2012 WAS A YEAR OF EMERGING TECH TRENDS, WITH BYOD, MOBILITY AND CROSS-PLATFORM APPLICATIONS CREEPING INTO ORGANISATIONAL STRATEGY. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THESE TRENDS HAVE BECOME COMMONPLACE IN DAILY CONVERSATIONS BUT WHAT AFFECT WILL THESE EMERGING DEVELOPMENTS HAVE ON KEY BUSINESS DRIVERS IN 2013?
This article looks at the 3 trends of 2012 that organisations will need to think about in 2013.
The 3 trends include:
The BYOD movement
The launch of Windows 8
Cross platform mobile applications
The BYOD movement
Driven by two main factors, the growth of the mobile device market and employee attitudes and behavioural trends, there is no doubt that the BYOD trend is set to continue well into the future (Ovum). With the global number of users bringing their own devices into the enterprise expected to double by 2014, to 350 million (Financial Review), IT departments across the globe have begun to realise the advantages of implementing BYOD initiatives. However, before immersing in this trend, organisations will need to assess the viability of the BYOD movement for their business.
The BYOD movement has exponentially continued to increase over the years with over “32% of organisations providing technical support for employee-owned smartphones, 37% of organisations providing support for personal tablets, and 44% of organisations supporting employee-owned laptops” (Future of Work Enabled).
Although this is the case, organisations will need to be mindful of potential issues associated with implementing BYOD policies, such as which operating systems can be used, what software is installed and run on the device, who is responsible for backing up the device and what happens if the device is lost or stolen. These issues should be identified beforehand and guidelines should be established and agreed upon in a formal manner to avoid any misunderstandings that may ensue from the policy. When it comes to BYOD, it is important that your organisation is proactive in order to prevent a major security and public relations disaster.
The trend of bringing your own device to the workplace has been widely adopted in the United States and is rapidly increasing in popularity in Australia. However, businesses need to have a clear thought process around determining whether BYOD is the way to go before embarking on this emerging trend in 2013. It is important to consider all aspects of the BYOD plan, including communication, training, management, enforcement and justification, as well as any legal or operational issues that may arise, before making any commitments.
Recent research conducted by Gartner suggests the expected progression of the Windows 8 trend in the coming years:
By 2015, over 80% of handsets in mature markets will be smartphones. Of these, 20% will be Windows Phones (Forbes)
By 2015, tablet shipments will be 50% of laptop shipments, with Windows 8 in third place behind Apple and Android (Forbes)
Enterprise application developers will see Windows tablets as a target device in 2013 (ZDNet)
Before deciding on whether to indulge in the Windows 8 trend, it is important for an organisation to understand what Windows 8 is and what enterprises can expect from Windows 8. Windows 8 is a unified platform across desktops, tablets and smartphones designed to improve and change the user experience of the Windows operating system. For the enterprise, this will involve preparing for a new paradigm, both in terms of management and supporting company users.
Additionally, enterprises will need to determine which version of Windows 8 would be the most beneficial to their organisation. Microsoft is attempting to appeal to the professional tablet user through the Windows 8 Professional version of the Surface tablet, which runs a version of Windows 8 developed specifically for mobile devices. This version is the most suitable for enterprise use as IT departments are already familiar with the Windows platform, support for older versions is provided and integration with the Microsoft Office suite of products is possible.
Deciding to be an early adopter of Windows 8 could be beneficial for many organisations as it is expected that opportunities within this market will continue to increase, as illustrated by the statistics above. Additionally, organisations should contemplate the strategic benefits that could be gained from engaging in the Windows 8 trend. These include:
Be positioned to take advantage of the ‘financial’ benefits inherent in the utilisation of seamless and integrated devices
Access the latest Microsoft innovation to be more responsive to modern business challenges and demands, and increase responsiveness to customers and their demands
Have a workforce that is more empowered and connected and thus able to make better business decisions, faster and on the go
Enable IT to better support internal business units
Increase competitiveness and flexibility in an ever-changing and tumultuous business environment
Windows 8 is truly a revolutionary change, with not only the touch-based interface concept but the explorer component that has changed with the biggest modification being the loss of the traditional Start menu. As such, it is important for organisations to monitor this trend in 2013 and weigh up the benefits and challenges associated with upgrading to Windows 8.
Cross-platform mobile applications
Throughout 2012, the mobile application space underwent what can only be described as remarkable growth. As the popularity of new mobile platforms (such as Windows Phone 8) grows, organisations will need to consider developing applications across multiple platforms. To overcome high development costs and time-to-market, organisations have begun utilising cross platform development.
With the new technology maturing at a rapid rate, there is no doubt that HTML5 will pave the way of the future for cross platform mobile apps. With cross platform development expected to gain momentum in 2013, enterprises must consider the option of developing cross platform mobile applications or risk being left behind the competition. Organisations looking to capitalise on the cross platform development trend in 2013 will need to ensure they engage with a reputable provider with knowledge in HTML5. This will allow the organisation to achieve a competitive advantage in servicing the needs of their market.
Will 2013 be the year that you capitalise on the trends of 2012?
Given the above trends have gained traction throughout 2012 and are expected to continue well into 2013 and the coming years, it is important for enterprises to investigate these options and prepare planning now.
Organisations will also need to have a clear thought process before adopting popular emerging trends such as cross platform mobile development, the BYOD movement and Windows 8. Potential legal and operational ramifications, as well as any problems that may arise, will need to be weighed up against the advantages associated with capitalising on these trends.
Warren, C., How HTML5 is Aiding in Cross Platform Development, February 2011 – (Mashable Tech)
Dignan, L., Mobile, actionable data dominates Gartner’s 2013 tech trends, October 2012 – (ZDNet)
Savitz, E., Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013, October 2012 – (Forbes)
Colquhoun, L., Access All Areas, July 2012 – (BRW)