An era of fast paced change is upon us: were you ready?

Nicola Mortimer
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On: 22 Dec 2015
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Nicola Mortimer, Head of Business Product, Marketing & Operations at Three, takes a look at how 2015 helped shape the future of the workplace.

2015 has been another year of rapid paced cultural change in technology adoption and it’s down to businesses to keep up! Here, we look back at five of the key themes we’ve blogged about this year that highlight the technologies and trends setting the tone for business evolution.

1. Enterprise mobility

Irish businesses are making the most of the mobile revolution and the flexibility and collaboration that devices such as smartphones and tablets enable. Our survey earlier this year in association with TechBeat showed that 85% of Irish IT professionals claim that productivity in the workplace is on the rise, as mobile devices enable the workforce to work anywhere at any time. The challenge for IT departments is to embrace this cultural change while at the same time ensuring information standards are maintained and that employees have greater access to information via their devices of choice.

2. Flexible working and data security risks

Mobile devices are powerful computers and create many new entry points to the business network. Trends towards employees working remotely and BYOD (bring your own device) policies make it increasingly difficult for IT departments to monitor their networks. Essentially, to work effectively mobile working needs to be based on three key foundations: availability – no barriers to productivity; integrity – access to up-to-date information and data; and confidentiality – it mustn’t compromise on security. With 76% of IT professionals in Ireland claiming data security is a key issue for their business, it’s time for the security of mobile devices to be taken more seriously and for more organisations to take advantage of mobile device management (MDM) systems to protect them.

3. Mobile applications

Today’s mobile apps are helping IT departments to extend, change and improve processes, productivity and business performance without having to invent every core system from scratch. They give the workforce access to essential business data from ERP or CRM through mobile devices. The challenge for IT is to handle the expectations of this new set of tech-savvy stakeholders while ensuring that it is business as usual and the organisation remains secure amid this brave new world of mobile data sharing.

4. Ireland is on its way to the cloud

The Irish SME market’s adoption of the cloud has risen significantly this year, with over 70% now either using or planning to use cloud computing technology compared to 38% just two years ago. Until fairly recently, we might have asked Ireland’s business leaders whether they were considering adopting the cloud, while today, the question is how far into their cloud journey are they?

5. Growth of connected devices and networks

This year, we’ve also seen more and more examples of M2M (machine to machine) technologies in action. The growth of connected digital devices and the networks that support them is having a real impact in many sectors. IBM’s digital transformation leader, Antony Behan, also told us that the Internet of Things (IoT) is more reality than hype. He cited the automotive sector as an example of where this technology is really gathering pace and how automation in cars, such as Toyota’s brake-assist technology and Ford’s self-parking system, are driving this.

2015 has seen some extremely innovative technologies increasingly change the way in which we live and work. At Three we look forward to exploring this exciting journey with our customers next year. This is our final blog of the year but we’ll be back in early 2016 with some insightful technology predictions.