In their December 19, 2013 issue, ALA Currents shared Heinan’s tech predictions for 2014. Read the full Special Feature below!
2014 Tech Predictions and Opinions
By Heinan Landa
In 2013 we saw the creation of the laptop/tablet hybrid, more iterations of the iPhone and several mergers. Countless articles were written about the big four information technology (IT) trends: mobile, social, big data and cloud. Now, as the year comes to a close and the economy continues to recover, there are five predictions for the world of technology in 2014.
1. Cloud — Go Big Then Go Better: Although a significant number of people will migrate to the industry giants’ cloud models, such as Microsoft and Google, just as many will become disenchanted with their service and application limitations. 2014 will be the year of cloud education; people will become savvier about cloud options and vendors based on their experiences. They will come to the conclusion that bigger is not always better and begin to more strategically select the cloud model (and corresponding vendor) that works best for their organization.
2. IT Joins the Party: Instead of conceptualizing IT as an independent business necessity, more executives will begin to see the value of using IT as an integrated, strategic business driver. Leadership will ask more thoughtful questions about their IT function: What are we doing? Why are we doing it? What is working? What is not? As the IT industry continues to mature and evolve, this business segment will join operations, human resources, sales, marketing, finance and administration as a core business function.
3. Windows 8 Will Disappear: This will be the year of public protest against Windows 8. The idea of apps and programs is just too confusing. The public doesn’t know when to use what, there are duplicative functions, and, visually, the OS is unnecessarily complicated. Windows 8.1 did nothing to make it better; people will skip over it as an operating system, upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 to the next operating system Microsoft develops..
4. Mobile Stagnation, Samsung Opportunity: The tablet, laptop and phone space, as a whole, will stall. Companies will continue to make incremental improvements, but there will be no jaw-dropping breakthroughs. However, 2014 will be the year in which Samsung has an opportunity to steal market share from larger competitors. There are three giant Goliaths controlling the cellphone experience (from hardware to software): Microsoft owns Nokia, Google owns Motorola, and Apple is, well, Apple. Samsung is the outlier, developing some innovative phones using the Android platform, and it will be interesting to see what they do in the year ahead..
5. Digital Apparel: Technology meets fashion in 2014. From the predicted iWatch to Google Glass to the Galaxy Gear, wearable technology is the new frontier and many innovations may appear in this space in 2014. Will they be functional and enhance user experience? That remains to be seen..
As the economy continues to recover, 2014 promises to be the year that organizations invest in their network infrastructure and individuals have some expendable cash for technology purchases. Although the year ahead will not bring innovations comparable to the first iPhone, 2014 will deliver a more educated business and consumer technology user. It will be the year that makes us wiser and more strategic with both our personal and professional technology decisions.
About the Author
Heinan Landa is CEO of Optimal Networks, a Rockville, Maryland-based technology support, management and consulting company. For more than two decades, Optimal has helped approximately 500 clients navigate the ever-increasing changes in technology. Heinan can be reached at 240-499-7900 or [email protected].