A convergence of declining national productivity and rapid changes in the IT landscape has created a “perfect storm” which threatens to adversely affect Australian business, including those in the Hunter.
That’s the warning given to delegates at Recon 2013 conference in Newcastle today, which focus on the challenges created by the rapid emergence of social media, mobile devices, cloud computing and big data.
Conference organiser, Computer Systems Australia’s (CSA) Grant Belcher, says these powerful IT forces, combined with recent economic indicators, should create a sense of urgency amongst business managers.
“There’s sometimes a business view about IT that, if it isn’t broken they don’t need to fix it or they can wait until v3.0 before moving, but there’s a real danger of being left behind” said Mr Belcher.
“Providing employees with more flexible IT solutions is vital to raising productivity, retaining talented staff and gaining a competitive edge.”
Belcher says that the days of a one-computer-fits-all solution is largely over. He says IT managers are under increasing pressure to accommodate the desire of employees to bring their own device (BYOD).
“The trend toward employee mobility, often using their own personal computers, is nearly unstoppable and businesses need to accommodate this while also keeping their systems and data secure. The social behaviour of the IT user must now be a major consideration.”
The rapid proliferation of data and where to store it – in the premises or in the cloud – is another business IT challenge that is not going to go away says Belcher.
“Cloud computing is viewed with scepticism by many, and there is still a reluctance to store business critical information offsite. But the cloud can offer compelling cost savings and provide the sort of office mobility that is a key to improved productivity.”
The keynote address at Recon 2013, titled “This Decade’s IT” was delivered by Microsoft Australia’s Chief Technology Officer, Greg Stone.
Held at Hunter Stadium, the event was attended by 120 IT decision makers from the Mid-North Coast to Sydney.