With several new technology trends on the rise, you can expect some of these changes to take place this year. Check out the trends taking the business world by storm.
While cloud computing has been around for a while, the use of cloud storage programs and cloud-based software is on the rise. By the end of 2014, US businesses will spend an average of $13 billion on it, according to Forbes.
While the business world has been using smart devices for decades, 2014 will likely see a new era of smart machines. And we're not talking about smartphones and tablets, although those devices are a large part of business practices today. We're taking a step forward from automated machines to machines that can learn and grow with us, such as true "smart cars" and self-learning manufacturing robots.
Gartner believes that the use of these machines—along with their reliability and capabilities—will drastically increase through 2020, and it's all starting now.
For a long time, people have lived by the idea that audiences won't watch long videos, but Shane Smith, CEO of Vice Magazine has a different idea. According to The New York Times, Smith has partnered with CNN, where he'll produce new video segments for CNN's website. Vice is a magazine targeted toward younger adults, often talking about controversial subjects, which sets it apart from most other news outlets. Vice can hold an audience, which means it's not so much the length of the videos they're sharing, but it's about the content within those videos that help hold viewers' attention.
Bring Your Own Device policies—or BYOD—is quickly becoming the norm in many business settings. Where you used to receive a company-issued phone or computer, companies are now allowing employees to bring their own laptops, smartphones, and tablets to work and connect them to the corporate network. This offers a range of benefits, including employee satisfaction, cost savings, and a boost in productivity.
Across the world, 89 percent of IT professionals support BYOD, and while some businesses have had trouble implementing a policy, it doesn't show any signs of slowing down, and it will only pick up speed in 2014.
While 3D printing has already astounded many people, more businesses will adopt it in 2014. In fact, demand for 3D printing technology is expected to grow by 75 percent through 2014, and by the end of 2015, that demand is estimated to double, according to Gartner. 3D printing has the potential to change the retail business by increasing efficiency and lowering prices all while boosting profits.
With devices like Google Glass and Apple's iWatch rumored for public release this year, businesses will take advantage of these technologies. Not only are there opportunities to build applications for these devices and possibly advertise your company's services, but businesses will use the wearable technology in the workplace to help streamline processes.
This will allow people to stay in touch easier while receiving countless other benefits. Just how your smartphone can help you record video, boost your health, navigate, translate languages, and perform a variety of other functions, so will these wearable devices, except they'll be even closer to your fingertips.
When surveyed by PWC, 44 percent of business professionals said that their biggest concern this year is business analytics. While many companies have put heaps of money into marketing, a huge concern is measuring the results, so this year businesses will put more effort into measuring their marketing success. This could come in forms of using better analytics software or creating jobs for data analysts and strategists.
A recent study showed that 61 percent of marketers use data insight to customize messages always or often. Another 78 percent said they planned to integrate further social media data into their results. Currently, 49 percent of respondents use web analytics, 19 percent use email, and 12 percent use social media as their best means of tracking data. However, with advancing technologies, businesses will have an easier time tracking their analytics, and more people will jump on these tools this year.
These technological advances estimated to grow and hit main-stream during 2014 will affect the way business professionals work in their environment as well as what technologies they make available to their customers. Have you heard of other technology trends set to change the business world in 2014 that we missed? Share your ideas in the comment section.
JT Ripton is a business consultant and a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a myriad of topics, business and technology being a couple of them. You can follow him on Twitter @JTRipton.
Learn more about technology and cloud computing with the Salesforce1 e-book.