As we look ahead to 2014 – We are endebted to mybusiness.singtel.com for highlighting top trends in the year to come many of which MBM have highlighted recently. Our two big tips are the big push on Windows 365 and adoption of more cloud based solutions. We are here to discuss any query you may have in these areas.
Change is the only constant. In the tech world, there is constant evolution as digtal technology and communication goes faster, better and smarter, all at a rapid pace. The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to anticipate what’s coming, and then to act accordingly.
Here we outline the top six technological trends that may be relevant for SMEs come 2014.
1. Digital is A Must-Have
According to Forrester, “A great digital experience is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a make-or-break point for your business as we more fully enter the digital age.” Simply translated, SMEs will have to go digital if they are to remain competitive as customers interact more with businesses through digital engagement. This also puts emphasis on user experience (UX), focusing on the way users feel and behave as they interact with online platforms.
2. The Internet of Everything
At the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, where analysts highlighted the top tech industry trends going forward, there was an emphasis on the Internet expanding beyond just computers and mobile devices.
Instead, the Internet is expanding to everything—cars, televisions, etc. As technology moves towards this, Gartner has identified four basic usage models (Manage, Monetise, Operate and Extend) that can be applied to things, information, places and people, therefore being dubbed the “Internet of Everything”. This is inevitable, and SMEs are in a position to remain flexible so as to learn and adapt to advances quickly and effectively in order to harness the Internet in new ways.
3. Wearable Devices Are Everywhere
Google Glass and Samsung’s Smartwatch are just the tip of the iceberg as tech companies debut an increasing number of wearable technology devices in 2014, according to Juniper Research firm.
As technology becomes more pervasive in the lives of consumers, SMEs must study how the market changes as a result, before changing their own marketing strategies. SMEs must also be on the lookout for marketing opportunities related to wearable technology and innovate for this new-found technology trend.
4. The Cloud Gets Huge
Cloud services will be huge in 2014, resulting in an increase in data storage. In fact, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), cloud services will grow by 25% to surpass $100 billion. The reason for the huge growth is that Cloud services offers SMEs a chance to have more efficient and cost-effective ways of running your businesses. SMEs should consider moving infrastructure and/or software to the cost- and data-effective cloud. SMEs should consider Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud solutions: for example, myBusiness offers a range of cloud-hosted software apps in areas such as HR and office communications. Using a SaaS service saves on traditional outlay costs such as servers and having a dedicated IT team for software and hardware deployment.
“Consumerisation” of technology is taking place at an increasing pace, as the internet – and the way technology is used – sees new and advanced ways of permeating our lives and changing the way we live. Internet banking is becoming the norm and there are constantly new e-commerce ventures such as using NFC for payments. Digital wallets will be more prevalent in 2014. As such there will therefore be a need for all business to rethink security, trust and identity to ensure that both business and customer data are kept safe.
6. 3D Printing Takes Off In a Big Way
3D printing is expected to see a big jump, with 3D printers expected to grow exponentially worldwide from 2014 through to 2015. As more companies look to 3D printers a tool in manufacturing design and solutions, SMEs too can leverage this opportunity by working on better product designs and rapid protoyping with the aid of 3D printing.