Four Trends Impacting Businesses in 2012, by AppsCare®

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CIO's face four key challenges that will significantly impact business in the next few years. Whilst each trend is significant in their own right, the confluence of the four is accountable for the overwhelming effect they are causing to IT departments.

A report by Gartner predicts that "by 2015, mobile application development (AD) projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1,"

1.     Collaboration
The days of top-down management have been replaced by horizontal relationships in which networks of employees collaborate and cooperate in order to work efficiently.

In the era of the Knowledge Economy collaboration is now more important than ever, evidenced by video and Web conferencing growth rates that are expected to hit 20 percent during the next few years. The ability to communicate with people inside and outside the business is rapidly becoming a key business differentiator, facilitating the sharing of knowledge across organisations and through ‘communities of practice’ to meet key business objectives.

Leveraging new, more prolific ways to work together is even more imperative in challenging times than it is when the environment is flush. Google App’s real-time sharing and editing of files increases efficiency. Teams work together across distance and across organisations by scheduling meetings, sharing docs, holding video chats and creating project sites with employees, partners, customers and vendors.

2.     Mobile
43 percent of businesses surveyed by GigaOM Pro anticipated using mobile devices more in 2012 than they did in 2011. This growing trend was ignited by: the globalised employee, the more powerful nature of mobile devices and the increased dependency on mobile phones in employee’s personal life. The increasing demand for organisations to support mobility is also attributable to demographic changes in the workforce, for instance, Millennials (those born 1980-2002) spend more time working on mobile devices than the older generation. The parallel growth in cloud computing has further fuelled the growth in business use of mobile computing. Mobile 1st, Google Apps for Business provides users with seamless secure access to data, regardless of device.

3.     Remote Access
Over 10 percent of today’s workforce telecommutes from home (Harvard Business Review (HBR)). “This trend is expected to accelerate in future years due to the ongoing globalization of work and the cost and time of commuting,” says Michael Carter, CEO – AppsCare®. “Telecommuting allows companies to expand their talent pool beyond the 20-mile radius that most companies hire in, to literally anywhere in the world,” Carter says. A recent Microsoft survey also finds that 64 percent of employees are more productive when working remotely than when in the office due to less distractions and a more relaxing environment. The use of Google Video eliminates the most common pet peeve of working with a remote worker that is no face-to-face contact, whilst adding the personal characteristic of office-based working.

4.     Consumerisation of IT
In the past decade the pervasive penetration of the Internet and powerful mobile devices has resulted in a commercial focus on innovation for consumers. The adoption of new technology has flipped; the majority of employees now learn of such technology in their personal life then bringing them to the office, the main driver being user experience and expectations. A 2011 survey found that over 40 percent of devices used for business applications were self-owned, as employees choose to use newer, consumer-grade software to do work rather than legacy enterprise software previously deployed. Organisations now need an email platform that facilitates the use of multiple devices. Google Apps delivers this.

It should now be evident that these trends are very real and influential forces that are redesigning how and where organisational computing is done.

AppsCare®, Google Enterprise Premier Partner is a world leader in cloud services provisions, supporting over 2500 customers in 33 countries. AppsCare® comprise 10+ years’ experience deploying technical solutions for organisations of all sizes and geographies utilising our GStall delivery methodology and AppsCare® support programmes. Our fortnightly newsletter provides latest industry news, tips and ‘how to’ features and useful information about Cloud computing, to subscribe to our mailing list click here.

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Sophie Woodman
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