What 2014 Will Hold for Technology

As we did at the end of last year, we decided to once again survey some members of our business to see what they were looking forward to or predicting in the technology space for the new year. We got varied responses on everything from cyber security to government consumption of cloud services. Read along to see the answers and share your opinions in the comments section.

Innovating to fight the invisible battle

“Cyber-crime will continue to grow. Its effectiveness at extracting value through exploits will improve. As consumers, we expect things to connect and work together seamlessly across the internet. The cyber criminals, however, will continue to find holes in technology and use these vulnerabilities for personal gain…

“The exciting side of this will be the new wave of services to which companies will subscribe, which will give them a level of comfort that somebody is helping to protect their reputation online. The clever cyber warriors will aggregate critical security alerts from various sources and provide services 24×7 to organisations to defend, monitor and respond against the online world’s subversive element. It’ll be interesting to see how this invisible battle plays out in 2014.”

 Mark McWilliams, Datacom Director of Investments

Government cloud and the Internet of Things

“I’m looking forward to:

· A progressive year in the migration of Government to cloud based services.
· Continuous innovation in the Internet of Things to improve the way technology enhances our everyday life.”

 Tom Scicluna, Datacom New Technology & Innovation Business Manager

Smarter watches

“The tech I am looking forward to is a mature delivery of smart watches. The Galaxy Gear, for example, looks impressive, but for a first-generation device, it comes with a hefty price tag.  Second generation devices will hopefully bring greater battery life and more creativity for design combined with pricing less than a 7” tablet goes for.”

 Damon Wynne, Datacom South Australia Solution Architect

From cloud brokers to social calendaring 

“Body tech  body monitoring technologies integrated with mobile apps and cloud. Internet of everything  contextual automation and sequencing. Cloud brokers involved in moving companies from one cloud provider to the next seamlessly based on special offers and costs like credit cards. Social calendaring, mobile device diversity, application diversity and 3D printing.”

 Wasim Anwar, Datacom Western Australia Project Service Manager

7 Questions to Ask Your Developer to Get the Best Enterprise Mobile Apps

Every organisation seems to have mobile apps these days, from your health insurance provider, to your superannuation fund to your favourite retail outfit — which makes the idea of developing one for your own organisation sound pretty easy. The truth is, getting productivity-boosting, user-friendly, secure mobile apps is not guaranteed unless you outline the right requirements for your developer. These tips will help you get mobile apps that keep your workforce churning out the business results instead of calling up the help desk for support.

1. Can you develop with reusable code?

If you can’t decide on one platform for your mobile apps, having them developed with reusable code allows them to work across devices, whether they be iPhone or Android. This option isn’t for every organisation — reusable code can be more expensive —, but if you have a lot of platforms to support, it will likely cost you less in the long-run than it would to develop different mobile apps for different platforms.

2. Can you enable data integration?

Data integration supplies organisations with a unified view of all data across devices and sources. The ability for different business units to view information from other units, such as customer data sitting in the marketing and sales departments, especially when on the go, can help boost the speed of decision-making and business processes. Mobile apps that can be easily integrated with other data sources will continue to show their ROI.

3.  How do you secure mobile apps?

Security of mobile apps and devices falls into the realm of your organisation’s IT department, but you’ll have an easier time preventing data loss if your mobile apps are secure to begin with. Areas to cover with your developer include whether passwords are saved, how the mobile apps store data and whether that corporate information is kept in a container away from personal data.

4. Can you help me integrate mobile apps into my organisation?

Integrating mobile apps into your enterprise is not as easy as it seems. You must take into account response times, bandwidth and security. A good developer can provide device integration, connectivity and field service support so your mobile app goes from being a piece of inactive software to an orgnanisation-wide productivity powerhouse. Give them bonus points if they can integrate your mobile app with your back-end systems and software.

5. Where’s the value-add?

What happens after your mobile app’s developed? Can your developer support other mobility functions, such as helping you select and manage a mobile device management or mobile application management tool to secure software and devices?

6. How will you ensure my app is user-friendly?

It might sound like a no-brainer, but we’ve seen many organisations go through the process of developing a mobile app internally only to receive grumbles of usability issues from end users. The concept of an app and its actual functionality are two different things. A good mobile app developer will address concerns such as the ideal screen resolution for your app and features that might detract from your app’s performance.

7. Will you provide lifecycle support and roadmap planning for my mobile app?

Your mobile app is a living, breathing thing that will need to be modernised, maintained, secured and eventually retired. You’ll also want to identify the key business drivers you want your app to align with and the metrics for measuring its performance. An experienced mobile app developer will be able to offer these services in addition to designing and provisioning your app.