The Big Five for the next Half Decade

By Jitendra Mishra , General Manager, IT-Elder Pharmaceuticals

Jitendra Mishra , General Manager, IT-Elder Pharmaceuticals

Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BSE: 532322, NSE: ELDERPHARM) is a Rs.1,300 Crore company that has its presence highlighted across the domestic pharmaceutical chain from in-house manufacturing and other areas which is backed by an intensive R&D division at Nerul.

Some of the biggest advances in the history of technology make it today's ever more technology-centric world; the stodgy IT department is not considered the home of innovation and business their way into the front lines of service delivery.

If we project current IT trends forward, what will the outcome be? Is there going to be a final fork in the road for consumer and enterprise technology, with each side looking at each other through a diverging pair of windows, with minimal crossover between the two? Or will the two worlds continue to blur together, as technology cross-pollinates from the growing wall of innovation coming from the Web and consumer technology world? Given the virility and pervasiveness of consumer technology, the latter is by far the most likely scenario.

In my view the biggest technology influences of the next half decade will include next-gen mobility, social media (or more specifically social business), cloud computing, consumerization, and big data. These five, of all current tech trends are at top of the list for what most organizations need to be planning for in their current strategies and roadmaps as they update and modernize, as well as (hopefully) out-innovate their competitors.
Here's an exploration of the top five IT trends in the next half decade, including some of the latest industry data, and what the major opportunities and challenges are.

The Top 5 Technology Trends:

1) Next-Gen Mobile - Smart Devices and Tablets

Large enterprises have moved rapidly in adopting the revolutionary potential of mobile apps to both enable and transform the conduct of business. CIOs gain experience in design and engineering for good mobile apps. There tends to be an explosive growth in the number of apps in and around the enterprise. To unleash the full potential of mobility at enterprise scale, this trend recommends channeling that growth through a sensible mobility strategy and towards advance planning of enterprise enablement, including Mobile App Management, Mobile Device Management and Enterprise App Stores.

2) Social Media - Social Business

"Social" is not a teenage fad, not a personal consumer phenomenon, and not (just) a B2C tool for business. Correctly combined and deployed, social media + social software + social networks equals a new set of tools for reengineering business. These new tools enable a new set of (potentially disruptive) rules for operating, competing and winning in a market.
A social business is redesigned as it moves through key phases of its evolution. Looking at the organization from a social business lens means looking at it more holistically. We can look to Facebook, where business and brand pages deal not only with customer "likes" but also with complaints and attacks from activist groups such as Greenpeace. Corporate Facebook pages are great examples of the need for marketing, PR, customer service, and even HR to all figures out how to work together.

3) Cloud computing

Of all the technology trends on this list, cloud computing is one of the more interesting and in my view, now least controversial. While there are far more reasons to adopt cloud technologies than just cost reduction. In the large enterprises cloud computing is being adopted steadily for non-mission critical applications and some are now even beginning to downsize their data centers. Business agility, vendor choice, and access to next-generation architectures are all benefits of employing the latest cloud computing architectures, which are often radically advanced compared to their traditional enterprise brethren.

4) Consumerization of IT

The source of innovation for technology is coming largely from the consumer world, which also sets the pace. Yet that is just one aspect of consumerization.

Consumerization also very much has to do with its usage model, which eschews enterprise complexity for extreme usability and radically low barriers to participation. Enterprises which do not steadily consumerize their application portfolios are in for even lower levels of adoption and usage than they already have as workers continue to route around them for easier and more productive solutions. Another decentralized and scalable solution is, as with next-gen mobile, to help workers help themselves to third party apps that are deemed safe and secure.

5) Big data

Just as businesses have started to appreciate the potential of information as a strategic asset, they are overwhelmed with big data – big volumes, big velocity, big variety, and big value. Many organizations have long-standing information management programs, but not many are prepared for this embarrassment of riches. Big data goes to work when organizations tap the data veins – structured and unstructured data, from inside and outside the enterprise – to unearth new signals and hidden insights
Big data offers the promise of better ROI on valuable enterprise datasets while being able to tackle entirely new business problems that were previously impossible to solve with existing techniques. While most companies are still addressing their big data needs with data warehousing.

Big Leap to meet the Big Five:

We have already initiated couple of steps in this direction, that in order to stay relevant, and not become the PBX or Data processing department; IT department in Elder has prepared to take a "Big Leap" to meet the Big Five. The deeply transformational nature of most of the Big Five means we must either start leading the business models and evolution of the organization, or become a commoditized utility while the business figures out the moves on their own. This almost certainly means open supply chains and enabling strategic IT abundance via designed loss of control coupled with emergent and agile approaches to IT. Now that I have explored the Big Five, I will take a look at the Big Leap soon and see what the options are for IT -- such as "The Next Generation Enterprise Platform” which not only remain relevant in the 21st century, but become the driver of business.

Technology trends have changed the role of CIOs and they are turning to 'new world' technologies to find more flexible and cost effective ways to drive innovation and productivity. CIOs now require different skills to be successful, as they have to overcome challenges such as budgetary pressures, dealing with a digital landscape and new operating models.

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