With 2014 now upon us, what are some of the less than obvious tech trends slated to make an impact in the coming year? Sure the continued growth of Cloud-based service offerings, mobile technology at the office, and the tracking of social media is a safe prediction, but what other technologies should the IT professional expect to see grow this year?
Will Wearable Tech Live up to the Hype?
The hype about wearable tech is pervasive. So far, the only things actually on the market is Samsung’s underwhelming Galaxy Gear watch and a smattering of wearables suitable for the fitness industry.
Will Google Glass hit the market this year? Rackspace’s Robert Scoble is one of the beta testers for the device, and he feels Glass is doomed. Ultimately, Scoble bases his opinion on the fact that Glass is still ahead of its time. He hopes Google won’t rush the product out this year at too high of a price point to beat off competition from the rumored Apple iWatch.
IT ops professionals probably won’t need to worry about a Bring Your Own Wearable (BYOW) trend at the workplace in 2014. Still, Deloitte is predicting sales of wearable computers to top $3 billion in 2014.
More IT Money Spent on Software, Services, and Support
Another prediction for Deloitte looks to have a direct impact on the MSP professional. Even with the growth in popularity of mobile devices at the workplace, Deloitte expects that money spent on computers, smartphones and tablet will plateau in 2014 — primarily because of cheaper prices.
This budgetary vacuum means more money spent on software, services, and support; the latter two items potentially mean good news for managed service providers in 2014. While Deloitte is also focused on the consumer market, expect their prediction to hold weight for business IT.
The Importance of the Digital Experience
Forrester predicts that digital experience delivery will be an important differentiator between successful companies and the also-rans in the coming year. “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,” said the company.
As more consumers embrace mobile devices and PCs for shopping and browsing, businesses need to ensure their marketing, and in some cases, their software development efforts reflect this growing trend. Don’t assume that MSPs marketing primarily in the B2B space are immune from needing to develop an impactful digital experience.
2014 appears to be a year where some tech trends, like mobile technology, become more entrenched both in the home and office. The potential commercial releases of Google Glass and an Apple iWatch deserve attention, but don’t expect any impact from wearable tech at the workplace for a few more years. Ultimately, managed service providers need to pay closer attention to their digital experience delivery moving forward.