Last week the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although consumer focused, the tech on display was observed by many in the context of the increasing applicability to the enterprise setting. As a wider context, this shift from consumer to enterprise brings about challenges for IT security departments in how to protect important data. BYOD and social media policies are two examples of attempts to control the personal and occupational divide in the workplace, but there are also raised expectations from users that enterprise technology will mirror that found in the consumer setting – as voiced in a recent Computer Weekly article quoting Mark Ridley from Reed recruitment: “Expect to see beautiful enterprise software, realising the importance of a good user experience.”
In the same article, titled “What CIO’s will spend their budget on in 2014,” big issue trends in Cloud provider security, 'the Internet of Things' capacity planning and the rise of mobile malware are mentioned; but perhaps most importantly is the point highlighted by Jos Creese, CIO for Hampshire Co Council– “the importance of Corporate IT as a Door Opener; not a Gatekeeper.” This is particularly salient in light of the technology on display at CES and the ease of integrating this into the enterprise.
Two main themes arose during the week long tech fest, according to an article in CiteWorld.com. The first is the penetration of tablets into organisations rather than heavy and costly desktop computers, and secondly the increase in sensors for all aspects of life - from fitness-measuring wristbands to basement flood detectors. A previous post on this blog goes some way to predict what the impact of these technologies could be - and how enterprise IT can accommodate these changes. In the same Computer Weekly article, speaking about the implications of Click and Collect multi channel retail, Chris Webster, Vice President of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini stated that "retailers will need to have flexible systems to redirect the supply chain and orchestrate orders." While merchandise may have previously moved in bulk from a distribution centre to a store, he said customers are buying more through digital channels.
Back at CES, one of the highlights turned out to be on ‘Wearables’: "tiny computers that users can wear on their bodies".
Several sources, including Computer Weekly, and Search Consumerization, cover the possible application of these ‘Wearables’ to the enterprise. Possible uses range from “emergency workers and medical personnel” to mobile warehouse workers or technicians who need to consult a manual. The main point is around the consumer market as a driver of trends – if 'Wearables' don’t become popular in life outside the organisation, they will probably not proliferate in an enterprise setting either.
However, despite all the technology on display, it ended up being a run-of-the-mill teleprompter that gained most attention at CES 2014. Director Michael Bay’s on-stage ‘meltdown’ grabbed the headlines, as he abandoned a product endorsement mid-speech due to not being able to read his lines - demonstrating once more the importance of reliability over novelty.