Citrix, the cloud company that enables mobile workstyles, revealed its technology predictions for 2014 – identifying several key trends that are expected to drive growth in the regional ICT market. As organisations continue to face pressure for change, the trends identified by Citrix highlight possible technological development opportunities for businesses across the globe.
1. 2014 will be the year of mobile app proliferation and confusion: companies saw adoption of more mobile applications this year and want to know how they can create enterprise-class applications to meet employee demand. IT will be faced with decisions such as:
o Determining whether to wait until native mobile or cloud versions of commercial-off-the shelf apps are available.
o Deciding what platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) internally developed apps should support – and in what order.
o Creating the appropriate organisational structure and processes to support the development and management of a heterogeneous application environment.
2. Leave no application data behind: In the mobile enterprise, consumer technology has taught us to care about apps, and making those apps – and the data behind them – available anywhere. For the thousands of Windows applications in corporate circulation today, the ability to host and deliver apps without leaving a trace of data behind will become more critical to enterprise mobility strategy.
3. Bring your own… everything: Today, BYOD is all the rage. Most companies support the use of personal smartphones and tablets. But most companies don’t always have the same programmes for supporting personally owned laptops. As laptops change and even become more like tablets with Windows 8.x, more companies will create plans for BYO laptops and desktops, as well as mobile devices. In addition, the “corporate-owned, personally enabled” (COPE) model will gain traction, meaning businesses will increasingly replace expensive PCs/laptops in 2014 with lower cost corporate mobile devices like tablets. This will likely be the case for devices that are used for worker-dedicated purposes or have a purpose-built application on them.
4. Mobile traffic will eclipse wired traffic: With tablets purchases overtaking PC shipments, mobile devices are becoming the primary computing devices for many end users. With the huge increase in the amount of data exchanged on mobile devices, IT will need to better plan wireless network bandwidth and capacity. When mobile devices were a secondary computing devices, quality of service issues were less urgent to address – people could always fall back on their PCs. With many employees now relying on their tablets to access business critical apps and data, reliability and service levels will become important. The mobile network will need to handle additional loads through emails, apps and data accessed on the mobile devices.
5. 2014 will not be the year of VDI: Over recent years, many industry pundits have declared 2014 to be the year of Virtualised Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). While VDI will continue to gain mainstream traction across all industries, the big conversation for 2014 will be about delivering apps, not desktops. Two trends dominating 2014 will be the maturity of enterprise mobility strategies and cloud-hosted desktops – as leading telco providers such as AT&T and BT realise the market opportunity. While VDI can and will play a role in cloud-hosted desktops, the conversation is likely to move away from where the desktops are running and instead focus on the lifecycle management of those desktops.
“2014 is going to see the continued growth of a number of trends, all revolving around the demand for mobility solutions. In 2013 we saw businesses struggling to adapt to the influx of applications and devices coming into the workplace, resulting in organisations looking for quick fix solutions to the problem. Over the coming year we expect to see a change in attitudes to this challenge, with businesses recognising how embracing mobility can result in long term benefits. Businesses will be looking to empower employees to work and collaborate from anywhere, giving them secure access to apps and data as if they were in their own office” said Michael Church, enterprise manager at Citrix South Africa.