IT trends to be aware of in 2013
As 2013 dawns, the information and communications technology available to SMEs in the space of a year has changed massively.
According to IBM’s 2012 Global CEO Study, business leaders world-wide believe that technology is the single most important differentiator for successful organisations today.
Back in the real world, small businesses only have time for tried and tested technology that’s cost effective and will really boost the efficiency and effectiveness of their business. Here’s four to consider:
Keep taking the tablets
It may be time to replace your laptop with something slimmer, lighter and possibly cheaper. Tablets look likely to become key to business in 2013. No longer just a nice to have, they will run highly functional apps and some will even run full Office applications.
Analysts at IDC have revised their 2013 forecast of worldwide tablet shipments upwards to 172.4 million; Android’s worldwide tablet share is expected to increase and Apple’s share to slip.
Bring your own mobile to the social cloud
4G rollout should mean business applications such as collaborative working through web-based presentations and videoconferencing will work more effectively over the mobile network. The trends towards bringing your own (usually mobile) device to work (BYOD), cloud computing and social media for business will converge in 2013 in a way that will make them unavoidable for businesses of any size.
The transformation of social media from a personal communication platform to an integral part of a business’s internal and external communication will be a major trend in 2013.
Analysts at Ovum predict social media monitoring will move to the heart of the customer service function in the next five years.
The internet of things
In 2013, ‘things’ ranging from fridges to vending machines, trainers to electricity meters will gain intelligence and start to talk to each other by means of embedded chips. It’s thought that a trend for wearable smart electronics will begin with athletic shoes and fitness tracking and communications devices for the ear. The possibilities are limitless!
All work and no play?
The good news is that as fast as work is merging into leisure time, play is merging with work. In 2013, businesses will use the techniques that game designers use, known as gamification, to keep employees interested and achieve the engagement needed to transform business operations.
Tracey Caldwell is an experienced business technology writer, having written for radio, newspapers, as well as various IT journals and publications.