2014 is set to be a dynamic year for business technology; one that will bring exciting new ways to enhance both work efficiency and customer engagement. It’s also a big year ahead for consumer technology, with many of the most exciting business technologies set to invade homes in a meaningful way.
As we wind down the clock on 2013, here is some of the most significant technology trends that will dominate in 2014.
Clouds will get more personal
Consumers will be able to buy plug-and-play storage boxes that allow you to set up personal Clouds to share with family and friends. In addition, the next generation of game consoles and home devices (such as the Apple TV), are very heavily reliant on Cloud. The result? People will understand the benefits and functions that Clouds enable like never before and they will become a standard part of life, whether at work or at play, even if they are not tech savvy.
As organisations embrace cloud computing, they have become acutely aware that no single approach to cloud can be applied universally across their IT portfolio. Hybrid Clouds are an integrated cloud service using a combination of private and hosted clouds which are connected over a managed network or an internet service. Utilising your existing investment in technology, Hybrid Cloud extends this with agile, scalable and cost effective hosted cloud services. The Hybrid model leverages the right blend of your infrastructure and hosted cloud whilst addressing data security, governance, compliance and budgetary challenges.
Software, not hardware, will be the core of IT
Because Cloud will be such a focal point of technology in 2014, the hardware that people use to access the Cloud isn’t going to be so important. When a cheap $300 laptop is able to access rich content over a simple Wi-Fi network, buying a $3,000 laptop will make less sense than ever before. People will instead start operating multiple Cloud services for their music, movies, games and work documents.
Mobile will dominate
Cafes will become second offices as people turn to their Surface Pros, iPads, Chrome books and Laptops for their work functions, and their IT teams enable secure and robust remote access to the corporate network. This mobile dominance is going to force organisations across Australia to embark on significant change management programs to capitalise properly on remote working.
Working will become more social than ever
It’s now impossible to hide from social media, and staff will come to expect the same efficient communication features in the workplace. There are still organisations out there that block access to Facebook and Twitter during working hours, but 2014 should see them open up to the value that tools such as these can bring into the organisation, which outweigh the potential risks (or become aware that the risks can be mitigated through the use of technology tools).
Consumer technology will be used in the enterprise
iPads and iPhones were just the start. Dropbox may not be a secure corporate technology, but that’s what organisations will need to deal with into 2014, and attempting to stem the tide will just open the organisation to greater risks as people figure out workarounds. In 2014 it’s going to be vital to figure out how to manage these consumer technologies without telling staff a flat “no.”
3D Printing will become a major opportunity
3D printing is set to truly explode in 2014. The opportunities that this technology will open up to any business are truly impressive; and we’re just scratching the surface of what might be possible as this new technology takes hold. You might want to watch and wait to start with in 2014, but by the end of the year you’re very likely to take it seriously.
More will be expected of less
The pressure for businesses to minimise expenses isn’t going to go away. And that means that IT teams will continue to be running lean and mean. In order to free those teams up to be able to be able to focus on technology innovation, outsourcing the nuts-and-bolts work of IT to managed services providers will be a big trend in 2014.
Big data will become better realised
At the moment big data is a buzz term; everyone knows it can do great things, but very few know how to really get the most out of it. In 2014 we’re going to see big data become far easier for organisations to comprehend and work in a way that benefits the business.
The Internet will replace television as the dominant media
If you look at the current usage trajectories, it seems very likely that the Internet will replace TV as the dominant media form in many countries across the world in 2014. This transition might seem insignificant at first, but the ramifications of the Internet becoming the dominant content delivery media are going to fundamentally change how we operate in our daily lives.