Global communications services provider Verizon Business would have us know that they look at this year as one “full of opportunities for enterprises to leverage High-IQ networks [ref. below for definition], ‘everything as a service’ and enterprise apps.” Senior Vice President of Enterprise Strategy for the company, Kerry Bailey, recently outlined for our editorial team Verizon’s top 10 trend forecasts for 2011. Read on.
1 High IQ-networks will take centre stage
These networks–which comprise ultra-wideband capacity, “super” data centres for the Cloud and smart devices for anywhere, and personalised applications–will become the springboard for a new decade of innovation.
2 Everything as a Service
A ‘Cloudy’ new mindset will be taken on in corporate circles, perhaps en masse. Building for peak capacity is yesterday’s way to manage IT resources. Today’s smart CIO uses only those resources required to power his or her business. Plus, with today’s new IT delivery model centred on the Cloud, enterprises need not make large investments in capital equipment or additional IT resources.
3 Seeing Security Through
Developing and implementing a sound security plan is only the first step in protecting today’s distributed enterprise. Good security programmes include constant monitoring and tweaking to safeguard an organisation, and compliance with stringent government regulations. Once an afterthought, security today must be factored in at every step of the way when deploying new technology and protecting existing technology, whether it’s premises equipment, in the Cloud solutions or end-user devices.
4 Enterprise Apps Go Mobile
Smarter, more portable devices combined with fourth-generation wireless networks and an increased demand for workforce mobility and advanced mobile enterprise application platforms will make business apps more attractive and popular. A thin-client approach where applications are stored and delivered from the Cloud is helping to make the business case progressive yet practical to “mobilise” applications beyond the desktop to become truly accessible, seamless and secure for today’s on-the-go workforce. More powerful devices, backed by huge libraries of applications and large developer communities will help businesses capitalise on LTE-based mobile broadband that offer mobile computing experiences we can only begin to imagine.
5 Video, the New App Darling
Video will be among the most engaging business applications to take advantage of higher capacity wireless networks for face-to face and face-to-machine interaction. Just as telepresence, high-definition desktop video units and Web-based video have become prevalent in business meetings; video will become an essential tool for workers everywhere.
6 Machine to Machine Cacophony Triggers Transformation
Beneath the service of all the cool apps we employ to engage with each other, a plethora of machines will continue to run in the background, initiating and responding automatically to the business at hand. By 2014, it’s estimated that more than eight billion devices will be connected to the global Internet, leading “The Internet of Things” to surpass the number of people connected to the Net in the next four years. (Source: ABI Research.) Broken machines will call for service, inventory items that have been used up will automatically be replenished, and mobile devices with an IP address will be discoverable no matter where they are located at a given point in time. A proliferation of devices will make the world we live in more intuitive and efficient.
7 UC&C Becomes More Than a ‘Buzz Phrase’
With the advent of Cloud-based subscription models for advanced messaging, unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), smaller businesses will find a way to adopt new technologies that speed their operations. Larger businesses will take advantage of professional consulting services to chart the best course to enterprise UC&C adoption on a global scale. As a younger working population demands “social collaboration,” companies need to deliver the business-grade tools to empower employees to be more responsive and engaged with each other and with customers.
8 Farewell to IPv4
According to ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers), fewer than 5.5 percent of IPv4 addresses remain. Organisations need to plan now to ensure that e-mail, Web and business applications will be accessible via both protocols once version 4 runs out. Global network service providers, private industry and the public sector will all need to work together to ensure that websites can be reached, and that the Internet supports business as usual during the transition to the next-generation Internet protocol, IPv6.
9 Hello to Universal Identity
Imagine a virtual world where a user only required one user name and password to access any website on the Internet or the corporate LAN. In 2011, many countries around the globe will begin to put in place the infrastructure required to make this a reality, which not only adds convenience but, more importantly, stronger security for every digital user, helping to offset a major reason for breaches today—the misuse of user names and passwords.
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