-McKinsey & Company, The four global forces breaking all the trends
Make no mistake. We are in the midst of a global, technological disruption and it IS changing business as we know it. Fast.
How much and how fast? Consider this: The iPhone was released in 2007 (and Android not long after.) In less than a decade, mobile devices have changed how we interact with each other, with brands and how we consume information. The pervasive influence of mobility has only just begun.
Now consider the following prediction by McKinsey & Company. In less than 10 years, 1 trillion “things” will be connected to the Internet, with an estimated value between $4T to $11T (that’s trillion, with a T). Everything will be digitally connected resulting in business operations and processes that function in very different ways.
Networks are facing an onslaught of mobile demand, automated digital processes, and potentially millions of devices that need to talk to each other. Intelligent, application fluent, and automated network access technologies will act as both sentry and facilitator of the business ecosystem, dynamically recognizing, authenticating or rejecting devices. Technology that fails to keep pace will create unsustainable stress on the business. Business demands will continue to evolve and in most cases, a lot of flexibility is required of IT.
Multiple cloud combinations are now being used by most companies. Hosted and managed service models are delivering applications, platforms, and even infrastructure on demand. Everything as a service is emerging as an option for businesses of every size. There are many advantages.
Unified communications is an example of a promising integrated application set that was never able to gain traction in the early digital evolution. Its promise has lingered unfulfilled for over a decade, until the evolution of “apps” and new subscription models emerged.
Solution platforms now allow individual users, teams, and entire enterprises to configure custom components on demand so users can select individual tools and pay only for what they need and use. This is the model of our OpenTouch Cloud Communications Suites.
New hybrid infrastructure models are also emerging, reinforcing the desire to shift fixed capital investment into operational and consumption based models. A new trend in wired and wireless LAN infrastructure is enabling a managed service provider to deploy the required equipment to support network access with the cost based directly on measured consumption. This is very attractive to businesses with seasonal or other fluctuations. We refer to this model as Network on Demand.
It was only a matter of time before the pace of innovation overtook traditional business technology investment practices resulting in new acquisition models. The cloud is now a well-understood option for businesses and consumers. Today, apps and platforms are delivered directly to end-users through the cloud, as a hosted ‘à la carte’ subscription model, and made interoperable via APIs that interconnect them.
For IT teams, it is not always an easy or comfortable change, but there are many benefits. When measured against the current overhead of merely maintaining the network or applications infrastructure, discovering the opportunity to invest in projects that directly support business priorities – well, that is a welcome change for CIOs. They are, and should be, always mindful that they are business innovators rather than technical support, and must ensure business technology deployed can adapt quickly to a changing market.