Five Key Enterprise Technology Trends for 2014

It is the time of the year when enterprises assess the successes and challenges of 2013, and start planning for 2014. What does 2014 hold? How will the development of these trends impact the enterprise technology environment in Singapore?

According to Verizon Enterprise Solutions, 2014 will be the year enterprise users gain unprecedented control over their technology environment. Businesses will look to invest and innovate, so they can more rapidly and securely deliver their products and services where, when, and how their users want them. 

Verizon highlights five key enterprise technology trends expected todrive change for enterprises and government in 2014, and the potential impact these will have on the technology environment in Singapore.

1.    The Customer of One Comes of Age

The ability to tailor a customer’s experience to best meet personalized, individual needs will increasingly be a brand differentiator. In 2014, enterprises will refocus on customer touchpoints– across online, mobile, broadcastand in-store – with insights provided by big data analytics. This will enable businesses to engage directly with the individual on demand, and build trusted connections to open up new routes to markets.

In Singapore, big data has been a buzzword over the last few years, but it is expected to take real shape as we draw closer to the realization of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA)’s 10-year Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) Master Plan, specifically the focus tostimulate demand for big data by creating initiatives and joint partnerships with vendors as well as build the necessary technology infrastructure and systems to support the IT ecosystem for big data adoption.

With these initiatives in place, enterprises will be able to better create real business value and differentiate their brand by effectively managing and leveraging insights from data to inform their approach towards a tailored customer experience.

2.    M2M ‘as a Service’ Simplifies Path to the Connected World

M2M is still at a nascent stage of adoption in Singapore. According to a Forrester survey conducted in mid-2013, only 5% of local companies have indicated plans for M2M adoption. Key barriers that were highlighted include security concerns (50%), technological maturity (43%) and integration challenges (43%).

With Singapore set for the deployment of its next-generation nationwide broadband network (NGNBN) and an increase in the roll out of 4G mobile networks, the infrastructure for M2M adoption looks fairly robust.

In 2014, this increasing ubiquity of 4G LTE wireless service, the availability ofmachine-to-machine (M2M) solutions “as a service”, andstronger security featureswill address the issues that have previously prevented many organisations from fully embracing M2M.

By leveraging third-party expertise, organisations will be able to quickly transform the conversations of intelligent endpoints into unprecedented insights and opportunities. Leading the way in Singapore is the IDA, which is exploring how M2M can enable innovations in areas such as health, education, transportation and energy management.

As M2M adoption accelerates, manufacturers, dealers and business partners will be able to realize the full potential of new revenue streams and increased operational efficiencies, while better meeting the needs of their customers.

3.    The Shortage of Security Expertise Forces Changes to Cybersecurity Management

Demand for cyber security expertise is expected to grow exponentially in Singapore. While there are IDA has initiatives in place to address the shortage of IT security specialists in Singapore, enhancing cybersecurity also requires a collaborative approach across the public and private sectors.

As enterprises increasingly adopt mobility, big data, cloud and broadcast solutions, the complexity of effective cybersecurity programs far exceeds both the availability of human capital and the capability of anyenterprise to execute alone.

Enterprises will develop and execute hybrid cybersecurity-management models that combine an agile staff of in-house security-minded business experts with trusted managed security services across a broad range of capabilities such as identity management, security analyticsandcyberintelligence, and governance, risk and compliance.

4.    IT Decentralises
Organisations embracing the new information technology world of cloud, mobility and M2M will see IT increasingly decentralized. The C-suite (e.g. CFO, CMO, COO), lines of business and staff functions will increasingly take the lead role in engaging and deploying in the cloud, because of the immediate deployment speed, flexibility, control and cost value they see in cloud, as well as advantages in big data analysis.

According to a study released by recruitment firm Robert Half in November this year, 50% of Singaporean firms surveyed revealed that their CFO had more say than the CIO in technology projects and purchases.

The same study also indicated that despite finance having more control over IT decisions, finance staff and IT staff here were more collaborative than in any of the other countries surveyed, with nearly 83% of respondents citing a rise in collaboration between the IT and finance teams during the last three years – a sign that IT will be integrated into financial performance planning, and the lines between the IT department and finance will continue to blur as technology becomes the valued enabler, rather than the end game.

5.    Providers Add Gravity to the Cloud

Across the region, Singapore has always been ranked as one of the top adopters of cloud – a trend that is set to continue in 2014 as providers add software and services to the cloud that add gravity and encourage more companies to move toward being a cloud-enabled environment.

In a world where mobile is the norm, and rich media content is a given, the cloud will come into its own as the only location where growing data volumes can be stored, accessed and analyzed on demand. Providing systems and tools to transform these data into insights in the cloud and on demand will transform the customer experience.

In 2014, integrated cloud offerings will increasingly enable mashups of fixed and mobile networks; systems, ideas and solutions; people and things; and intelligence and information. More importantly, providers will have to make cloud security a priority – especially with the recent launch of the Multi-Tier Cloud Security Standard for Singapore (MTCS-SS) by IDA.

In Essence 

We are experiencing the democratisation of enterprise technology. In 2014, enterprise technology will mirror the developments in consumer technology in the sense that enterprise technology users will look for services to be delivered on demand, to a time and place of their choosing, and in the way that they want.

With these developments, success will be measured by how well businesses are able to harness technology to meet and exceed user expectations, enhance the user experience and drive individual innovations. Businesses that can make full use of technology to achieve those objectives will be setting themselves up for a positive 2014.

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