Important tech trends in 2014

BusinessValue_Jan07_C2013 saw a number of important tech developments, including the continued rise of social media and the increased use of mobile devices. Now that we’re in 2014, it’s time to look forward to what tech advancements we can expect to see in the new year.

Here are five tech trends small businesses should keep their eyes on for 2014.

Tech we wear

Wearable devices like the smartwatch will become one of the hottest gadgets in 2014. While this concept really began in 2013 with devices like the Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Gear, you can bet that most device manufacturers are developing some form of wearable tech.

The biggest evidence that supports this claim is the inclusion of newer, faster BlueTooth standards in both iOS and Android updates. These updates allow devices like phones and tablets to connect to existing wearable devices like fitness bands and wireless headphones. What this means for businesses is a potential increase in the number of devices connecting to networks from employees bringing the devices into the office. Companies will need to look back at their mobile device policies to make sure that their systems remain safe. Concerns aside, these devices could pose a new way to interact with customers or even to create different, engaging content.

It really remains to be seen as to how businesses will benefit from this type of tech, but there is a good chance that many companies will find a productive use for it.

Changing views on the cloud

Many experts like to think of cloud systems as a new concept, but it’s really reaching the end of this part of its life cycle. By now, most businesses are using at least one cloud-based system and have at least a basic grasp of what it is. Because of its prevalence and increasing use, it’s difficult now to actually completely avoid the cloud. Many users have started to realize this fact and we think 2014 will see an increasing number of business owners begin to change their views on the cloud. They will start educating themselves and looking for systems that really meet their needs instead of simply picking one that everyone else uses.

The changing perception of the cloud and increased education about it will likely lead to an increased adoption of cloud systems as a part of strategic decision-making. This also probably means that cloud providers will become even more transparent and more willing to help customers by creating systems that are truly useful to small businesses.

Mobile marketing will become mainstream

Mobile devices are becoming standard equipment for today’s consumers, and in 2014 mobile marketing will become one of the most popular methods for advertisers to reach out to customers. From developing mobile-specific content to advertising only on mobile platforms through apps like Facebook, we should see a rise in the number of mobile ad campaigns.

This should lead to ads being shorter and more easily digested by mobile viewers. Beyond that, businesses of all sizes will start to pay attention to mobile related data, distinguishing mobile users from desktop users, and looking for ways to cater to both crowds through different campaigns.

Increased use of two-factor authentication

Security is always an issue, and there is a good chance that security concerns will increase in 2014, especially if wearable devices really take off. In order to make it more difficult for accounts to be hacked, many of the larger companies like Google have introduced two-factor authentication, which requires users to enter a password and another form of information, usually a PIN number sent to a mobile device.

In 2014, it is highly likely that we will see an increase in the number of services that offer this form of authentication. The bottom line here for all users is increased security, which is always a good thing.

IT becomes more of a core business function

Historically, IT has been seen as a separate business entity, something that supports core business functions. But, as many companies increasingly rely on technology, it has started to shift and become more of a core business function.

Business owners will begin to question their existing technology, whether it really is giving them the best value, and if they are using it effectively. Because of the complex nature of many systems, small business owners that take an interest in their IT will likely find that they struggle with managing and optimizing it. They will instead turn to an IT management partner who can help them find customized solutions.

While this isn’t a new trend by any means, technology is becoming increasingly advanced and many companies struggle with it. If you are looking to make IT more of a core business function, or would like to gain control of rampant systems, please contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from Source.

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