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What's shaping enterprise technology trend in 2014?

The view from carrrier, networking and security giant Verizon

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As the end of the year approaches, and enterprises around the world begin to plan for the year to come, Verizon’s annual view on enterprise-technology trends offers a timely reminder of what’s shaping the technology market from the business perspective.

We believe that enterprise users will gain unprecedented control over their technology environment in 2014, and we’ll also see a sharp focus on how enterprises and governments use technology to enhance the customer’s experience and enable innovation.

We are experiencing the democratisation of enterprise technology. In 2014, enterprise success will be measured by how well organisations are able to use technology to meet user expectations and harness individual innovation, mirroring what has happened in the consumer technology space. Our clients will look to invest and innovate so they can more rapidly and securely deliver their products and services where, when, and how their users want them.

Here are the key trends Verizon believes will drive change for enterprises and government in 2014:

The Customer of One Comes of Age:

The ability to tailor a customer’s experience to best meet personalised, individual needs will increasingly be a brand differentiator. In 2014, enterprises will refocus on customer touch points, recognising that integrated omnichannel connections - across online, mobile, broadcast and in-store - can make customers feel valued at every step of the purchase and experience lifecycle. These integrated systems will be the key to opening up new routes to markets by enabling businesses to engage directly with the individual on demand, and build trusted connections to simplify transactions. Insight provided by big data analytics will create new, individualised marketing opportunities that will transform and focus the customer engagement model.

M2M ‘as a Service’ Simplifies Path to the Connected World

Ubiquitous 4G LTE wireless service and the availability of machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions “as a service” - on demand, over the Internet and ready to use - coupled with strong security will overcome the issues that have previously prevented many organisations from fully embracing M2M. By leveraging third-party expertise, organisations will be able to quickly transform the conversations of intelligent endpoints into unprecedented insights - and unprecedented business opportunities. As M2M adoption accelerates, manufacturers, dealers and business partners will be able to realise the full potential of new revenue streams and increased operational efficiencies, while better meeting the needs of their customers.

The Shortage of Security Expertise Forces Changes to Cybersecurity Management

Continued targeted attacks and high-profile security breaches impel corporate boards of directors to demand substantial increases in security investments in 2014 - and rethinking of traditional approaches to cyber security management. As enterprises increasingly adopt mobility, big data, cloud and broadcast solutions, the complexity of effective cybersecurity programs far exceeds both the availability of human capital around the world and the capability of any one enterprise to execute alone. Enterprises will develop and execute hybrid cybersecurity-management models that combine an agile staff of in-house security-minded business experts with trusted managed security services across a broad range of capabilities such as identity management, security analytics and cyberintelligence, and governance, risk and compliance.

IT Decentralises

Organisations embracing the new information technology world of cloud, mobility and M2M will see IT increasingly decentralised. IT will be core to every business function. As a result, IT will work more closely with individual business units and focus on developing tools for seamless process enablement that empowers employees and customers. The C-suite (e.g. CFO, CMO, COO), lines of business and staff functions will increasingly take the lead role in engaging and deploying in the cloud, because of the immediate deployment speed, flexibility, control and cost value they see in cloud, as well as advantages in big data analysis. IT will be integrated into financial performance planning, and the lines between the IT department and finance will continue to blur as technology becomes the valued enabler, rather than the end game.

Providers Add Gravity to the Cloud

In a world where mobile is the norm, and rich media content is a given, the cloud will come into its own as the only location where growing data volumes can be stored, accessed and analysed on demand. In 2014, adding software and services to the cloud will be a key focus for cloud providers seeking to attract customers - adding gravity and encouraging user stickiness. Integrated cloud offerings will increasingly enable mashups of fixed and mobile networks; systems, ideas and solutions; people and things; and intelligence and information. Providing systems and tools to transform these data into insights in the cloud and on demand will transform the customer experience.

Posted by Stephen Keenan, UK & Ireland Vice President, Verizon

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