The Converging IT Landscape
With networks getting faster and the whole world going mobile, the number of connections is growing at an unprecedented rate. By next year, the amount of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on the planet, and by 2020, will reach 50 billion. And those devices are getting smarter all the time.
While there is no doubt that mobility, cloud and big data are each enabling business transformation, imagine what they could do collectively. That’s the power of convergence, and it’s revolutionizing the IT and business landscape.
This convergence brings together applications, systems and processes to help meet current needs while preparing for future innovation. It’s at the heart of the Internet of Everything (IoE) in connecting people, process, data and things in new and innovative ways. And mobility is a driving force fuelling this evolving landscape, breaking down barriers and enabling the birth of entirely new kinds of business and economic models.
Mobility: A Cornerstone in the Converging IT Landscape
Mobile devices are already a pervasive part of our lives. As mobility continues to evolve, these devices will be primarily how a network connects to the user, helping shape and customize the end-user experience to deliver more personalized services and real-time engagement.
Imagine you are an online shopper who doesn’t want to wait overnight for your shipment. You want your product now. From your mobile device, you will not only be able to price-match with other retailers and see if the product is available in a store near you (a current capability), but also connect with real-time data in the cloud over an agile network to see if there are checkout lines in the store, reserve a parking spot, and tell the customer service rep you are on your way.
Gartner predicts that, through this year, mobile apps will drive “the next evolution in user experience” by “leverage[ing] intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.” This is already happening through smart devices and wearables, for example, as people (myself included) use health and fitness apps to help make better, healthier choices.
By leveraging the power of mobility, converging with cloud and big data, organizations can fundamentally change the customer experience, and thus, create new models built on a simple, smart, and highly secure network infrastructure.
So, Where Do You Start?
To start, business leaders and CIOs need to make sense of the converging IT landscape. You don’t have to look very far to see convergence in play – both in the past and in the present. Remember when the iPhone was introduced in 2007? Most of the technology in the phone already existed, except for the packaging. However, the coming together of the separate features into one device was transformational – and started us on an entirely new mobile journey.
We’re living in exponential times and everything around us continues to accelerate. Things that aren’t possible today will be possible within 24 months. Business leaders who understand this incredible pace of change also understand the urgency of taking action in order to remain relevant. In fact, according to IBM’s Global CEO Study, CEOs expect technology to drive the most change in their organizations over the next few years.
In this converging IT landscape, there is no silver bullet to help us prepare for change or new capabilities. Relentless innovation will play a key role in this evolution. Richard Foster, an economist at Yale, reinforces this in his research, citing change, experimentation, and trying new things as absolutely critical to the survival and longevity of organizations.
As mobile and wireless capabilities continue to increase and converge with other key technologies, organizations will be able to extract and analyze more and more data and predict new things, revealing deeper insights and wisdom for improved business outcomes. Embracing these capabilities, and letting all the tools work for you, will allow you to not only survive but thrive in the future economy.