5 IT Industry Trends for 2014

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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'Tis the season for predictions. The team at Cherwell Software just unveiled a set of important industry trends that they say will drive innovation and activity in 2014.

The first is BYOD, and how it will continue to be a challenge for business, while liberating for employees. Some IT departments are seeing employees bring in devices for which they have no expertise.

"Rather than try and fight it, smart companies will begin to invest in training their employees on those IT Service Management (ITSM) devices and services outside of their core competency — or outsourcing support to someone that has the competency," noted Josh Caid, director of product management at Cherwell Software. it'll be cheaper in the long run than it would be to give your employees company-owned devices, he said. New ITSM solutions will start to enter the mainstream and enhance BYOD security.

Second, cloud security will gain importance next year. NSA leaker Edward Snowden has made companies nervous about data hosted by third parties. Next year, ITSM SaaS vendors will need to adapt quickly to the need for increased security. Customers will certainly be more vigilant.

Third, IT departments will recognize the importance of customer service in order to compete with third-party vendors.

"Unless an IT organization wants to be relegated to staring at those mesmerizing network lights to make sure they stay on, they will need to devise creative new ways to embrace the strategic needs of the business — and offer impeccable customer experience to end users," Caid said.  The best ITSM organizations are making this transition and more will do so next year.

Fourth, tablets might finally make PCs obsolete. While tablets haven't relegated desktops and laptops to the dumpster just yet, improvements in power and speed on mobile devices are helping them "finally catch up with the promises." Cherwell says there'll be a point in 2014 when many people decide that they can do their whole job with a tablet and docking station.

Last, but not least, micro task-driven apps will rule the day, even on Windows.

"Even as Apple changed their early 'Web browser only' mobile app strategy into a native app strategy – and rather successfully, I might add – we’ve seen the exact opposite happen with desktop platforms," said Caid. "For some reason, in the battle between native Mac and Windows applications vs. browser-based applications, the browser has been winning. This will begin to change in 2014 as ITSM developers start to view the desktop OSes as 'devices.'  We will see more line-of-business applications such as ERP, ITSM, accounting and others begin to move towards a micro-app approach and away from the cumbersome, monolithic installations we have seen in the past."

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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