It’s a very busy time of year for those looking at technology direction and futures. It’s European conference time, which generally means time taken out of the day job to go and spend time listening to this year’s uplift in technology from vendor X, Y and Z. Added to that this year, we’ve got Microsoft’s (probably) largest ever uplift in technology stack, all due in the next few months. They’ve already released Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 release’s the end of this month (as does the new phone platform), and then we’ve got new versions of Office, Exchange and SharePoint server all due around Feb 2013. It’s going to be a busy few months for sure,
What’s actually most interesting right now though is that for as long as I can remember, (and I’m old now), I can never remember a time when workplace related technology has been so in vogue and prominent. Ten years back, the smartphone was a mere pipedream, the palm pilot and HP IPaq and other such technology existed, but you’d never consider it mainstream. Certainly carrying one around wouldn’t been have deemed cool. No, corporate IT was squarely about providing services to end user to do a job. Options were pretty much limited to a desktop, or, if you were really quite important, you might get a laptop. A £2000 device at that! A mobile phone had a mono screen, and basically you could text and do calls on it. (I think we’ve still got a few of those about still J )
Roll forwards to now, and how things have changed. Sure, the desktop and laptop exist, (though the price point has dropped considerably), we’ve added the word virtualisation into the mix (in many different forms; application, client and user to name just 3), Broadband speeds are now approaching 100Mb at home; the smartphone is everywhere, tablets too. 3G is here now, with 4G likely to be mainstream in most large cities by mid-2013, (that will provide near broadband speeds over cellular networks), and of course we’ve added the ability to provide services from outside the private network with this thing called “cloud”. Certainly options aren’t the problem here are they? Or are they?
The problem for our customers is though is one of choice. A bewildering array of choices presents itself to them on how they may deliver (and consume), their workplace related services, and of course, new versions of technology often stimulate questions of how and should I, (or should I even bother) uplift from our customers. So often I go to see a customer, and their biggest challenge is trying to appreciate what this new technology means to them. That’s where we come in; providing our customers with the pragmatic considered view. We don’t make anything, and so our IPR and knowledge of what works best is why our customers chose to work with us. We shouldn’t be afraid of having that informed and considered view, it’s what our customers really want from us, and we’ll continue to keep doing, integrating this new tech into our proposition stack.
Look out for more news and thoughts on all these new developments over the coming months; it’s going to take some dissecting.