With 2012 almost complete it’s about that time for us at Magikos IT to put modern pen-to-paper and blog about our technical predictions for 2013. However in keeping with Magikos IT ethos, we provide these predictions without having the need to survey thousands of IT staff and managers, without the need to pay significant fees to research and advisory companies or by using such obscure language that any ordinary person would not know if the predictions came true or not. At Magikos IT we aim to communicate with our clients, customers and friends using everyday language that everyone can understand so that they are able to make informed decisions about their IT needs knowing what they are undertaking and why. Here we list some of our predictions along with a brief explanation which we hope will allow better planning and budget setting for 2013 within the SMB and SME IT arena.
1. Mobile and Tablet Devices
With mobility expected surpass desktop services by 2014, the gap between desktops and mobile devices are getting closer and closer with every single day. A great customer experience on mobile devices can lead to return visitors, good referrals and increased sales. Although the size of the device matters, whether it’s a desktop or a mobile, but a very responsive website can return in more customers and that is where mobility support stands out. Supporting mobility is another trend that is to increase next year with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for work becoming more and more acceptable and in turn making organisations support more difficult.
2. Internet Streamed Services
With further increased plans for more bandwidth and the further adoption of faster broadband capabilities this will lead to huge increases in online streamed services such as TV, film, voice and video. Desktop services and mobile services predicted to increase significantly next year, SMB’s should prepare for bandwidth demands and improved communication services by reviewing their Internet connections and being ready to adopt the services when they become available at prices everyone can benefit from.
3. IT Asset Management
IT asset management will have renewed scrutiny so that there can be greater consolidation of data and so a company can evolve from being only reactive to being able to perform proactive actions, such as predictive replacement and automated licensing reviews. This will be driven by the need and desire to move services to the Cloud and the required planning to perform this strategic improvement.
4. Cloud Computing
SMBs haven’t swapped out all of their on-site solutions in favor of the cloud, but the trend is clearly moving to the cloud in all application areas. The evolution is continuing at a steady pace, as evidenced trends in SMB purchasing decisions. In some areas, cloud is due to overtake on-site solutions. For instance, almost a third of SMBs that purchased or upgraded collaboration, marketing automation, BI and data backup in the past 24 months chose cloud solutions, and almost half of SMBs planning to purchase solutions in those areas in the next month plan cloud deployments. A further increase in Cloud Outsourcing to control costs and improve services will continue in 2013.
5. Mobile Wallets and Near Field Communications
Recently, there are many examples of companies embracing mobile payment solutions. For example, the partnership between Square and Starbucks has paved a clear cut payment for online mobile service solutions. Square, who is one of the front runners in online solutions, now processes all credit and debit card transactions at Starbucks stores across the United States. Apart from Square, Google Wallet and Passbook from iOS are among others who are competing in mobile payment solutions platform. As more and more devices are capable of making small payments using Near Field Communication services, this trend is very likely to increase in 2013.
6. Data Backup for Individuals
With Cloud Computing and Mobile Devices both set for major increases in 2013, backup will also have to follow suit. However in the past data backup was confined to the server rooms and major data centres but the trend likely for 2013 is that every individual will require full backup solutions that ensure the company data is being protected. As the traditional workplace declines and people work in ever unlikely environments, the data they produce will need to be kept safe from disclosure and protected to ensure companies and individuals can continue to function when the IT lets them down. Individual desktop/laptop/tablet backup will increase significantly in 2013 to support the other trends being predicted.
7. Authentication Improvements
Finally we can begin to see the first nail in the coffin of the username and password only approach to data security. Two factor authentication will become the norm and as Cloud adoption is further increased in 2013, the need to protect the data stored on the Internet will also have to play its part. This will make IT managers and project managers ensure that further steps are taken to ensure the security of the data stored on these networks and as such the humble username and password will no longer be suitable for the requirements of this new platform.
8. Internet Outages Will Cause Problems
Web outages will cause more damage than they have so before. Not because there are more bad guys, although there are, but because one site often feeds into many others, which in turn feed to additional sites. Think of the Facebook Like button. When Facebook has a problem with its code, as it did last spring, it causes problems at thousands of other sites. In addition, as we predict further increases in mobile use and cloud services, along with several other supporting services, we will become further and further reliant on these Internet connected services. Unless you have sufficient support to manage the outages and have planned for business continuity in these circumstances this could affect your bottom line, business reputation and the ability to attract customers to your services in ways that have not yet been predicted as your Internet service being unavailable now impacts your business faster and deeper than ever before.
With appropriate planning and service provision you can make significant gains on your competition by implementing plans and services to either adopt, improve or expand in the areas detailed above and in conjunction plan for service outages and how your will continue to operate when this happens; making further significant distinguishing differences over your competitors and competition. If any of these services are in areas you would like to explore, please get in touch with Magikos IT and we will be happy to assist you planning a successful 2013. Simply click the button below or use the link to our ‘Contact‘ page.