Published Editorial

Enterprise IT trends in 2014

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The Indian Express

by

Samiron Ghoshal
Partner & Leader, IT Advisory Services, EY

Contributed by:

Manoj Jha
Associate Director – IT Advisory Services, EY

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” — Niels Bohr

While notables as great as the Nobel laureate Niels Bohr have cautioned against the act of predictions, predicting trends one year hence in 2014 should be less hazardous task. 2014 is a landmark election year and a lot of the sentiment will depend on whether the power will remain in the hands of the two main parties or will be diffused amongst the regional parties.

Since sentiment drives business which in turn drives IT spending this will be crucial fulcrum on which a lot will depends. Notwithstanding the political scenario, a few trends are obvious:

  • Enterprise IT investment will grow albeit carefully: As enterprises get set for the next phase of growth IT investment will grow. Most organizations have been focused internally towards cost and resource optimization of IT assets over the last 2 years looking at the challenging economic scenario worldwide and in the country. The unbridled growth of the mid 2000s is not likely to return as enterprises take a measured approach to investments. Anything that does not meet the return-on-investment criteria is not likely to make the cut. As the prospects for growth improve, enterprises will look towards revenue maximization and invest in technologies which directly impact the topline. Customer facing technologies, supply chain technologies should see investments.
  • Enterprise IT will focus on newer technologies: Enterprises will go to the next phase of IT investment with a note of caution and with a touch of creativity and panache. The four big forces of IT: social, mobile, analytics and cloud will influence a lot of the spending. In particular, the hybrid cloud is likely to see quite a few takers due to its lack of upfront investment in skills or hard cash. Cloud services providing infrastructure like storage are already quite popular, but the push into cloud will come from business functions like human resources, customer experience and procurement. This way, enterprises are likely to toe-dip in the cloud technology.
  • Analytics get deeper: Analytics has exploded as a market over the last few years as usage of applications such as ERP, core banking and other core transactional system matures and provides quality transactional data for analytical applications. 2014 will see increasing experimentation around predictive and prescriptive analytics, as having tamed the historical data monster, enterprises will take the next steps to find out what future predications they can make from the data. Enterprises will increasingly exploit social media and other external sources to their analyses for better decision making.
  • Risk management gets bigger: Governance, risk and compliance is set to see big growth as enterprises learn from their mistakes of the yester years and put adequate controls and risk measurement and mitigation measures.

At the forefront will be banking & financial services organizations followed by technology and communication sectors. Technologies which deal with protection of internal data will also grow as organizations experiment with BYOD and mobile technologies.

  • Customer will be the king: A lot of the businesses will focus on technologies that surround the customer experience: Mobility & CRM will be two of the most exploited technologies for the year.
  • Open source technologies will become more mainstream: Enterprises are facing complex licensing terms and increasing cost of software from large IT vendors. The improving quality and increased reliability of offerings from local players around open source technologies will push larger numbers of enterprises towards them for newer technologies. Open source technologies once patronized by large government organizations and small enterprises are looking to increasingly break into the stronghold of larger well established global giants. Newer platforms like mobility, analytics and big data are the new battlegrounds for such guerrilla warfare.  All in all, 2014 promises to be an exciting year for enterprises as they look to scale the next big business challenge and move on the growth paradigm.

Views expressed are their personal views.