Windows XP exploits:
So we predicted a rash of Windows XP exploits being released into the wild just after the end of extended support (8th April 2014) – the theory being that attackers would benefit from the OS not being patched. This didn’t in fact materialize –maybe due to Microsoft’s generous offer to keep delivering malware signatures. Interestingly we saw a jump in our client device numbers and a lot of work to help customers migrate off XP – so maybe we protected our customers that way!
BYOD continues apace:
I think, judging by our tablet/ device numbers as well as the amount of mobile device/ application management software our customers have consumed over the last year we can claim this one. VMware’s acquisition of AirWatch probably helps to validate this! Interestingly, the complexion has shifted a little bit and perhaps in 2015 we will see a bit more Employee Choice IT – where device is company-owned and –provided but there is more flexibility around form factor etc.
We suggested here that 2014 would be the last year of growth for the LAN, with wireless becoming the norm. I’m not sure we will know the answer to this until the end of 2015 and beyond in all honesty, but it certainly feels that way. We launched our Meraki Managed Service last month in recognition of this. Datacentre networking on the other hand is an increasingly hot topic – but more on this in our forthcoming 2015 predictions!
VDI hits maturity:
Judging by the number of projects we have been engaged to deliver this year, this is certainly the case. With the launch of 3D graphics capability courtesy of NVidia at the end of 2013, there are very few if any workloads we can’t deliver. We look forward to another successful year in the EUC (end user computing) space in 2015!
Software-defined starts to become a reality:
This one was a bit of a no-brainer really – with the amount of buzz about this area it was always going to happen. I guess the only surprise was that it perhaps took a little longer and really only seems to have got going towards the end of the year. We’re currently engaged in our first major production network virtualisation project, with several storage projects under our belt. This will be a major focus for us in 2015 – more about this in January!
Flash market consolidation:
Interestingly, I don’t think we saw the market consolidation I was expecting – I can’t recall a (significant) acquisition of a Flash vendor in 2014. However, this was the year the all-flash enterprise started becoming a reality – and you’re only going to see more in 2015.
Voice and video:
It took until the second half of the year – but cloud-based video from a variety of vendors has arrived! We’ve seen several so far take the plunge, with several pilots or POCs ongoing. I’m sure one of the driving factors is that costs are a fraction of what they used to be.
WebRTC on the other hand seems to be something of a slow burner. This is mainly down to the fact that the standard is splintered into various factions at present, which means browser support is patchy. It’s probably a 3-5 year thing rather than the 18 month thing we thought it would be – but hey, that’s the point of predictions!
Well, I think we were spot on with our suggestion that enlightened IT departments will stop focusing on kit – or at least move in that direction. More and more of our conversations revolve around IT teams’ desires to spend more time working with the business on technological advancements and less time on running flashing lights in the datacentre. This is certainly one trend I hope and expect to see more of in 2015!
Sam Routledge - Softcat Solutions Director
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