The top tech trends of 2014
Here at ITX Corp, we’re ushering in our 2014 with a smart phone in one hand, a 3D printer in the other, and our heads in the cloud. Because, while we’re not one to place bets, there are a few sure-thing technology trends that are going to hit in 2014. Here’s what we’re forecasting:
Mobile is here to stay-in a big way
This is by far the biggest trend we’re seeing on the horizon. While mobile’s already big, it’s about to get gargantuan, with mobile devices outpacing PCs as the primary source for computing. Some things to look for in 2014: business functions will be made easier and more mobile with the development of employee-centric apps, apps will continue to grow and applications will continue to decrease, and all things online will be accessible on on-the-go devices. (By the way, this continued mobile boom is having a domino effect on just about every other trend you’ll see in this post, from cybersecurity and web design to cloud computing to device connectivity.)
Location, location, location-based marketing
Another huge trend for 2014: location-based marketing. By using GPS technology, location-based marketing delivers customized multimedia content based on geographical location to consumers’ mobile devices. This hyper-specific marketing ability helps marketers more efficiently cater to consumers who are more receptive to hearing their message.
Stepped up cybersecurity
With breaches of internet security happening all the time, most recently with mega-retailer Target, cybersecurity will be a hot topic in 2014. And, as more and more businesses depend on cloud, mobile, and connected devices, conversations about the tradeoffs of accessibility, cost, privacy, and risk are sure to abound in the coming year.
3D printing goes mainstream
Also called additive manufacturing, 3D printing is emerging as a huge moneymaker—and money saver—as businesses adopt the technology to help reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping, and short-run manufacturing. In 2014, 3D printing technology will become more affordable—and a more critical competitive asset as it confidently exits its prototype stage and becomes a proven, viable technology.
As the link between people, machines, and environments becomes stronger, the connectivity conversation of 2014 is likely to be about workflow management, network bandwidth, security, and how to manage all the data that comes from said connectivity.
Clouds are in the forecast
This technology has transformed collaboration and communication between facilities, vendors, partners, offices, and individuals. As cloud computing becomes increasingly more affordable and accessible, look for late-adopter industries like manufacturing to jump on the cloud bandwagon in 2014.
Bring Your Own Device is a growing productivity and efficiency trend we’re seeing in which employers allow employees to bring their own devices to work. Of course, BYOD opens companies up to vulnerabilities, so security’s a top concern.
Tweet, follow, pin & connect
If the past several years were the Year of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, 2014 is the Year of Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. As these social networks gain serious ground, marketers will use them to establish a significant presence on these networks, build their brand, and connect with potential customers. Furthermore, paid advertising on the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest will increase in 2014, as it improves search rankings and brand reputation.
It may come as no surprise that all the web design trends of 2014 boil down to one thing: simplicity for the user. This will manifest itself in several ways, including parallax and vertical scrolling, mobile responsive design, flat web design (i.e., large text on solid backgrounds with minimal use of imagery—which, we should mention, is contrasted by the other trend we’re seeing: minimal text with abundant use of high-res imagery), and an all-around simplified web design aesthetic.