The Future of Enterprise IT: 4 Trends and What They Mean

by Mark Pendolino – Smartsheet

TechCrunch recently released the 10 most important trends changing the face of enterprise computing, everything from faster application performance to virtualization to enhanced security.

We dug a little deeper into four of these trends and looked at what they specifically mean for the future of technology in the workplace.

Four Important Trends to Consider When Looking for New Technology

  1. Cloud computing is taking over.
    Nearly one-third of all workloads use the cloud today, according to Morgan Stanley. Cloud computing is so powerful because it removes all physical barriers – employees can access information anywhere and on any device. It also allows organizations to easily expand resources and adopt new tools and applications without buying more hardware.

What it means: Yes, telecommuting is on the rise, but today’s cloud software promises to enable entire companies to work remotely, regardless of time zones or geographic locations. Precise Biometrics, creators of smart card readers and fingerprint sensors designed to protect data, has 20 international workers and uses Smartsheet as its main tool. “It’s become our virtual office. It’s the heart of our team,” said Meredith Esham, director of marketing.

  1. More purchasing power across organizations.
    Traditionally, CIOs and IT staff held purchasing power for new technology and tools. Now, it’s moving to heads of sales, marketing, finance and other departments. In fact, one-third of technology purchasing power has moved to executives outside of IT, according to a Bain & Company survey.

What it means: There is no “standard buyer” anymore; it could be someone from any department. As a result, IT solutions need to be customizable across the board. Also, with different technology buyers in the same organization, employees will likely be using multiple applications. Tools that are compatible with other apps will be the clear winner.

  1. New ways to get work done with mobile.’s CEO, Marc Benioff, has said he runs his whole business from his phone. This keeps getting easier and easier to do. Mobile applications are providing efficient, automated ways to work faster and smarter.

What it means: Information never sleeps. With our smartphones and tablets, employees could be working on projects at any time, day or night, so technology will need to keep up. Businesses will need solutions that allow simultaneous editing, automated progress reports, and real-time notifications when things change in a project.

  1. Intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces are king.
    Better-designed applications with friendly interfaces are pushing out the harder-to-use, traditional models. Businesses don’t want to waste days training employees on how to use a new program; instead, they are actively seeking organic adoption.

What it means: User experience will be a huge factor in selecting an IT solution. Smartsheet’s universal, spreadsheet layout is a powerful draw for our customers.

Technology to Help Work Smarter, Not Harder

Businesses need technology that can help employees work smarter, not harder. They should be looking for cloud-based, user-friendly tools that can keep up with our 24/7 plugged-in world in a customizable way. Employees don’t have time to be held back by technology, they need to hit the ground running.

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