The face of IT is changing rapidly and there's no going back. As a direct result of current economic necessities and ongoing technological developments, the IT industry is undergoing a number of fundamental shifts. In order to remain relevant to their clients and customers, it is increasingly important for businesses to monitor these developments closely, adapting essential products and services to meet new marketplace demands.
We've compiled the following list of 5 top industry trends changing the face of IT to help your business prepare for the fast-approaching future:
Mobile Devices --The basic tools that businesses and consumers use to interact with each other are currently undergoing a major behavioral shift. More than one-third of the conventional PC market is on the verge of being replaced by smartphones and tablet computers in the coming year and this trend shows no signs of slowing. By 2014, it is predicted that mobile Internet usage will overtake traditional desktop usage.
Cloud Computing --As businesses look for new ways to scale back on overhead and infrastructure costs, they are turning increasingly to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based computing solutions. Spurred in no small part by growing consumer confidence in this new technology, more and more businesses are discovering the advantages of moving their software applications to remote private cloud networks. As the economy recovers and growth resumes, these solutions allow for low-cost, on-demand scalability.
Virtualization --Just as cloud computing and SaaS have revolutionized the way companies access their software applications, recent trends in virtualization are allowing businesses to eliminate entire server farms and slash the associated operating costs. In addition to streamlining and making IT infrastructure more economical and flexible, server virtualization has laid the groundwork for more strategic IT initiatives going forward. As a result, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (in which companies rely on equipment owned by service providers) and Platform-as-a-Service (IaaS with a software development framework) are also growing in popularity.
Telework/Virtual Offices --With cloud computing capabilities and other advances in office connectivity growing by leaps and bounds, companies worldwide are realizing the cost-saving benefits of virtual office environments. By moving away from traditional physical office-based business models toward remote network structures, more and more businesses are taking advantage of this new technology to increase productivity and reduce overhead.
Alternative Productivity Applications -- Influenced by the recent economic downturn, companies are looking for new methods of improving productivity, increasing employee efficiency and optimizing their overall business processes. In this pursuit, new solutions in videoconferencing, unified communications and business intelligence applications will continue to grow and develop, since they help employees to work collaboratively in remote office environments. In addition to improvements in these already established areas, there is considerable demand and room for growth in the productivity software sector, with more and more businesses adopting new programs designed to improve efficiency, lower operating costs and streamline business processes.