The must-have business technologies to get you ahead of the game in 2015

As 2014 draws to a close, businesses must consider what the New Year will bring, and what technologies they should be looking to embrace. To optimise performance in 2015, businesses should pay particular attention to issues which could stem from the cloud; the use of more applications and of course the continued evolution of BYOD and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Cloud in a business-shaped box

When it comes to the cloud, news in 2015 will no doubt be dominated by a combination of VM portability and hybrid clouds. Cisco's acquisition of MetaCloud will further drive the "cloud in a box" movement as well as pushing "the network" to mean a combination of network, storage, and virtual hypervisors. All of these aspects are relevant now, but combining each element is the real challenge.

Businesses will be forced to look at how they can support an increasingly complex network and how best to increase security and performance. New "cloud-of-cloud" providers, such as Hosting.com, will be evolved to serve market demand for reliable data centre cloud architectures. Similarly, the concept of "cloud-in-a-box" will hit mainstream, as vendors like VMware introduce their VSAN technology allowing SMBs to have SAN-like advantages without the hefty price tag – but cheap isn’t always best, it’s important to consider exactly what your corporate network needs in terms of agility, scalability and security before jumping on the bandwagon.

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Cloud, business cloud, security

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BYOD will merge into IoT

With BYOD now being seen as the norm, IoT – which promises all manner of efficiencies, personalisation and service – will become the next challenge networks will have to manage, with a far wider range of devices attempting to access the corporate network.

Traditionally the best way to keep the network secure has been to limit access; however devices that would normally be outright refused access will have to be reassessed over the coming year. The challenge here is the change of mind set and whole new way of managing networks and IT use policy. IoT networks will have to support as many devices as possible on top of exploring their full range of services to create the biggest most mineable data possible. But IoT connectivity providers will also have an opportunity to consolidate user data-collection networks and resell this information into identity/behaviour marketplaces.

Visible network performance

Finally, in an app-centric world, complete visibility of network performance is a no brainer for 2015. According to a recent end-user survey from SolarWinds, almost every UK employee reported that application performance and availability directly affect their ability to do their job. In fact, 44 per cent of end users said it was absolutely critical to help accomplish their work. With this increasing pressure on IT Pros from the evolving expectations of end users, it’s more important than ever to consider performance as much as finances when it comes to compute, storage and networking technology, to avoid hassles later on.

With more and more UK businesses transitioning to the cloud, understanding the app centric environment is essential. By breaking down traditional IT silos and understanding how critical apps are becoming for business, IT Pros can transition into the full application stack view to truly optimise the performance – not only for IT, but the business as a whole, readying the company, and the IT team, for whatever the future holds.

by Patrick Hubbard, head geek, SolarWinds

Image credit: FluffyHouse