If someone came up to me today to ask what the “next” big things were for 2014, I’d have to go with my top 3. Data is Big Data, Analytics, Data as an Asset and of course Data Quality.
Cloud is becoming more pervasive without most people realising it. SAP can now run on a mobile device using SaaS. I can proudly say we broke ground on that when I worked at SAP Research with the Overture project. Yes we have iCloud and SkyDrive (Apple and Microsoft copyrighted) but we also have Google Apps in the cloud. Google Apps allows small businesses to do more than just co-ordinate calendars but offers a suite of useful cloud based applications. Pure cloud based apps will become the best way to run your business. Why? Since the apps are Best Practice (i.e. most common business process) they save you from re-inventing the wheel. They will also give you a large degree of interoperability with your business partners (Suppliers, customers, banks etc.) since you’ll be using similar standard software and similar business practices. Non-Cloud or on-premise should be reserved for your differentiation factors. For example – if you are a Logistics company and the way you keep ahead of the crowd is that you have a state-of-the-art routing system, it doesn’t make sense to use a cloud app.
Mobile is becoming even more interesting. Wearable tech is becoming big and will continue to grow into 2014. Google Glass could be worth $3.3 billion by 2017 says one blogger. The wearable tech revolution has been boosted with the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which was launched yesterday with tech commentators saying that it’s too little too soon. I don’t expect the iWatch to be launched on the 10th – but I do think we’ll see it in 2014. The Pebble is already out and it’s looking very good. The interesting thing was that this was crowd funded. It’s kick-started the smart watch industry but unless they up their game and quickly they will be left behind by the heavyweights. As you know if you read my blogs, I’m a bit of a mechanical watch nut, so I doesn’t blow my hair back, but you can expect early adoption rates being very high. Interestingly I predict a slightly flatter hype cycle than usual as a lot of negativity will come early on – much as it was with the iPad.
I haven’t been too interested in Microsoft buying Nokia phones. Mediocrity + Mediocrity doesn’t equal anything but more Mediocrity.
Once again it looks like 2014 is going to be an exciting Tech year. Stay tuned for Apple’s announcements on the 10th September though. We could get a flavour of Apple’s direction after Jobs.