Four Technology Trends for 2013
Over the years, many products, technologies and IT
related business trends have been hyped beyond their significance. With that in
mind, here are four things to keep an eye on as we
The network has long been king at Inte
rop, the tech conference that will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011. But networking
"has fallen behind" over the past couple of years as a new emphasis on cloud computing and virtualization has taken hold, say
general manager Lenny Heym
ann. But now it's time to put the focus back on the network.
"In the last couple years it does seem a lot of other areas have surged ahead and networking has fallen behind," Heymann says
Networks have become more stable over the years, and innovation
in different directions such as cloud computing and
virtualization, Heymann said. But networks, far from becoming irrelevant, have to be rock
solid to take advantage of new technologies.
"We need to look at how networks respond to some of these ch
anges that have really swept through the market," Heymann says.
"There were changes in the data center around cloud computing and virtualization that have put pressure on networks and there
some changes that need to be made."
Because of virtualization
technologies like live migration, virtual machines can move around the data center at warp speed, but the
ability to manage the network and servers "is lagging the speed at which the VMs can be moved from one machine to another,"
Heymann says. "Management
of network has to be speedier, more efficient and automated to keep up."
And while cloud computing lets IT shops offload applications and processing power to vendor
hosted networks, customers must
integrate their own networks with those hosted by the clo
ud vendors and make sure they can handle the new traffic originating from
outside their own networks. Vendors like F5 and Riverbed have been making progress in ensuring that performance doesn't suffe
customers connect to the cloud, Heymann says.
Enterprise mobility is driven by the need for seamless access to information anytime, anywhere and from any device. However,
reaching effects on the enterprise in areas such as security risk, use policies, manageability and
governance. This three
series on enterprise mobility trends discusses mobility drivers, risks and mobility governance issues and examines how workfo
demographics can affect enterprise mobility.
One of the biggest drivers for enterprise mobility is the need for seamless access to information. Employees have grown accus
having ubiquitous information access in their personal lives and expect the same in their professional lives. In the past,
would try to compartmentalize their personal and work lives in order to protect their personal time from job encroachment. No
opposite is true. Many employees move seamlessly between work and personal life and expect that their employers w
ill support this
new work paradigm.
Some enterprises struggle to create a business case that quantifies productivity gains and calculates a return on investment
technology. This is very difficult to do, however, and most enterprises simply ac
cept the idea that mobility results in productivity
improvement. For many employees, a mobile work environment is now an expectation, analogous to the expectation that their
employer will provide a local area network and Internet access. Therefore, many en
terprises often deploy mobility technology without
front justification or global planning.
The most profound risk to enterprise mobility is data leakage on mobile devices. Once a user transfers sensitive data to a mo
data can be compromised if the device is lost or stolen, or the data is transferred to another device. This concern is exacer
the fact that the design of most mobile devices is driven by the needs of consumers rather than businesses and therefore i
unsuitable for the enterprise. Lastly, the mobile device has become the new network perimeter, so enterprises can no longer s
upon firewalls in order to lock down their sensitive information.
Some organizations have a policy that require
s users to encrypt sensitive data on a laptop hard drive, but few organizations encrypt
sensitive data stored on handheld devices. This means that sensitive data on a handheld is often more vulnerable to theft. In
of a lost or stolen mobile devic
e, many enterprises will remotely "wipe" the device, thereby removing sensitive information. Some
vendors, such as Research In Motion (RIM), enable the IT manager to remotely disable the mobile device and restore it to fact
defaults. Some enterprises ha
ve invested in technology to find lost or stolen laptops, such as Computrace's LoJack for Laptops product.
Many organizations encrypt sensitive information that is transmitted between the mobile device and enterprise servers by usin
rk (VPN) technology. This "in transit" encryption is typically performed while users communicate on the road or at home. A
few organizations even enforce the use of VPNs while users communicate over the office wireless LAN (WLAN).
Although many organizati
ons enforce the use of two
factor authentication on laptops, handheld authentication policies lag behind
laptop authentication policies. For example, many organizations require a simple four
digit personal identification number (PIN), or no
password at all
. If a handheld device does not have a password and is lost or stolen, any sensitive data stored on it is easily accessible.
The small size of handheld devices makes it easy for them to fall out of a pocket or purse and thus to become a security risk
a leakage on mobile devices is a major risk for almost every enterprise. Unfortunately, handheld security policies often lag
similar laptop security policies. This can result in security breaches and increased legal liability. Enterprises must caref
ully evaluate their
risk tolerance and then secure sensitive information before granting mobile device access privileges to users.
based Mobile Software/Applications
Of late, there has been some media hype around mobile applications. This has led to
a somewhat distorted and narrow picture of
mobile apps, which doesn’t help any business to make an informed choice about mobile strategy. If you believe mobile apps are
right path for your business, then you need to consider all smartphone platforms (i
ncluding the 85 percent that are not Apple), if not all
handsets (including the 97 percent that are not Apple). And you must consider browser
based mobile apps (Web apps)
as well as
download (native) apps.
You don’t read much in the press about Web
today (compared to media coverage of native apps), leading mobiThinking to
assume that not much is known about Web apps outside techie circles, and to the suspicion that even some of those may struggl
articulate to the marketing department exactly whe
re mobile Web ends and Web app begins. So we approached the World Wide Web
Consortium (W3C) for some assistance. The W3C is the authority that’s driving the standards behind HTML5
the new more mobile
friendly version of the Web language
and all the ass
ociated standard interfaces that help, or will help, Web apps to do almost
everything that gets people excited about download apps.
What is a mobile app?
Mobile applications or apps are compact software programs that perform specific tasks for the mobile
user. There are two types of
1) The native app must be installed on the device; they either arrive pre
installed on the phone
these might include address book,
calendar, calculator, games, maps and Web browser
or they can be downloaded fro
m for free or a small fee from Web sites
these sites are called app stores. Native apps are either written specifically for a type of handset
as many iPhone applications have
so they can take more advantage of a phone’s functions, or as Ja
this was the norm with download apps until
to run on many handsets.
2) The Web app resides on server and is accessed via the Internet. It performs specified tasks
potentially all the same ones as a native
e mobile user, usually by downloading part of the application to the device for local processing each time it is used.
The software is written as Web pages in HTML and CSS, with the interactive parts in Java. This means that the same applicatio
n can be
d by most devices that can surf the Web (regardless of the brand of phone).
It is much easier for the mobile user to conceptualize what this means in practice with the download app: click (pay)
click on icon
run. With the Web app
it’s not so easy: you visit the mobile site and it does things for you
isn’t that just a mobile site?
In the real world this shouldn’t matter, but the world has become obsessed by apps
partly due to the awesome power of the Apple
marketing machine and
some pretty ignorant journalism. Consumers on their PC will just play a game, music or video or update their
social networking page; it might be installed locally, via disk or download or accessed via the Web, but no one considers if
it is an
r not. On mobile, the same consumers want
or marketing people think consumers want, or have convinced them they
apps. It’s all about the packaging (more on this later).
The way we work is changing rapidly, offering an enormous com
petitive advantage to those who embrace the new tools that enable
contextual, agile and simplified information exchange and collaboration to distributed workforces and networks of partners an
Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the technologies and
business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy
communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the ri
through a web of inter
ns, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many,
translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility.
Enterprise 2.0 Conference takes a strategic perspecti
ve, emphasizing the bigger picture implications of the technology and the
exploration of what is at stake for organizations trying to change not only tools, but also culture and process.