Advanced unveils its 2014 top five business technology trends

Autodesk-unveils-2012-300x225IT managed service provider Advanced 365 has announced its top five business technology trends for 2014. The trends have been selected from a new white paper, ‘What’s Hot in 2014’, which was commissioned by Advanced.

The paper identifies the most transformative technologies that will emerge over the next year and recommends steps businesses need to take to utilise these to remain ahead of the curve. Improved data analytics, better infrastructure intelligence, cloud service growth and the importance of securing networks amid an increase in unauthorised employee BYOD use are all priorities for enterprises this year.

Neil Cross, Managing Director Advanced 365 comments: “The breadth and depth of technology advancements has never had the impact on our lives that it does now. Developments are impacting all touch points of the value and supply chains, with consumer empowerment, mobile, social, data and cloud capabilities all redrawing the business environment in profound ways.

“Data analytics, for instance, is increasingly important as organisations in every industry seek to make sense of massive volumes of data and deploy platforms that translate this information into meaningful business intelligence. There are many business technologies that are developing rapidly, however, our top five trends recognise those where we are seeing the most interest from our clients across the private, public and not for profit sectors.”

1) Network security and the growth of BYOD – With 81 percent of workers admitting to using their own devices to access their employer’s network – without their employer’s knowledge or permission – businesses need to focus on improving security. Safeguarding networks is a must and requires the implementation of BYOD usage guidelines alongside technical controls that physically allow or prevent access.

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2) Infrastructure intelligence – By 2020 it is estimated there will be 4 billion people online using 50 trillion gigabytes of data. The increase in data volume is being driven by the rise in use of business critical apps, mobile devices and the cloud. With storage growing at 20-40 percent each year, businesses need to improve their intelligence and implement an infrastructure to store such vast quantities of data.

3) Data analytics – If businesses are to harness big data and use this to drive their commercial strategies, they need to invest in state-of-the-art data analytics and business intelligence systems. Continued growth in the volumes of enterprise data available to businesses is only valuable if they obtain cross-functional buy-in in order to break down the many data and organisational silos that still exist within organisations.

4) The rise of the cloud – 90% of UK businesses expect to move some of their applications to the cloud by 2017. Many IT managers anticipate that the rise of cloud-based applications will have a major impact on the way in which they manage their data centre and enterprise infrastructures. Businesses need to manage these changes and their impact on IT personnel. Business processes must evolve in tandem with cloud adoption if organisations are to achieve the full potential of their cloud investments.

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5) 24/7 business connectivity – The social and business implications of 24/7 connectivity are only just beginning to emerge. In order to service the demand for round-the-clock access to goods and services, business will need to invest in new technology and rework their working processes accordingly.

The white paper also highlights other technologies that are rapidly evolving and gaining mainstream acceptance in the near future. 3D printing, for example, is an industry predicted to be worth $5.2 billion by 2020. Augmented reality, which provides users with a real-time view of the environment enhanced by digital data such as text, sound, graphics and navigation, is already available via smartphones. The use of wearable technologies such as bionic lenses and Google Glass type products look likely to become increasingly widespread.

The ‘gamification’ of commercial websites, where businesses add game-like features to their commercial applications and websites that reward customers is also increasing in popularity. The industry is predicted to be worth £1.75b by 2016.

Cross concludes: “The technologies identified are the future and will be key to helping organisations maintain their competitive edge. Businesses which fail to embrace the latest technologies run the risk of being left behind.”

The white paper is available from Advanced 365’s website:

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