration; and faster decision-making,” Healey adds.
“These behaviours will make their way into more and more organisations in 2016, allowing end users to work together seamlessly from different geographies, and at different times of the day.”
Unsurprisingly, Healey believes that high profile security breaches are set to continue in 2016, and more executives will become the targets of hackers.
“The slew of high-profile security breaches that took place in 2015 are set to continue in 2016,” Healey adds.
“And the disturbing new trend of ‘whaling’ will see hackers target senior executives with ransomware, demanding money or using their information fraudulently.”
In addition, Healey believes forensics will play a “major role” in the cybersecurity space in the next 12 months.