Trends 5 and 6By Samuel Greengard Print
Despite a brutal economy and tight budgets, organizations are making plans to deploy the technologies that are most likely to drive their business in 2010. Here are 10 business and technology trends that will help solidify those plans.
5 Centralization, Standards and Governance
The “Great Recession” and increasingly fragmented computing resources have forced many organizations to address IT centralization, standards and governance issues head on. “IT executives are taking a closer look at the components of IT and how IT is supporting the enterprise,” says Bob Zukis, national IT strategy and operations lead partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “They’re recognizing that a governed, standardized, well-managed approach to IT drives a lower-cost basis and greater value.”
Baseline’s survey of IT executives indicates that 85 percent of organizations will boost their investment in governance processes and applications in 2010. Mobility, managed services, cloud computing, virtualization, Web 2.0, security, SLA management and an array of other initiatives—often revolving around more effective asset management—have prompted organizations to focus on developing better governance and standardization strategies.
In addition, businesses find themselves facing a growing array of government and industry regulations. As a result, governance, risk and compliance (GRC) play an important role in corporate strategy.
John Shepard, director of global IT infrastructure services at Starbucks Coffee in Seattle, believes that the business world is beginning to recognize that “there’s an entire process framework required for effective IT governance.” Many organizations, including Starbucks—which uses Apptio software to manage costs and provide business intelligence and reporting—are turning to specialized applications to gain a holistic view of desktop and mobile devices, peripherals and goal-based provisioning. Shepard believes that in 2010, cloud computing may play a role in simplifying asset management by reducing provisioning and licenses.
6 Knowledge Sharing, Business Intelligence and Social Networking
Not long ago, knowledge management was a business strategy in search of a viable approach. Organizations struggled with how to capture, store, and put information and knowledge to use. Web 2.0—including blogs, wikis and social networking—has transformed the landscape and made knowledge sharing a reality. At the same time, XML-based tools and service-oriented architecture (SOA) components have made it easier and simpler to share documents and data.
These tools are rapidly moving into the mainstream and redefining the way the business world interacts. More than two-thirds of Baseline respondents indicated increased interest in social networking at their firms, and 60 percent said their companies are gravitating toward knowledge and document management applications.
“Organizations are looking at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other services, and are beginning to recognize the tremendous value there,” says Deniece Peterson, principal analyst at Input. These cloud-based Web 2.0 tools are ushering in entirely new ways to think, share and interact.
In some cases, organizations are adapting social media and combining these tools with business intelligence to provide real-time analytics on how data, information and knowledge are flowing throughout the organization—and beyond. BI is now being embedded in an array of applications and is being widely used to guide a variety of decision-making processes. Other enterprises are tapping social media to assemble teams, document practices and expertise, and to identify subject matter experts who would have fallen between the cracks in the past.
Murry Christensen, director of learning technologies at JetBlue Airways, says that the ability to consolidate documents and data is paramount. The airline has turned to an XML-based content management system from Mark Logic in order to move to a distributed authorship model and push ownership of content out to those creating it—without regard to the device. JetBlue is also looking to use social media tools to stay in touch with its highly mobile, distributed work force via mobile phones.
Meanwhile, many other organizations are using social networking to handle everything from sales to customer support.
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