Connecting...

back to xpand blog

Where to for Sydney's Support Engineers in 2013?

25th Feb 2013

Blank

With January now well and truly behind us it’s time to think ahead at what the year has in store for 2013 with regards to projects and technologies. I’ve been speaking to people within the support space to get their take on trends that they see occurring and also those in decision making positions within businesses as to where they see the resources will be required. I thought I would share my findings and I’d be really interested to know your thoughts and if you see the same.

WINDOWS 8

Windows 8 is a term being murmured at the moment but that is quite different to it being implemented across the majority of organisations. Last year CIOs put the brakes on this because of the vastly different interface however it seems that some professional services are now taking a leap forward with it. From what I’ve heard the removal of the ‘START’ icon on the desktop is the least of the issues however one ‘small’ change like this can throw even the most seasoned Windows user. What many don’t know is that it is actually possible to download applications which can restore the original taskbar as if it were Windows 7 but with all the added benefits of Windows 8. Some of these being faster loading speeds in regards to graphics, pictures, boot times – so with all this in mind, is it worth the cost, time and re-training of rolling it out? Or is Windows 7 still the OS of choice seeing as it still seems relatively new to many even though it was launched 3 years ago?

If you are in a support role at the moment my advice to you would be to gain as much knowledge in Windows 8 for when the majority of organisations will be looking to adopt it over the next few years. If you are a company looking to hire in the support space then it can be a hugely attractive lure to those looking to know they will have exposure and hands on experience to this new technology.

BYOD

Two initiatives that seem to be picking up momentum within many organisations are Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the deskless office. BYOD does come up against security issues and troubleshooting can be difficult due to supporting a variety of devices however its aim is to increase productivity and be a lower cost to the company. Apparently employee-owned smartphones will represent more than half (56%) of the business smartphones shipped in 2013 so with this in mind do you believe it a good idea to invest in security to allow a range of devices to be added? The smartphone could potentially become our primary computer in the future. The Blackstone Group in NYC has called it BYOAD (Bring Your Own Apple Device) but should companies limit it to just one type of smartphone? Having a support team who has experience with a diverse range of devices in both their home and workplace will be sure to add value to many organisations.

I do believe that a great enhancement with BYOD to be implemented this year will be the ability to pick up the session on a different device in exactly the same place you left off. Innovation will occur behind the scenes, to provide a continuous experience for users across call logs, text messages, notes and activities as they move from laptop to desktop, from tablet to mobiles. So taking this all into consideration does BYOD still pose too many security and support issues or would a company reap a return on investment from its implementation?

If you are looking for a support position with a BYOD element then I would recommend having experience in a variety of devices and if you understand how to implement security rules then that will stand you in very good stead. If you are looking to hire and your organisation is a BYOD environment, or looking to move in this direction, then be sure to promote this as it is very attractive to the majority in the market.

DESKLESS OFFICE

With cloud computing and advanced cloud services being the buzz words of the year the deskless environment seems like a natural progression; especially once the NBN is completed it will have even more possibilities to grow. One in three Australian companies will be moving in this direction over the next couple of years and early adopters can already be named as Macquarie Bank, KPMG, Microsoft and NAB to name a few. This initiative is aimed at empowering employees and allowing them to focus on the task in hand, collaborating in any location to complete the necessary projects. Technology is a massive factor in this and enables it to happen but is it worth the cost and efforts of implementation or just a new age fad? I have read that some people fear it may have a detrimental affect on our social skills and physical activity which I think are both valid points. Have you had any positive or negative experiences within a deskless office? I have actually read that despite founding and running a computer technology company, Michael Dell, actually does all his business on his feet and does not give himself a computer to work at.

Many companies I know whom have adopted this initiative look for support staff with a level of experience and competence in Citrix and VMware so the more exposure you have to these, the better.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

These are just a few of my thoughts and findings which I hope may assist when making decisions on hiring resources throughout the year. I’d be really interested to get your take on how you see the market and the future of 2013, is your organisation at the cutting edge and doing something more innovative? Are there other initiatives that you are looking to implement to enhance business processes? I look forward to hearing from you!