Tech trends predictions for this year

News: Tech trends

January 03, 2014

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2014 has dawned and will be a time of big change for many businesses facing the challenge of developing new ways to attract and retain customers

Last year saw many enterprises focusing on adopting new technologies to improve business operations by addressing developments such as the Nexus of Forces. No, that is not a Dr Who baddie, but is how analyst firm Gartner describes the ‘convergence of social, mobile, cloud and information’.

Today, with convergence done and dusted, businesses are looking to the next step, to make significant shifts in their business models and processes to meet the twin challenges of “consumer empowerment and market commoditization”, according to Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

What does this mean in practice? In no particular order, some of the top tech trends of 2014 look likely to include:

3D printing

Big retailers will start to use 3D printing technologies. According to Gartner, at least seven of the world’s top 10 multichannel retailers will use 3D printing technologies to generate custom stock orders by 2017 – but by 2018, 3D printing will result in the loss of at least $100 billion per year in intellectual property globally.

Apps good, applications bad

Gartner predicts that in 2014 apps will grow and applications will shrink. Again, there will be winners and losers. By year-end 2015, inadequate ROI will drive insurers to abandon 40% of their customer-facing mobile apps. Yet by 2017, 15% of consumers will respond to context-aware offers based on their individual demographics and shopper profile.

Big watches

From big data to big watches; 2013 was the year of the big watch and Apple has taken note. The Register reports reliable Korean sources have predicted an Apple iWatch with a whopping 1.7-inch OLED screen for men and a 1.3-inch display for women. Watch this space!

The Internet of Everything

In 2013 all the hype was about the advent of the internet of things. By now we expected our fridges to be chatting happily to our TVs and all our household gadgets right down to the toaster to be under the care and control of our mobile devices, wherever we are. That hasn’t happened (yet) but that hasn’t stopped the pundits moving on to the next stage.

Cisco’s chief futurist – who would not want that job title? – Dave Evans has predicted that the Internet of everything will go beyond linking things (fridges and toasters), to linking people, processes and data. Big data analytics will grab all that data, crunch it and solve world hunger and provide education for all.