After the worst recession in living history, the green shoots of recovery are finally beginning to appear. Forecasts by bodies like the CBI and the Centre for Economics and Business Research predict that the UK economy is set to grow over the next 12 months. But what impact will this renewed prosperity have on the IT industry?
What technologies should businesses factor into their strategic planning? What trends will the IT industry be discussing and debating over the next 12 months? Here we round up some 2014 predictions from key tech journalists and analysts in the UK and beyond.
Jane McCallion, staff writer, IT Pro – Wearable technology
“We were teased with some wearable technology during 2013 from the likes of Samsung and Sony, but these were little more than digital watches. It would be great to see a vendor demo a wearable product which uses a flexible display and which has innovate uses.
I’m also looking forward to seeing if there are any viable businesses use cases for Google Glass.”
J.P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst, Forrester Research – Gestural computing
“With XBox Kinect in tens of millions of households and Leap Motion now commercially available, gestural computing is finally hitting the big time. In 2014, expect the use cases to proliferate, with developers bringing out new applications that create value.”
Larry Dignan, editor in chief, ZDNet – 3D printing
“Enthusiasm for 3D printing abounds and 2014 could be the year when high hopes turn into reality – especially in the supply chain. The real action for now is in prototyping in industrial and enterprise applications. Companies will increasingly use 3D printing to iterate on product designs. In the long run, mass manufacturing will be a big market for 3D printing for complex parts and short production runs.
Siraj Datoo, big data columnist, The Guardian – Even smarter cities
“In 2014, more cities will iterate and experiment. They’ll implement new technologies to not only create a better connected city, but to enhance the environment. That could include street lights switching on due to residents complaining about the lack of light on Twitter. There’s a great number of opportunities available – and that’s an exciting prospect.”
Tony Lock, Programme Director, Freeform Dynamics – Importance of data centres
“In 2014 the data centre will continue to be the pivot point for IT delivery, and externally hosted cloud services will remain the tactical option which complements on-premise IT and traditional hosting for certain requirements. As part of this, the ‘IT channel’ will remain as critical as ever to both customers and vendors, and cloud providers will increasingly realise its importance too.”
David Cearley, vice president and research fellow, Gartner Research – Hybrid cloud and IT as Service broker
“Bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is an imperative in 2014. Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration/interoperability is possible. Hybrid cloud services can be composed in many ways, varying from relatively static to very dynamic. Managing this composition will often be the responsibility of something filling the role of cloud service broker (CSB), which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. Enterprises that are expanding into hybrid cloud computing from private cloud services are taking on the CSB role.”