Verizon Predicts 5 Business-Tech Trends for 2013

As the new year draws near, Verizon has zeroed in on five key business-tech trends that could help companies renovate their businesses in 2013.

According to the company, next year’s most meaningful opportunities for enterprises include adopting hybrid clouds, mobility strategies, M2M connections, “invisible” networks and increased security measures.

First, the company predicts a significant shift from the traditional virtual private network (VPN) to public, private, and most importantly, hybrid clouds. According to a Gartner report, more than 60 percent of all enterprises will have adopted some form of cloud computing by 2013.

“To keep up with the changing demands of today’s enterprise, the ideal platform needs to be secure and easy to use and configure,” said David Small, senior vice president and chief platform officer for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

“In 2013, if you can’t switch workloads between public and private clouds, you won’t be competitive,” he added. “This next year will require a bold approach to embracing change and re-engineering networks in support of cloud-based applications.”

Verizon’s second prediction involves an increase of cloud-based enterprise mobility strategies, which will create personal clouds for employees to use enterprise applications, enabling them to do their jobs more effectively.

“Employees and the customers they serve have less and less separation between their work and private lives,” Small said. “Enterprises in 2013 must accommodate and prioritize this new demand for efficiency and productivity, and information-technology departments will play a key role in meeting the growing appetite for professional mobility on a personal level.”

This change will allow companies to be more proactive in tackling the challenges associated with the division of employees’ personal and professional lives by creating a more secure, mobile work environment.

The third prediction is that machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will continue to grow and meet specific industry requirements.

Networks of sensors with direct M2M connections now underpin connected health care and consumer-ready automotive telematics, Verizon said.

“Verizon’s acquisition of Hughes Telematics will help fuel this evolution,” said Small. “In 2013, this dramatic growth will extend to retail, finance and manufacturing.”

A fourth prediction by Verizon includes an intelligent fabric that connects everything, which will render underlying networks invisible to end-users.

“Improvements in network reliability and resiliency, coupled with intelligent endpoints, serve as the foundation for connecting smart machines and smarter people,” Small said. “We will see a shift in 2013 to more dynamic networks, pervasive IP connections, and purpose-built networks that serve businesses, consumers and society.”

Small added that the network continues to grow in importance, and we will continue to take it for granted.

Verizon’s final prediction is that identity security will be a bigger issue in 2013.

Two-factor authentication is already gaining adherents, according to Small, but it will not counteract the increasing amount of criminal activity.

“The race is on to protect every endpoint, every device and everything connected to the Internet,” Small said. “While the Internet affords us countless opportunity it also comes with a price. No longer is strong security an option; it’s a mandatory requirement for all organizations to protect their intellectual and physical capital, customer identities and society at large.”

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