Five Enterprise Tech Trends for 2013: BYOD, VPNs, AaaS, Big Data and Business Intelligence

By Erin Harrison October 15, 2012

As we near the middle of the fourth quarter of 2012, industry analysts are making their predictions for how the New Year will play out for enterprise technology. It’s no surprise that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), big data and business intelligence are among some of the key challenges expected to have a significant impact on businesses in 2013.

Shahin Pirooz, CTO and CSO of CenterBeam, recently outlined five of the top enterprise tech trends for 2013 – citing BYOD as the top issue, but he said they are all connected, and therefore comprise a “megatrend.”

Image via Shutterstock

“In essence, these are a single trend, but are a bit more serial, or sequential, than parallel. As we dabble in the cloud, we are faced with more BYOD.  As we have more BYOD, we need more data. As we get more data, we have big data issues. As we have more Big Data issues, we have more need for cloud, and thus we need an easier way to get to our Big Data,” Pirooz said.

 “As we define better/more mobile ways of working, we have less need for client VPNs. As the data proliferates, we need better ways to find the information we need, and in comes analytics, indexing and archiving.  This is the proverbial snake eating its tale.”

Read on for his predictions for the year ahead in enterprise IT.

1. BYOD remains the biggest issue: The proliferation of employee-owned devices (BYOD) – specifically iPads and other tablet computers – in the enterprise, the challenges that IT departments face trying to identify and manage such a wide variety of endpoints, and the desire for employees to work from anywhere at any time has been the catalyst for the rampant demand on IT services and support within the enterprise.  As we move into 2013, we will continue to see BYOD as a hot topic.

In fact, smartphones are expected to outpace PC sales by 4:1 and tablet sales will match PC sales by 2016. CenterBeam estimates that mid-sized enterprises often underestimate how many mobile devices are accessing their networks by at least 50 percent.  While this is not a new problem, it is one that will become more challenging as we make the transition from PC to table/thin device, Pirooz said.

2. VPNs will become obsolete. Greater use of cloud solutions is giving more employees the opportunity to access corporate resources remotely through their iPhones, iPads and Android-based smartphones and tablets. With mobility driving worker productivity, enterprises are looking at even more cloud services to support new and innovative use cases, which then spur even greater use of mobile technology. And that snowball will keep gaining steam until client-based VPNs become completely obsolete.

3. Applications as a Service (AaaS) will replace your blue “Start” button: As enterprises move more functionality to the cloud, Pirooz said there will be a huge shift to cloud-based applications. “Managing desktops has always been a drain on IT support. Moving applications to the cloud makes sense not only from a resource standpoint, but also from a cost and accessibility standpoint as more employees use personal mobile devices for work,” he said.

4.  Big data is a big headache: As more mobility takes over IT, there will need to be data that can be exposed to the mobile devices, according to Pirooz. 

“This means a more concerted shift from physical documents to electronic ones.  As we become a more electronic world, we have real challenges we need to deal with in terms of storage of all that new (or old converted) electronic content. The problem is that our data archival models of the past do not work for unstructured data (documents) because they were designed for structured (database) data,” he said.  “So, we have to figure out how to store the mass of unstructured (scanned) documents and more importantly how to index and retrieve them.”

5.  Business Intelligence and Analytics: Once we get a handle on the big data problem and have figured out how and where to store and how to retrieve the unstructured data, Pirooz said that organizations will need Business Intelligence and Analytics that can work against these new storage and retrieval paradigms. This is where Splunk and others like them can shine, he said.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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