Technology and the Enterprise: 2013 Trends

Three major trends that will shape the way enterprises think about technology in 2013.

By Devanshi Garg

In no other industry are traditions thrown to the wind as fast as they are in technology. In 2013, the relationship between IT and the enterprise will become closer, working in conjunction for the betterment of the organization. In addition, as geographic boundaries continue to disintegrate, what was considered traditional outsourcing will undergo a significant shift, while our expectations of the digital experience we consume and deliver to our consumers will be like never before.

As business continues to evolve, so does technology and the way we produce it. Conducting business innovatively means thinking about technology differently. Organizations that listen and evolve will continue to be successful year after year. The following are the three major trends that Icreon predicts are going to shape the way enterprises think about technology in 2013.

Trend #1: An end to IT failure

In years past, more IT projects have failed than succeeded in spite of the software itself ticking all the boxes. It is becoming clear that the technology itself is still the easier part of the puzzle. Everything around the technology -- the users, the communication, and the organizational transformation -- is the harder part that will eventually determine the success and longevity of software being rolled out. IT professionals are becoming more attentive than ever to larger business goals and to the role that end users play in the ultimate success of the software. In 2013, expect the two (often opposing) forces to uncover novel ways to work together more effectively and productively.

Organizations planning for successful IT projects should be setting aside comparable budgets for the more intangible aspects of software development from inception to implementation. This includes requirements gathering, communication plans, change management, and training strategies, and knowledge of how to influence stakeholder buy-in and maximize user adoption.

Trend #2: Reverse outsourcing

The early days of globalization triggered a mass movement of work eastwards. However, as the world truly becomes flat, it will no longer be about the loss of jobs in the West but about the new kinds of jobs that are being created to replace the more traditional jobs. In 2013, more organizations will evolve beyond the constraints of geographic borders. The drivers will no longer be about getting work completed at a lower price but more about access to an international pool of talent that is relatively untapped.

The lesson for organizations is to think less about offshoring and more about smarter redistribution of labor based on the core capabilities of different markets. What part of a project does it make sense to offshore and what part of the project makes sense to keep close to home? What is the right composition based on our needs and budgets? This will help companies attain the delicate balance between what is practical and what is profitable.

Trend #3: Continuity across devices

With more users working across multiple devices on multiple platforms, 2013 will see a trend of filling the gaps left behind by today’s digital experience -- how to pick up a session on different devices, exactly where you left off. Although innovative companies such as Netflix and Amazon have pioneered this concept of continuity with Whispersync technology, they have paved the way for this user experience to become a benchmark in the months to come. In 2013, this will be an inherent expectation in today’s world of different devices.

Although previous years involved ensuring compatibility and functionality across multiple browsers and multiple devices, successful organizations will be thinking about smarter movement across these multiple browsers and multiple devices. With data available from anywhere, Web sites will be designed to be nothing short of responsive and mobile applications will sync in real time to the respective Web applications. The art lies in increasing technical sophistication to provide a simplified experience for users that will make employees, customers, or other stakeholders’ wonder how things possibly could have existed in any other way.

In 2013, some of the traditions that the IT industry has held onto will be challenged and will continue to change and evolve to better business and the digital world.

Devanshi Garg is COO of Icreon, where she is responsible for overall operations and business development. You can contact the author at nikki@icreontech.com.

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