IT in 2014: the rise of the machines

IT Pro's contributing editor Stephen Pritchard looks forward to 2014, and predicts that automation will come to the fore.

Inside the Enterprise: Predicting the future is always fraught with risk, and in a fast-moving industry such as technology, it approaches the foolhardy.

But looking back over 2013 does give us some clues as to the direction of technology in business, for 2014 and beyond.

In the headlines at least, this year was dominated by security and privacy on the one hand, and IT failure on the other.

On privacy, the revelations of NSA whistle blower Edward Snowdonshone a light on surveillance practices at that US security agency and beyond: the UK's GCHQ was implicated too in a story that ranged from the mass surveillance of internet traffic to the tapping of the German Chancellor's mobile phone.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Automation is already helping, in the form of intelligent network management and IT services management tools that can monitor the performance of applications, and the use of resources.

Whilst governments rushed to justify their actions or to claim outrage the UK government faced its own travails. In November, the Public Accounts Committee predicted that the Department for Work and Pensions would face writing off up to 140 million. Some estimates say the figure could be even higher. The department had already admitted writing off 34 million back in September.

The Government, though, was not alone in suffering IT problems. RBS Group, owners of the NatWest and RBS banking brands, suffered a series of outages, including one on "Black Friday", one of the year's key shopping days. RBS' chief executive admitted that years of underinvestment in IT contributed to the problems.

RBS' problems highlight an issue that is affecting more and more businesses: the growing complexity of IT. Even with IT budgets starting to recover, companies are struggling to move money from operations to strategic investment. The ideal ratio of a 50:50 split between investment and maintenanceremains a long way off for many if not most firms.

Shifting that ratio will mean not just spending more, but looking again at how IT budgets are spent. Increasingly, that will mean automation.

Automation is already helping, in the form of intelligent network management and IT services management tools that can monitor the performance of applications, and the use of resources. Much of this is being driven by cloud computing suppliers, whose large networks and data centres are too big to be run by human technicians working on a "break-fix" basis.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354789/microsoft-pulls-disastrous-windows-10-security-update
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft pulls disastrous Windows 10 security update

17 Feb 2020
Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/business/business-operations/354790/hp-shareholders-invited-to-come-dine-with-xerox
Business operations

HP shareholders invited to come dine with Xerox

17 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020