Central Desktop: Why is business tech spending on the rise?

Logo for Central DesktopYes, it’s been a slow couple of months here, so please accept my apologies. All droughts come to an end though, and this one ends with a look at the latest forecasts for tech spending, digging under the obvious economic reasons at the some of the macro-and micro-trends that have changed our spending behaviour.

At the start of April, both Gartner and IDC released their latest forecasts for technology spending. The good news for technology vendors? Both forecast solid growth across all areas of spend, from telecoms to devices. It’s a stark turnaround from the 2013 reports that showed a contraction in spending in three of the five main tech categories. Good news, overall – but the real interest in these predictions is behind the scenes. The financial troubles of the last few years, coupled with external and internal changes in the business environment, have left us looking out at a very different landscape. As Quentin Hardy succinctly put it in The New York Times, Tech Spending Recovers, but It’s Different.”

So what is this new landscape? And how have we ended up here?

As always, you can read the full article over at Central Desktop.

Central Desktop: Should you open up your internal network to external users?

Logo for Central DesktopGood things come in threes!

It’s true, even Wikipedia says so, and as we all know, Wikipedia is always right. Without it what would we do? Social Media Today’s article ‘What Would Happen If Wikipedia Died?‘ suggests that we would just “get along with other sources”. Obviously, the author doesn’t live in the same world that I do. Anyway, back to threes. Wikipedia says:

“The rule of three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader or audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes.”

That’s why it’s so important to read my third article at Central Desktop “Should you open up our internal network to external users?

It sounds like a no-brainer, of course you should, but beware! There are, as always, pros and cons. And now, the obligatory extract:

“Collaboration is essential to any business – mediated and controlled collaboration via cloud platforms even more so. But how far do you extend the borders on collaboration? Within your department? Your organization? Your vendors? More? After all, cloud platforms are the perfect vehicle for this kind of collaboration, being equally accessible by all parties involved.

[…]

There are positives and negatives to working in a truly collaborative and open way with your external partners. But for those willing to tackle the risks head on, the rewards may pave the way for even further collaboration in the future (with more diverse partners and potentially greater reward).”

You can find out more over at Central Desktop.

Central Desktop: Why you should keep IT off your cloud

Logo for Central Desktop

I’m on a roll at the moment, working on a lot of guest posts, so apologies for the lack of updates right here on the blog: there will be more in the next few weeks. Having said that, here’s the latest article at Central Desktop: Why you should keep IT off your cloud (if you don’t want to make the most of the opportunity.)

It’s something that’s close to my heart as an IT nerd – the changing face of IT and why you should keep them close when implementing cloud services. I promise, we are useful. What’s more, you also get to watch a clip from the brilliant UK sitcom, The IT Crowd.

Here’s a short extract:

Cloud systems – the perfect opportunity to take control of your processes and practices. A system that can boost your productivity and that you can mold to your exact requirements, all without the interference of IT. No infrastructure requirements, no development, no overcomplicated business analysis and project management – just the appointment of a vendor who can take away the pain and make things happen.

Or is it?

Here are four reasons why you should break out of this fallacy and involve IT when implementing cloud solutions.

Read the full article at Central Desktop.

Central Desktop: Security and Privacy in the Cloud

Logo for Central DesktopMyths perpetuate, but your internal processes cause the biggest risk in cloud services

Another guest post went live at Central Desktop yesterday. This time looking at the misconceptions around the security of cloud services. It’s often thought that the cloud solutions is inherently insecure, but it’s much more likely that the security breach will occur through lax processes or simple human error within the client organisation.

Here’s a short extract:

Cloud services: the future of computing and service provision or simply one more headache? If you read enough press, you’ll be convinced that both are true. In reality, when you remove the opinions and biases, the truth is in between, but probably not in the way that you would expect.

Read the full article at Central Desktop.

Central Desktop: All-in-one Collaboration Solutions vs Specialized Solutions

Logo for Central DesktopA second guest post has gone live at Central Desktop today.

All-in-one Collaboration Solutions vs Specialized Solutions looks at the pros and cons of each solution type and gives guidance on which might be best for your needs. If you’re looking at collaboration solutions, or are interested in finding out more, please take a look.

Here’s a short extract:

So you’re thinking about collaboration software. You’ve read up on the benefits and you’re convinced it’s a good idea and your company will really benefit. The question then is who and what? Who should I get my solution from? What should the solution be? Tough questions for the uninitiated. What it really comes down to is: do I go for an all-in-one or a specialized solution? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each approach, starting with all-in-one solutions.

Read the full article at Central Desktop.

Central Desktop: Eight Tips on Successful Adoption of Collaboration Solutions

Logo for Central DesktopA new guest post has gone live at Central Desktop today.

Eight Tips on Successful Adoption of Collaboration Solutions pretty much does what it says in the title. Sounds niche, but even though it’s focussed on Collaboration Solutions, the tips are valid for any large-scale solution that has the potential to upset the status quo – from ERP to Innovation to CRM.

Here’s a short extract:

Successfully adopting new working paradigms, especially those that have the potential to move employees out of their comfort zone, can be tricky. Luckily, there are some tips that can make the whole process a lot smoother. Here are eight to consider when you’re faced with implementing a collaboration solution into your business.

Tip 1 – Lead from the top

There’s a reason why this is number one. It’s the most important of all the tips. Whenever you’re undertaking a project like this, make sure you have a sponsor from within the senior management team, preferably the CEO. With buy-in from senior management, you’ll be much better equipped from the start. Everyone has to fall in line; if the CEO says jump, the vast majority of staff will jump.

You can read the full article at Central Desktop. Thanks to Adam at Central Desktop for the opportunity to virtual pen to virtual paper.

Central Desktop: Are ad agencies ready for the cloud?

Logo for Central DesktopA new guest post has gone live at Central Desktop this evening. Are Ad Agencies Ready for the Cloud examines the ways in which agencies can harness cloud services to increase their business agility. Here’s a short extract:

Businesses love their agencies. Why? Because they have three perceived qualities that bigger organizations want to reclaim: creativity, innovation and agility. But do agencies really have these qualities or are they, for all the slick presentations and trendy ideas, just as wedded to old working methods as everyone else?

You can read the full article at Central Desktop.