Verizon has put together a list of 10 technology trends for 2012, predicting the connections between people, machines and their environments will shape the way small businesses work.
Verizon Business area vice president John Karabin spoke to Dynamic Business, saying: “things like collaboration and social media are all kind of coming together to shift the way that we do business, and SMEs that take advantage of that will of course do much better than the ones that decide not to get on the bandwagon.”
The company expects enterprise technology to help business leaders re-engineer the workplace to improve customer service and create opportunities for improvement.
Verizon’s 10 technology trends likely to affect businesses and their employees in 2012 are:
1. The High-IQ network effect revolves around all devices and endpoints becoming smarter, benefitting businesses through increasingly reliable connections and opportunities to solve challenges in new innovative ways.
2. The Enterprise Cloud will allow business to shift workloads between a corporate data centre and their cloud of choice, whether it be public, private or a hybrid model.
Karabin says cloud is a big ticket item, allowing business to simply store and use data as they need it.
“Cloud is allowing providers such as ourselves to own and run the hardware and the software on behalf of other people so that they don’t have to go to the cost of setting up data centres or buying very expensive software that they might not fully use.”
3. Large data sets will be managed to determine data quality and applied to empower businesses to make decisions giving them a competitive edge.
4. Social Enterprise will become even more social, with eased access giving businesses the opportunity to produce, find and convey information.
5. Video is emerging to create new opportunities for small businesses through high bandwidth capabilities and the combination of global IP networks and 4G LTE wireless. Video-enabled contact is becoming the preferred business-to-consumer application as well as for enterprise activities.
“People are communicating now via video conferencing and even small businesses are able to start to take advantage of accessing more people in a more interactive way. So rather than just kind of accessing people via news adverts in the past they’re setting up their own social networks.”
6. Personalisation will create new opportunities for businesses to meet consumers on their terms through the integration of applications and physical environments.
7. IT Departments are increasingly being influenced by their users with companies tailoring IT policies to support productive measures in the workplace.
8. Machine-to-Machine-to-People communications will change the business landscape in 2012, playing a role in energy consumption, product inventory and digital intelligence.
“All the devices around you are starting to get smarter , they’re putting little processors inside them now that are increasingly able to communicate with each other and increasingly then communicate back to central data gatherers to allow them to access how to run things more efficiently.”
This technology means huge improvements in health and safety with technology such as portable monitors able to convey information on a patient’s vital sign and use this information to provide treatment.
9. Compliance with security standards will equate to good business practice for small businesses in 2012 with the difficult economic climate and tight government regulations leading to increased interest in holistic security approaches.
10. Energy efficient business practices are drawing the attention of small businesses who will be increasingly participating in public-private partnerships to invest in everything from energy-efficient heating to more efficient lighting.