November 1, 2014

The Latest Buzz(words) – What’s on our Radar

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It’s hard to keep up with the constantly changing list of tech acronyms and the latest jargon. Here are a few trends and buzzwords that have made it onto our radar screen lately. What are you hearing?

ROWE – Results-Oriented Work Environment

We’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last year plus talking about the BYOD trend and what that means to businesses.  While this is a vital area of emerging importance to companies and IT teams everywhere, if you are like us you hear the term about every 15 seconds  However, there is a new buzzword going around that gets to the heart of why the BYOD trend is so important to businesses.

ROWE stands for Results-Oriented Work Environment (or Results-Only Work Environment) and is a clever way of thinking about the relationship that companies have with their employees in which businesses focus more on results than on the number of hours or location of hours worked.  This shift towards productivity and output gives businesses a framework for thinking about human resources (work from home, vacation schedules, flex time, etc.) as well as their IT investments and what they means to a modern, mobile workforce.

ConvergenceSoup.com did a nice job of summing things up:

Less real estate, more remote work environments, VPN, telework, mobility, virtual presence, collaboration, video, call accounting, cloud services and even yes, BYOD.. these are all the building blocks of a smooth running ROWE environment.

Don’t be surprise to hear more about ROWE as businesses begin to use this framework to think about their investments, their employees and the bottom line.

SDN – Software Defined Networking

In a world of virtualized and optimized everything, it is no surprise that switches and routers are getting into the game and taking advantage of a flexible architecture that allows for greater control and flexibility in this critical network infrastructure.  Modern switches are asked to do much more in a modern, virtualized data center environment, and companies are often managing many types of switches and routers from multiple manufacturers.  That is where SDN comes in.  According to Wikipedia:

Software defined networking (SDN) is an emerging architecture for computer networking. SDN separates the control plane from the data plane in network switches and routers. Under SDN, the control plane is implemented in software in servers separate from the network equipment and the data plane is implemented in commodity network equipment. OpenFlow is a leading SDN architecture.

Thus SDN allows for:

  1. quick experimentation and optimization of switching/routing policies, and for
  2. external access to the innards of switches and routers that formerly were closed and proprietary.

Stay tuned to CarouselConnect for an interview later this month with our partner Extreme Networks digging into this exciting new trend in more detail.

SMMS – Social Media Management Systems

Have you heard about Social Media?  Yeah, you and every other person and business in the country.  As companies realize what an important part of doing business social media has become, the need to add structure to the chaos has become more and more important.  That is where a new type of tool comes into play – the Social Media Management System.

These tools (pretty much all SaaS) are developing into a category all their own as businesses struggle with managing multiple employees interacting on multiple social media channels, all while providing transparency to management and reporting on compliance issues.  Several of you have probably heard of SMMS’s like HootSuite and TweetDeck (already acquired by Twitter), but there are many other solutions focused on providing enterprise-grade management suites, no matter how large your company needs to scale.

For a list of SMMS solutions, check out this list on Top Rank, and  for a recent report detailing the growth and importance of the market, check out A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation by the Altimeter Group.

What are the buzzwords you’ve been hearing that are going to impact your company and your IT strategy?  What do you think about these emerging ones and how they might impact your business?  Let us know what’s on your mind.

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