Keeping up with the demands of technology is no small task. It is 2015 and there are the expected slew of predictions as to where technology is going this year. So which trends do you need to worry about and which are just predictions that might never happen? After all the money is tight and you need to spend the dollars where the greatest benefit to your company will be produced.
We looked at three major announcements produced at the end of last year and summarized the findings for you. They are from Accenture and Gartner (references at foot of this article). Looking at all three learned pronouncements there is a great deal of commonality: Digitalization, Personalized Experiences, Internet of Things, Platform Companies, Big Data and Changing the Workforce to deal with the new IT environment.
Get Ready for the Totally Digitalized World
The buzz word for 2015 is surely going to be SMAC – social, mobile, analytics and cloud. These are the four areas that will need your full focus as we head through 2015 and plan for the next few years.
A quick look around shopping centers, coffee bars and restaurants will show you thousands of peoples glued to tablets and cell phones. People are even starting to wear new technology on their wrists, such as smart watches and fitness bands. Google Glasses initially failed to take off, but they will be back in some format. People are communicating, posting, emailing and shopping via smaller, mobile screens. An envious look at the big four: Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter quickly demonstrates that mobile computing, shopping and social media is prevalent and profitable. Oh those lovely “P” words!
The rise of mobile computing means that people want their stuff at their fingertips. Unfortunately that stuff, be it film, photo or song means large files. Fortunately cloud computing is becoming sophisticated enough to deal with these large files and deliver them to where people need their data.
Gartner believes that the combination of mobile and cloud computing will lead to intelligent apps that can use storage efficiently, lowering bandwidth demands and allowing simultaneous usage on multiple devices. They believe that computing will need to move from static models to take advantage of the rich APIs that cloud computing provides.
The consequence of far more activity is that much more data is being produced. Called Big Data, this mass and it is a large mass, of data is what many CIOs are struggling to make sense of in the hope of obtaining a marketing advantage over their rivals.
The Internet of Me
Accenture have coined the phrase “The Internet of Me” to explain that everyone is now looking for a personal experience online. Social media and shopping is changing and people are now demanding the same personal interaction that they used to enjoy down at the shopping mall or in the coffee shop with their friends. The company that can individually personalize a person’s interaction with them will win that customer’s loyalty and dollars.
Gartner pointed out that there will be a rise in wearable technology as well as a saturation of mobile technology. Pretty soon computing will be everywhere. They suggested that rather than concentrate on the technology being used, companies should concentrate on the user’s experience. In this they agree with Accenture – how the customer personally interacts with a company is far more important that what device they use. Gartner points out that alongside this new personalized experience there will need to be enhanced, context aware security.
Climb on a Platform or Better Still Build the Platform
Accenture are championing a platform strategy as the future of commerce. The likes Amazon started it with it Amazon Market Place, Apple with iTunes and Etsy with its market place. Now other well known blue chip companies are following suit.
The rise of social, mobile and cloud technology is driving this business strategy forward and the fourth part of SMAC, the analytics is finding markets, testing products and rewarding customers. The cloud encourages easy content production and its availability to potential customers worldwide. Social media connects these people and mobile technology makes it all viable, attractive and rapid to create, market and execute a sale.
Gartner calls it Web-Scale IT and believe that more companies will start thinking and operating like Amazon, Google and Facebook. They believe that this will start with the merging of Development and Operations (called DevOps) will start the move to large scale, web based operations.
Everything is Joining Together Now
The Internet of Things (IoT): large groups of objects that are connected over the internet with a unique identifier thus enabling them to communicate with each other without human interference, is growing. Gartner believe that this will be core for product sales and operational processes and companies need to focus on this technology and that the IoT is the driving force of the digital economy.
Growing the Digital Ecosystem
Gartner believes that the digital economy is made up of digital businesses that blend the physical worlds with our digital world and that this will eventually change how businesses work and interact with their customers, suppliers and developers.
In 2014 Accenture wanted companies to use technology as a driving force for growth. In 2015 they are urging companies to digitalize by tapping into their customers, their suppliers, data sources and alliance partners digitally. For the brave there is also the option of including things into this digital ecosystem. They believe that the future power brokers of industry will place themselves at the center of a digital ecosystem in the same way that Google is the power behind internet marketing and Amazon at the core of internet shopping. Their belief is that these new powerbrokers, who will grow exponentially, will be able to create markets as opposed to have to find and develop existing markets.
Stop Drowning in Data
The Internet of Things and rapid uptake of mobile technology, social media and cloud computing means that there is an incredible amount of information fed back to any organization. Any interaction whether research, social, entertainment or purchasing leaves a digital trail. Smart marketers have always known that this data can provide information that can be used to identify markets and buying signals. Unfortunately these data has now been coined as Big Data and companies are now drowning in data and information. Fortunately other companies are springing up with analytical tools and software intelligence systems to dig deep into this Big Data and pull out the required information.
Accenture believe that taming this data by using correct analytical methods will allow a company to make innovative decisions through out the company. Gartner states that rather than Big Data being important it is the questions that are asked of the data and the answers produced that should be the focus of the CIO and company strategists.
Smart machines reacting to people
Gartner believe that once companies conquer the analytics of Big Data and the personal interface that this will path the way to smart machines that will interact with the human being, learn what is needed and react accordingly. Some might see this as a nightmare, others a logical step forward. Whatever your view, the company that leads the way will be as ground breaking as Google, Amazon and Facebook combined.
Take a Hard Look at Your Current IT Workforce
Accenture believe that very soon the entire CIOs will be digitalized and that human beings and intelligent technology will need to collaborate and find a way to work alongside each other.
Gartner surveyed 2,800 CIOs (Chief Information Officer) of 84 countries which showed that most were aware of what was needed to succeed in this brave new world, 75% citing a need to change their leadership style. There is a definite rise of the role of a DIO (Digital Information Officer) and many more CIOs are reporting directly to the CEO (Chief Operating Officer) showing a rise in the prominence of IT within a company.
Gartner do highlight two potential problem areas: lack of portfolio management abilities and inefficient risk management. The ability to manage projects and activities over a wide range of platforms and processes will become more important as the digital world evolves. Changes always bring risk and the correct management and mitigation of this risk will be key to profitability and growth.
Other trend forecasters have cited the need for the internet marketing functions to merge with the digital marketing functions, leading to a better customer experience and gaining more profitable potential markets.
Other Interesting Trends
Gartner believes that the rise of cheaper 3D printing will lead to major changes in some fields such as medical and some manufacturing, changing the way they produce their goods.
Lastly Gartner believes that security will obviously remain important but the rapid emergence of a totally digital experience means that it should not impede progress. This means that 100% will no longer be possible, leading to the rise of more sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation systems.
There Could be Trouble Ahead
The sheer scale and rapidity of changes that are predicted for 2015 combined with the complexity of micro managing personalized experiences means that many small and mid-sized companies are outsourcing their CIO functions to specialized companies that know how to deal with these factors. Larger companies with larger budgets are also seeking experienced assistance. There are an abundance of job adverts for digital based jobs and DIOs are being sought after.
Data analysts and security specialists are emerging as are companies that can make sense of Big Data and guide businesses through this maze. Lastly cyber security is changing as the techneology structure guiding products to consumers alters. Security has always been important to CIOs and many are now searching for consultants that can guide them through this new maze of changes Biz Guru is one such company that is aware of the 2015 IT Trends and can assist and guide you as well as handle your social media and marketing and professional writing requirements.