The big technological shifts of 2012 – including the cloud and mobile devices – will continue to mature, as will the expectations which business and government place on their use. IT departments will hold greater sway over organisational policy, but they’ll be under enormous pressure to accommodate the established employee preferences for using multiple devices at work and at home, and employees’ growing expectations of instantly-available computing.
Macquarie Telecom believes these expectations will herald significant change for Australian IT in three main areas: the emergence of a dedicated government cloud; a renewed focus on customer service from cloud providers; and the coming-of-age of BYOD despite the reluctance of businesses to change their policies. As 2012’s tech trends evolve into organisational necessities, 2013 is likely to contain the following:
Is the time right for the birth of the Australian Government Cloud?
The Government will adopt dedicated cloud computing infrastructure designed for highly secure and reliable public-sector use. The main benefits of this will be significant “efficiency dividends” such as reduced IT costs, increased productivity, and greater flexibility in IT services and products for government. So far, however, public sector use of the cloud has been for the most part minimal, mainly due to overbearing concern about risks to security and government reputation.
That looks set to change following new initiatives at a national level, including the Government’s Lead Agency Gateway program (for which Macquarie Telecom will provide the first of eight secure gateways) and the continued rollout of the NBN. The technical and commercial foundations for a nationwide government cloud are now in place.
They’ll be bolstered by growing investment from cloud service providers (CSPs), including Macquarie Telecom’s Intellicentre 2 data centre with Tier III Uptime and ASIO T4 certification; and Intellicentre 4 Bunker built specifically to service Government agencies in Canberra. An emphasis from CSPs on meeting government-level security and resilience requirements will provide much-needed confidence and boost the efficiency dividends and business results for the public sector.
A return to old-fashioned customer service
2012 saw significant job cuts to IT and a myriad of other industries, leading to inevitable declines in the levels of customer service on offer. Many businesses have opted for offshore support to lower costs in an online environment, as well as shifting their IT expenditure to front-office self-service applications. However, that proposition is unlikely to prove sustainable amidst widespread demand for more personal customer care.
Businesses will be increasingly careful to avoid the frequency and volume of complaints on social media which occurred in 2012 as a result of poor customer service.