Predictions 2012: Smarter, faster, better - and cheaper

Cost cutting remains on the business agenda in 2012, says Jade Software MD Craig Richardson

The focus on doing more for less continues in 2012, writes Jade Software managing director Craig Richardson in the following opinion piece looking at the year ahead.

In our key global markets the cloud, enterprise mobilisation, advanced analytics and social networks continue to dominate conversations but not always actions.

Austerity measures, cost reductions and uncertain sales pipelines combined with bureaucratic approval processes to manage economic risk is choking technology innovation in many large enterprises. We expect this trend to continue in 2012.

Our conversations reveal that businesses desperately want to play smarter, move faster and deliver better, but this year they will be focused on doing business cheaper.

Difficult global economic conditions, tragic natural disasters like those which occured in Christchurch and Japan, and the increased availability of quality SaaS applications is driving the shift to cloud and we expect momentum to accelerate in 2012. This trend however, is now creating other issues such as the need to aggregate best-of-breed SaaS applications and data sources to make them useful and usable on smart mobile devices.

We believe 2012 will be the year mobile gets down to business. In developed markets, more than half of customers and staff will want to communicate, interact and transact with businesses from a smart mobile device by the end of 2012. However, designing and deploying for enterprise mobile requires a paradigm shift in sales, marketing, product development and enabling technology. Very few enterprises and systems integrators have invested the time to fully understand the opportunity to create innovative brand experiences and mobile services.

Data is growing at an incredible rate and the nature of the data is changing from structured and simple, to complex information delivered in different and enriched types and from multiple sources. This explosion is creating huge challenges and opportunities for enterprises and governments alike.

While there is often a need to analyse historical data to explain what happened, real time analytics will become increasingly important as organisations looking to gain a competitive edge by using more intelligent data to predict where things are heading. Governments will also take advantage of advanced analytics, particularly in the areas of enforcement and intelligence.

For New Zealand-based technology export companies like Jade Software, we believe there is strength in numbers and risk in isolation. For Jade, working together with the likes of Tait, Gallagher and Endace is key to New Zealand getting on the radar of a growing global public safety and security market for our solutions.

The New Zealand government also has a major role to play in the 2012 technology landscape. The current government has increased R&D support and Labour Party leader David Shearer made the right noises about supporting local tech companies when he visited our Christchurch development centre in 2011.

The annual TIN100 report showed five per cent average revenue growth from our high tech ICT, manufacturing and biotech companies with many of them taking advantage of the government’s R&D support as well as investing heavily themselves. The trouble is most of them sell the bulk of their goods and services offshore rather than in the domestic market.

The opportunity now is to buy local and give New Zealand technology companies the foundations to execute their export strategies with confidence and further contribute to New Zealand's overall economic growth.

* This fortnight Computerworld is featuring a series of opinion pieces by leading ICT professionals in which they look at what's in store for 2012. Monday: InternetNZ CEO Vikram Kumar.

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