Gary Baker 2014 IT/Enterprise Predictions

We talked a little SMAC last year, but we are really going to talk SMAC in 2014.  My job is to make predictions about technology in the enterprise, so we are going to be talking enterprise-level SMAC.

SMAC stands for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud.

Social – Most businesses have dabbled in it so far with maybe a Facebook page to compliment its Web site.  Most business people see the advantages of using LinkedIn and are probably getting some targeted news and maybe participating in a discussion or two through their affinity groups.  But, 2014 will be the tipping point where businesses will be expected to have more than a passing presence.

Mobile – There are two sides to the mobile equation.  Of course there are more and more mobile devices in the work place even though business are reducing the number of employees that are provided a smartphone or tablet.  BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is an official policy at some companies and employees are encouraged to BYOD and the company will allow them to access the wireless network and gain access to their company email and other information.  At other companies without a formal BYOD policy, employees are just bring them in anyway and the company is looking the other way.  Either way, the flood gates are opening and this trend will accelerate in 2014.

Also, more companies will be creating mobile apps for their customers to use and in some cases for their employees to use to make their jobs easier.  Once companies start to embrace mobility, it becomes pretty easy to see the value for various types of workers and especially the executives.

Analytics – Data-driven decision-making and data-driven innovation are really starting to gain traction, but the buzz is all around BIG DATA.  This is not the data found in a typical data warehouse.  BIG DATA is typically distinguished by its: Volume, Variety, and/or Velocity.   The good companies have already started to figure out how to use these non-traditional forms of data to drive competitive value.   The rest will be trying to catch-up in 2014.

Cloud – Whether its a public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud or just a fluffy cloud (OK, I made up the last one), every company is talking about it and most are already in the cloud with some applications or at least buying services from a vendor that is.  Why own and maintain the hardware and software when all a company really wants it the utility of it?  Why not just buy the services from a vendor who’s business it is to own the hardware and software?  Most vendors have convinced their business customers that they can provide better security (or at least as good) than their customers because it is part of the services they sell and is a core competency.

2014, will be the year that most all businesses will be talkin’ a little SMAC.

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