IT Initiatives for 2012
Based on Industry outlook reports from groups like Information Week and Gartner, it appears that, despite the soft economy, business will continue to invest in IT initiatives that will help expand their business, improve their ability to communicate with customers, vendors and co-workers, extend their brand.
What we’ve been hearing from our customers echoes these reports. The following are some of the areas that will drive core IT spending:
Unified Communications and Mobility. UC projects can take many forms, but a common thread has been the demand to integrate mobile devices (such as Smartphones and Tablets) with the Unified Communication infrastructure current deployed. Given the Apps that are available now, and some of the new resources for video and audio conferencing from organizations such as Microsoft and Polycom, business are coming up with new and creative demands for connectivity and applications. Some of the UC/mobility initiatives we’ve seen lately include “remote sales force”, “work from home”, “small office/home office”, and “on location professional services”.
Data Center Infrastructure. Virtualizing servers and storage and updating data centers to be more redundant, automated and energy efficient were the tip of the iceberg. Businesses are still pursuing these goals, but most companies have only addressed a faction of what can be done. The true economies of scale and cost savings come from a more comprehensive virtualization strategy. Customers understand this and are taking their Data Center designs to the next level. Disaster recovery, management, site recovery and better storage scaling and management are at the heart of these follow on phases. The growth in public and private cloud services will force small and large organizations alike into re-architecting their data center.
Virtual Desktop Pilots. Most companies aren’t ready to take the plunge with converting to a Virtual Desktop (VDI) environment, but many are beginning to understand the inherent value that VDI can bring. The pilot approach allows an organization to work out the technical issues, build a system administration and management model, and begin to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership. The VDI model is no longer restricted to enterprise-sized organization. Small and Medium businesses, especially those with a diverse number of applications, are now starting to take serious interest in VDI.
Management and Monitoring. The recession may appear to be waning, but companies are still forced to do more with less. Advanced technologies, applications that come from blended public and private clouds, mobile work forces, and other new technologies are changing the game. The savings and productivity gains realized are allowing business to outsource management and monitoring services to organizations uniquely suited to supporting these evolving solutions.
-Tim Krueger, PEI