5 Top Tech Trends for 2014

Yup, it’s that time of year again when we all speculate on what’s going to be hot this coming year in the world of technology and what’s on the way out. As the majority of our readers already know, technology moves at an increasingly fast pace, so let’s have a look at what we can expect to be hearing more about in 2014.

#1: Mobile

OK, so this isn’t a trend on its own, mobile has been evolving rapidly over the past few years and is now well integrated into working practices and the enterprise. We’ve seen BYOD rise in popularity and with it, this has caused concerns and issues around security. This means that this year, we can expect to see movement in:

·         Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solutions

·         Mobile Apps

According to Gartner these will continue to be important through to 2018 as: “the growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make "everything everywhere" strategies unachievable.”

The use of MDM solutions are critical to managing BYOD and it will be vital for organisations to develop strong user policies and ensure employees are fully aware of how they can use their device for work and when on the company network. To this end, Gartner recommend that firms “[b] alance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements”.

With regard to apps, HTML5 will enable better usability and it’s necessary for firms to start thinking in terms of device development when it comes to any redesign.

#2: Embracing the Cloud

As PC sales continue to plummet, not only does it add to the above trend, but it will mean that many consumers will really begin to connect with cloud technology. Of course this relates to storage for the average consumer and perhaps more use of SaaS services.

Saying that, the growing use of IaaS in the enterprise is something that is also likely to take off even more in 2014, as server sales slow and more companies turn to the data centre in order to supply many of their IT needs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the company intranet will cease to exist, but some of it will be hosted in the cloud, especially when it comes to smaller businesses.

#3: The Internet of Things (IoT)

This is already becoming a big buzzword for 2014 and basically refers to how the internet will begin to power everyday devices that can be found in the home and whilst ‘about town’. According to a Business Insider  report published in January, the IoT market is going to be “massive”. It’s thought that at the moment, there are around 1.9bn devices in use today and this is expected to rise to 9bn by 2018. This “will be roughly equal to the number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable computers, and PCs combined”.

#4: 3D Printing

Gartner predict that global shipments of 3D printers will grow by a huge 75% in 2014 and will double again in 2015. The market is growing quickly and whilst 3D printers were out of the price range of many businesses, they now retail for anywhere between £500 - £50K. The use of 3D printers is likely to be seen in organisations that develop any kind of prototype, architecture and more. This allows for reduced costs when conducting research and development projects and the ROI has the potential to be significant when it comes to streamlining manufacturing processes.

#5: Wearable Technology

It could be argued that this was something that is ‘last year’s news’ what with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Gear and similar devices. Apple are also expected to join the fray and there’s talk of wearable video coming soon, not to mention Google Glass, which can be controlled with a wink.

It’s also thought that these devices will talk to each other and existing tech, such as your PC and tablet and, of course, some of the health-related devices that measure your heart rates, steps and fitness levels are already doing well on what is set to become a very lucrative market.

The great thing about technology is that it’s never dull. There’s always some exiting new innovative ideas and products appearing and it makes business increasingly easier to manage. This means that companies have the ability to become more agile and increase revenue, whilst maintaining excellent customer relationships through CRMs, CMSs and other intranet resources.