With 2013 coming to an end, Ericsson ConsumerLab has identified the hottest consumer trends for 2014 and beyond. For more than 15 years, ConsumerLab has conducted research to explore people’s values, behaviours and ways of using ICT products and services. Michael Björn, Head of Research at ConsumerLab, says: “The most important trend we see is the mass demand for apps and services across all industries and societal sectors — which has the potential to fundamentally change everyday life.” Apps Change Society, Your Body is the New Password and Sensors in Everyday Places are some of the trends with far-reaching implications.
/3D Printing Speeds Up Chevrolet Malibu Development And Evaluation/When Chevrolet set out to refresh the Malibu's interior and exterior for 2014, designers used one of the most cost-effective and time-saving methods in its high-tech tool box: rapid prototyping, also known as 3D printing. The processes literally grow prototype parts out of powder or liquid resin at a fraction of the cost associated with building tools to make test parts. Selective laser sintering and stereo lithography — the official names of the processes — helped accelerate Malibu's development and evaluation. Both processes use specialised software, math data and digital lasers, which accomplish in days what would have taken weeks of clay sculpting in the past. Rapid prototyping enables designers and engineers to quickly see, touch and test versions of individual components and systems in precise one-third scale and full-size models without having to make changes to production tooling, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
/6 Top Tips How CIOs Can Transform Their IT Infrastructure/

In this article I’d like to offer 6 top tips on how CIOs can transform their IT infrastructure amidst the fast-paced change of the technology landscape. For more information on the topics discussed, I invite you to download “The Transformers” – an EMEA-wide study amongst large organisations to better understand how effectively businesses were embracing and optimising the value of new technologies.

  1.  Embrace Change (Or It Will Embrace You)

BYOD, mobility, cloud computing and big data. These are all buzzwords that have been bandied around the technology sector and can be singled out as key megatrends dominating the market.

A common thread running through these technologies is user empowerment and the fact, now more so than ever, users have freedom to make their own IT decisions. This can be scary thought for CIOs, who can feel powerless to the number of smartphones, tablets and laptops entering the organisation.

However, much is said of the threats over the opportunities, with the latter underlining how the advent and continued prevalence of these technologies can foster innovation and improve efficiency. The challenge, however, is to embrace change whilst ensuring that repeated adoption of the “next big thing” delivers maximum benefit and optimal value to the business and demonstrable ROI.

  1.  Make Innovation A ‘Business Basic’

Organisations acknowledge that the levels of innovation needed to drive their IT strategies forward can only occur by using the right technology. It’s imperative that the C-suite highlight technology as a driver of innovation within the organisation.

  1.  Infrastructure Is Imperative

As more diverse and varied applications are added to the network, IT infrastructures are becoming increasingly convoluted. This churn can cause issues if your infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle leading-edge applications. This disparity becomes even more prevalent outside of IT, where business executives are demanding new technologies but aren’t tuned into the underlying infrastructure concerns.

  1.  Optimise Technology Investment

New technologies are the driving force behind innovation, and as such, if these applications underperform, so does the business. Particularly during times of austerity, wasted investment can have far-reaching implications for businesses. Almost half (46%) of those surveyed The Transformers Report said that looking at their spend on IT and networking over the past three years, they could have spent less money and achieved better results for the business.

  1.  Avoid ‘Leaking’ Value

With significant investments being made across a range of technology areas and new technology deployment accounting for 25% of technology spend, the importance of maximising technology spend is evident, yet in practice, new technologies introduced are falling short of their expectation.

  1.  Datacentre Transformation = New ‘Mega Trend’

As innovation continues to be a top priority, organisations are increasing their investment in new apps. But, before deciding to invest IT leaders must ensure new applications will meet their performance expectations and not undermine the business goals.

Businesses are investing in the right technology, yet they are not investing in their infrastructure to support the surge in leading-edge applications. IT leaders recognise that data centre performance is a key factor in application failure, yet only in a minority of cases are executives and Board members fully mindful of this. It’s time to put data centre transformation on the boardroom agenda.

With applications fully optimised and working effectively organisations can regain their certainty over ROI and continue to use technology to drive innovation across the business.