it-infrastructureTrends affecting the role IT plays in managing the infrastructure of enterprise organizations include working on a remote basis and telecommuting, computing in the cloud and the use of mobile devices. These trends were noted by global management consultant McKinsey & Company who reported on the trends affecting pace of technology change. According to a McKinsey study, the number of internet connected devices (as of 2013) had reached 12 billion worldwide, stock data doubled at a rate of once every 20 months and payments made by mobile devices was reaching $1 trillion.

It is important to understand how these trends affects how your workers interact and engage your businesses enterprise infrastructure. These technological trends offer a wealth of opportunity for you but also a host of challenges as you manage these changes and adapt in order to remain flexible and competitive.

The Changing Landscape for Your IT Infrastructure

Boston-based International Data Corporation (IDC) in a June 2015 paper noted that the trend toward mobile workers over the next five years (2015 – 2020) in the U.S. is expected to grow by 9.5% from 96.2 million workers to 105.4 million. This shift, according to the IDC study, will result in nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce. Smartphones, tablets, wearable tech, near-field communications (NFC) and similar type of devices is driving this move toward greater mobility among the workforce.

Other recent studies indicate that 40% of American consumers who work for large enterprises use their personally owned device (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) for work purposes each day. The growing acceptance of the BYOD (bring your own device) movement has enabled workers to enjoy greater flexibility and to work more efficiently, but the security and compatibility challenges that have come along with it have created headaches for IT managers.

This one aspect of the changing landscape for your IT infrastructure presents both a challenge and an opportunity for your business.  Consider that Millennials (those individuals born between 1981 and 1997) replace Baby Boomers will soon become the largest population according to Census Bureau data and greater percentage of U.S. workers. Their preference for work/life balance and greater flexibility in how they perform work means that you need to adopt policies and systems that reflect this changing attitude, if you wish to recruit the best and brightest of this generation.

Does the Changing IT Landscape Offer Benefits for You

The old 9-5 work paradigm of managing your human resources in a single or across several fixed brick-and-mortar locations is changing. Cloud computing, telecommuting and mobile computing not only change the face of the workforce, it also changes the face of your customers. An agile, predictive and proactive approach to meeting their IT needs is necessary in order to not only survive but also grow your business in the wake of the changing technological landscape. Does adapting to change benefit you? A model that accounts for how we work today and how we shop and interact with business means lower fixed costs (i.e. plants, properties and buildings) and increased profitability.

If you have not already begun to do so, now is the time to learn how a virtualized, converged infrastructure for your IT can help you manage complex and evolving technologies. Waiting for the next big thing to come about and reacting is not a model for success as you enter the brave new worlds of Big Data and the internet of things (IoT).