The year 2015 will be here soon, and while tech cycles proceed at their own pace, it’s common to look at a brand new year as a blank slate upon which many technology stories will be written. There is no reason to believe that IT service management will be any simpler or any less important in 2015. Running a service desk and accounting for software, hardware, licenses, and cloud apps will continue to be vital to outstanding service.
Expect to see more wearables in the workplace in 2015.
Gartner recently released a list of strategic technology trends for 2015, and there are few surprises. Taken as a whole, along with other tech trend predictions for the coming year, it appears that there are three strong trends:
- Further convergence of the real and the virtual
- Intelligence everywhere
- Continued importance of the cloud
All three affect your service management strategy. The good news is, with great help desk software, you can cope with these and other technology trends.
Increased Convergence of The Real and the Virtual
The internet of things (IoT) continues its steady drumbeat of smart objects that collect and exchange data automatically. In the UK, a dedicated network for the IoT will start its rollout in 2015 to support the increasing number of connected objects in British homes and communities. Intelligent buildings are beginning to do things like guide people to empty parking spaces and better control HVAC, lighting, and security. In the Asia Pacific region alone, spending on the IoT in 2014 is estimated at nearly $10 billion, and there’s no sign of a slowdown in IoT investment through 2020.
As the IoT proliferates, decisions will have to be made about which “things” become part of the IT service management strategy and which do not. The smart HVAC system, for example, would be under the purview of the building owner, but what about the smart refrigerator your company invested in for the break room? As the IoT grows, your IT service desk will have to define what it will and will not be responsible for.
Mobile devices and wearables are expected to continue to proliferate in 2015, and users expect to have their needs met in an increasing number of contexts and environments. Gartner says, “Phones and wearable devices are now part of an expanded computing environment that includes such things as consumer electronics and connected screens in the workplace and public space.” Will your help desk software be expected to service these endpoint devices? How will an increasing number of devices affect security?
Will the mobile user be expected to adapt to the business environment, or will the business environment be expected to adapt to mobile users? Probably a bit of both, and this too points to more responsibility of IT service management systems. As more people use more mobile devices (increasingly including wearables), BYOD policies may have to be revamped to ensure security and make clear what is and is not supported by your help desk software.
The Cloud Remains Extremely Important
On its face, the cloud would seem to make IT service management simpler. With fewer on-site servers running fewer legacy applications, why wouldn’t it be easier? But when you look a little closer, IT service management in the cloud era has changed rather than become simplified. Cloud applications have their own licenses, terms and conditions, and when these are violated, there are problems just as there were when physical CDs of software were installed on more machines than licenses allowed.
If anything, the cloud will increase IT service desk responsibilities, as any IT manager in an organization experiencing “virtual machine sprawl” can attest. Add end-users who don’t think twice about downloading a trial application and it’s easy to see how managing software alone can increase IT service desk tasks even if there are far fewer on-site servers to manage.
As the real and the virtual converge and intelligent devices proliferate, the tech trends of 2015 will only amplify the importance of a solid IT service management strategy.