In our increasingly digitised world, consumption habits are changing – both at a consumer and enterprise level – which in turn will significantly impact the way the C-Suite assesses their company’s technology needs. Consumers and employees are demanding access to information from any device, anywhere, at any time. This places additional pressure on existing technology infrastructure to essentially deliver more with shrinking IT budgets, without compromising security or performance. 

What’s more, as businesses continue to recover in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, many are still dealing with cutbacks in IT investment and a shift in purchasing decision makers from the IT manager to business division heads, and the C-suite. With the increasing ability to implement critical technology services via software, businesses will demand the flexibility to grow based on their requirements, simply by adding additional software resources on their servers. This shift from Capital Expenditure (CapEx) to Operational Expenditure (OpEx) will mean that IT is viewed more as a utility in the coming years, opening up huge cost saving opportunities for businesses.

Ultimately, services available on-demand through flexible licensing models will become a well-trodden path – given the reported benefits are to address increasing demand on delivering services. By having access to flexible billing options, executives will be able to scale the services up (or down) as needed, without a major upfront investment.

Another trend that set to cause a series of technology shifts for businesses is the proliferation of new device adoption such as mobile phones, tablets, and ultra-mobile PCs, along with social technologies and The Internet of Things.

In fact, with the cost of smartphones predicted by Gartner to come down to below the US$50 mark, it will open up mobile technology to more people than ever before.

Inevitably, businesses need to consider more intelligent ways to serve customers online and on-the-go. As consumer mobile devices become ‘corporatised’, end-users will expect secure access to services from any device, and with web applications under increasing attack, security will also need to be top of mind.

Ultimately, whether it’s for security, mobility, performance or ensuring availability, IT infrastructure will need to align with new innovations and changing user demands.

The velocity of non-traditional enterprise applications being used in business will open up risks and require organisations to consider the security implications. Gen Y and Z employees will continue to demand a socialised environment; blurring the lines between personal-social and business-social applications. From malware to data leakage, organisations will find themselves at risk if they don’t adequately manage the social element of their organisations.

C-level executives will need to start thinking about introducing policies and ensuring their IT infrastructure is prepared to cater to this new breed of employees, in order to stay competitive. Regardless of how they access corporate information through applications, these users have come to expect equivalent or better performance on a mobile or tablet than that achieved on a typical desktop computer. What businesses need is a backend infrastructure that can help deliver image-heavy content, prioritise traffic to overcome mobile network latency, and offer visibility into application performance.

Furthermore, as cyber crime becomes more complex, with attacks from multiple angles on different devices, single-purpose security machines will be phased out in favour of sophisticated multi-purpose machines. This convergence will also happen in the context of performance, as businesses come to expect fast, reliable user experience on any device.