As is quite often the case in the world of technology, the year ahead will be full of change in terms of popular services and applications, and especially so for businesses.
The UK is currently in the midst of one of the most dramatic Government-led infrastructure projects for decades. BDUK’s allocation of circa £530 million of funding to ensure 90% of UK premises have access to a minimum download speed of 2Mb/s has led to a point where BT have been given commissioned to roll out FTTC/FTTP to wide areas of the country. In all but a few councils, contracts have been awarded and installation rollouts have begun. Arguments about a state aid aside, the result of the process will be that more businesses will now have access to higher-speed, low-cost connectivity.
Rural projects, especially those in areas that stand to benefit from funding allocated to the “final 10%” should be far more competitive and, assuming the chosen model works correctly, consumers should have a choice between innovative technologies such as Fibre-to-the-Mast (FTTM) and independently run networks such as those maintained by CityFibre and Gigaclear.
Making use of this continually improving infrastructure, more and more businesses are beginning to move services towards the cloud. Applications such as Windows 365 or Apple’s iCloud, as well as revised Disaster Recovery, or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies have increased the market’s demand for Infrastructure, Software and Platform as a Service (IaaS, SaaS and PaaS): The next twelve months should see a more mature offering being made available across the industry.
With cloud exploding in 2013 you would imagine BYOD will grow even further in 2014, with already 82% of professionals stating that when attending a meeting, they bring their own device. Businesses such as Yahoo! have toyed with a model known as COPE (corporate-owned, personally enabled) where CEO, Marissa Mayer pushed back on BYOD and rather preferred, Yahoo! supplying a certain number of devices with set guidelines. Now Google are supplying apps to support workloads through BYOD, with both data and functionality living in the cloud. The main issue BYOD brings, and businesses must address is security, but with an efficient policy in place for 2014 and beyond, the saying “work is what you do, not where you go” will never be more accurate.