Future-Proofing Can Be Preparedness
By Dave Courbanou
A lot of planning goes into rolling out a major workplace upgrade, be it cloud services or the sweeping adoption of mobility. With no shortage of pain points and hurdles, it may seem like all efforts to stay relevant and future-proof will be plagued by lengthy transition processes. But that doesn’t have to be true. Small steps today can pay off big tomorrow.
Gartner has unveiled predictions for IT organizations and vertical industries that stretch far beyond 2013. Within that list, two predictions are well suited for CIOs.
Through 2014, Gartner predicts enterprise software spending will jump 25 percent. That spending jump is a direct “consequence of the proliferation of smart operational technology.” In plain English, it means the connected technology that enters the work environment will facilitate the use of more software and software technology to manage and maintain the functionality of those devices.
CIOs should already be cloud-ready, but one cloud overhaul shouldn’t put the company on cruise control. A well-prepared CIO will look at existing connected devices and plot device growth in relation to the technology and software needed to support that growth. This will make yearly budgeting and budget requests incremental and streamlined processes that are easy to propose and can keep the workplace flowing when new technology is introduced and requires connectivity.
It’s possible software spending may also jump as a result of an increased amount of user seats and/or an increased reliance of cloud services for remote workers. Keeping track of the 2013 business environment should help CIOs understand where software resources need to be allocated when 2014 rolls around.
Gartner’s second prediction is less likely to impact the everyday CIO, but for those operating inside any government-influenced vertical or business environment, now is the time to be vigil on existing business alliances that revolve around cloud services. Gartner predicts over 50 percent of “government shared-service organizations that provide cloud services by 2015 will discontinue or downscale them by 2017.”
That may mean ensuring migration capabilities are already in place, offloading critical information to avoid cloud silo-ing or ensuring all existing information is well-managed and ready for an upstream path to a new cloud environment. Depending on compliance and security needs, CIOs may want to keep a small portfolio of alternative providers that will aid in the transition. The small time to research and prepare today can pay off big when key decisions need to be made in a short window of time.
Whether its boy scouts or CIOs, the motto is still applicable: Be prepared. It’s the best solution for today’s environment of fast-paced change.