Five Tech Trends to Watch in 2014

OpTier's 2014 Tech TrendsIT agility continues to emerge as a top priority for businesses seeking to quickly adapt to unpredictable market conditions and ever-evolving customer demands. Applications have rapidly morphed into the centerpiece of organizational growth strategies. As a result, IT teams will need to ensure applications and services are deployed quickly, performance is adequately monitored, and reliability remains a premium. And they’ll have to do most of this with tighter headcounts and modest budgets.

As development and testing timeframes shrink and operational environments continue to grow in complexity, there will be an increasing shift to conducting performance analysis (RCA and optimization) from production data.

We expect to see five interrelated trends, some of which emerged in 2013, take center stage in 2014.

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The Internet of Things and the Quest for World Supremacy

The Internet of ThingsI attended the Salesforce1 world-tour kick off in NYC last week and was thoroughly impressed by the company’s bold display of opulence. DJs. Mascots. Gigantic big screens. Just as impressive is the company’s vision for unprecedented global connectivity. Dubbed the ‘Internet of Customers,’ Salesforce’s vision is incredibly ambitious. It revolves around, not surprisingly, what Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff describes as the “third wave of computing” (i.e. the cloud).

“The Internet of Customers is that who was anonymous is known, and where there wasn’t perhaps the greatest level of transparency now there is trust,” Benioff said.

This new era is all about connecting to and engaging with customers. And the continued onslaught of technological innovations is making this connectivity increasingly easier to achieve. To put some perspective around this scale of connectivity, take a gander at these well-circulated market projections:

  • There are currently about 4.5 billion social users
  • There will be 5 million mobile devices by 2017
  • There will be 50 billion connected products by 2020

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“Crossing the Streams” and Disrupting the Analytics Marketplace

Ghostbusters Crossing the StreamsOver the holidays there are a ton of great old movies on; one of my all-time favorites has to be Ghostbusters.  It came on so I obviously sat down and watched Ray, Egon, and Venkman do battle with the 5,000 year old Babylonian god Gozer…for probably the 1000th time in my life. At the end of the movie, the gang defeats Gozer by doing something that went against everything they had come to know. They crossed the streams. “But wait Egon, you said crossing the streams was bad?” According to the earlier instruction, crossing the streams would have resulted in catastrophic outcome…or so they were told.

This old school narrative got me thinking about going against the grain in general. In the context of business innovation, to disrupt any industry you have to march head-on against conventional thinking and traditionally accepted practices in order to achieve groundbreaking results.

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Every Touch Point Counts: Using Data Analytics to Enrich the Customer Experience

Digital TouchPointsData is king, in case you happened to be sleeping under a rock for the last 12 months. The meteoric rise of Big Data and Data Analytics in the past year was both exhilarating and overwhelming. New technologies (mobile, social, digital, etc.) continue to  transform the very world we live in. The power shift from corporations to consumers is nearly complete. The age of the customer, as Forrester defines it, is upon us.

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Early Adopters Reaping Benefits of Big Data Analytics

Progressive businesses implementing big data analytics (BDA) solutions are faring better than their counterparts, according to a recent study from Bain & Company. The well-respected management consulting firm studied more than 400 large companies and found that those with the most advanced analytics capabilities were outperforming competitors by wide margins.

Up until about now, most of the hype surrounding big data analytics was based largely on pure speculation. While many industry experts and IT pundits will point to their early predictions on the efficacy of big data analytics, it’s refreshing nonetheless to see businesses actually reaping benefits from their early investments.

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