A variation of this blog post also appeared in the March 2014 issue of CIO Review. 

Trends in ITThere is no doubt about it; articles featuring industry trends are a hot topic. You cannot pick up a magazine or go on a website without seeing a “trend” article. CommScope is no stranger to writing about trends. In January, we authored three blogs on the trends driving the broadband, enterprise and wireless markets. So, now it is my turn with an IT trend blog.

As you may know, CommScope is a leading global provider of connectivity and essential infrastructure solutions for wireless, business enterprise and residential broadband networks.  That is a good place to be, as demand for wireless and wired bandwidth is high in all networks.  It also continues to be a fundamental driver of growth in IT networks. As CIO, I’m noticing three trends that have to do with the markets we serve—the digitalization of the customer experience, mobility and machine-to-machine communications.

The digitization of the customer experience

The relationship between customers and companies has fundamentally changed from a personal and brick-and-mortar relationship to one that is increasingly digital. This is certainly true in the consumer world and is quickly migrating to the business-to-business world. Customers want to be able to research, configure, order, track and get support for business solutions digitally with consumer-like ease of use.

Mobility

Everyone expects to be able to access the tools and data they need at anytime and anywhere.

Machine-to-machine communications

In addition to improving person-to-person communications, businesses are moving toward making their networks more intelligent. That means we will see increased investments in data centers and intelligent buildings. I believe that companies that take advantage of these trends will be able to differentiate themselves from the competition.

These trends demonstrate the need for increased bandwidth. As the demand increases, CommScope will continue to enable communications for the benefit of businesses and people around in the world.

As you ponder these trends, you must also consider additional issues faced by IT every day. Integrating applications from a single vendor can be challenging and integration between different vendors or between an on-premise application and a cloud application can be even more complicated. There is no question that standards are required to make this process seamless. That’s why our employees sit on several standards boards in attempts to help create the proper integration standards for many industries to use.

Another issue IT must face is the lack of platform convergence for the people using several devices. Not so long ago, the typical user had two main devices—a mobile phone and desktop. Today, most people carry three devices—a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop, due in part that for someone who has to produce content, a tablet cannot fully replace today’s personal computer.

My IT department faces many challenges, like almost all do. In my opinion, the real mission of an IT organization is to be viewed as a trusted advisor to the company. This way you can help grow and transform a company so it can reach its full potential. To have the privilege of being viewed as a trusted advisor, one must establish trust and that comes from meeting commitments—delivering quality on time, keeping everything running, and meeting and exceeding service levels. All of these must be accomplished while balancing cost and security constraints.

CommScope is a company that understands the importance of innovation. In addition to establishing innovation as a core value, we focus heavily on ensuring our team is trained on the latest technologies and solutions. That includes solutions outside of the industries we serve.

What other trends and issues do you see facing IT?

About the Author

Michael Cross

Mr. Cross has been our senior vice president and chief information officer since May 2012 when he joined the company. Mr. Cross came to our company with more than 23 years experience in information technology, product development and services, having been promoted to increasingly responsible roles within two major corporations. He spent nine years with NCR in Columbia, South Carolina and 14 years at Dell, Inc. in Round Rock, Texas.

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