There has been a lot of pixels spent on business technology trends likely to make an impact in 2013. The team at MCIS have look at some of our favourite sources and sifted through much of what has been written to give our view of trends likely to have an impact on your business in 2013.
1. Big Data: But not for SMB’s (from Inc.com, BusinessInsider.com & SiliconRepublic.com)
Everyone needs big data, if you read the business and technology magazines. But the term has become a catch phrase that covers everything. Real big data involves millions or even billions of data points. We’re talking complicated tasks like predicting the weather, or Google looking for trends among all the search queries it sees day in, day out.
That level of data analysis is probably nowhere near what you need for your business. Most decisions are built on small data: dozens or hundreds or maybe thousands of data points. If you don’t have systems in place that let you regularly and predictably make effective use of the data you already have, then looking at big data is like saying you want to jump into the ocean to avoid getting damp from a summer shower.
Also, making sense of lots of data is far harder and more expensive than most businesses realise think.
To date most of the discussion on “big data” has focused on how customer data will help businesses. Consumers are increasingly aware of this, and will expect to benefit from the value of their lifestyle data. They’ll start to look for brands that use it proactively (but not intrusively) to improve their behaviour and help them save money.
2. The continued proliferation of the Tablet (OpenForum.com, FastCompany.com, TechCrunch.com)
This will start to bring a shift from tablets being mini-computers to their role as the widespread replacement of printed media, from payment receipts to newspapers to textbooks. Lower prices will also make tablets a game-changing device in emerging economies in Africa, South America, and Asia, and will bring new challenges to the interaction model worldwide.
The new generation of mini tablets are going to impact responsive design and what we’ve been calling mobile devices. Tablets and mini tablets will see a tremendous jump in server logs and become the de facto design standard for mobile content. That doesn’t mean mobile phone size browsers aren’t important, it means there will eventually need to be a divide in how we address tablets vs. phones.
3. Web design for Tablets and Mobiles first, rather than PC or laptop (from Forbes.com and BusinessInsider.com).
As tablets drop further in price and mobile are already ubiquitous. The mobile experiences is predicted to eclipse the desktop experience in 2013; mobile devices will pass PCs to be most common Web access tools. By 2015, over 80% of handsets in mature markets will be smartphones. Lenovo, already the second largest smartphone maker in China, is starting to expand throughout Asia. It launched in Indonesia in October, and plans to roll out a smartphone specifically for the Indian market early next year. All of this means that consumers will be accessing your sites through devices other than PC’s or Laptops. Is your website ready?
4. But will these trends really lead to mass BYOD (Bring your own device) in the workplace? (from Inc.com & SiliconRepublic.com)
There is an increase in demand by employees to use their own smartphones and tablets to access business files and email, 84% of Irish IT professionals say, but this is placing IT managers under more pressure.
Tech industry watchers have lots of opinions about BYOD. The idea is that by letting employees use their own computers, smartphones, or tablets they’ll be more productive. The other bonus, according to fans, is that it allows businesses to get out of the hardware provision business.
Time for a reality check. Sure, let workers bring mobile devices in, where it makes sense. But don’t assume that just because they use their favourite iDevice employees will suddenly hit untamed levels of productivity. And don’t assume that passing off the hardware mantle to your employees is sensible. What happens if they don’t get an adequate degree of support? Are you ready for them to be out of commission while they wait for some unmotivated third party to repair their machines in a few weeks?
Figure out what employees need to do, what resources that requires, and when they need to do it. And if letting people use their own devices makes sense, do it bit at a time. Don’t move everyone over wholesale.
5. Mobile payments start to make inroads in retail sector in 2013
Arnotts has become the latest retailer and the first department store in Ireland to offer contactless payments. As NFC becomes more widespread and services like Square and Paypal roll out, 2013 might finally be the year where walking into a store and paying with your phone or just by giving your name becomes common and not just an early adopter experience in a few markets. It may be 2014 until this becomes common place but 2013 is when you will finally see people accepting this.
The business tech trends in summary:
- Big Data – yes for Enterprise, not really cost effective for SMBs. Watch out for Consumers looking for their slice of the action.
- The continued march of the tablet.
- Responsive design as the first port of call for your website.
- BYOD may not ease your IT manager’s blood pressure.
- Mobile Payments to make big in-roads in 2013.
That’s our tu’ppence worth. We wish all of our readers a lovely Christmas and a successful 2013 from the team at MCIS. Call us on 01 8404029 if you would like to discuss the implications of these changes for your business in more detail with our team!