This post also appeared in The Tennessean, where Concept Technology has a bi-weekly feature in the Business section.
As this first week of 2013 comes to a close, pretty much every business leader I encounter is looking forward and trying to predict what comes next for his or her industry. For those within technology, this look forward can be murky at best, as there are countless developments to consider and interwoven strings to pull.
Here are four information technology trends we expect to encounter this year. We’ll outline more technology predictions in our next column.
Marriage of IT, business strategy
In today’s interconnected business landscape, there are no such things as IT projects; there are only business projects that are enabled by technology. IT can no longer exist in a silo, and business owners need to be more attentive than ever to the role that software can play when solving a company’s growth, strategy and organizational goals and challenges.
From communication plans and user training to implementation support, in 2013, expect to see more business leaders setting aside time and dollars to integrate these considerations into their planning models.
With more employees producing work across multiple devices, there needs to be a seamless way for individuals to pick up a session on a second (and third or fourth) device in exactly the same place they left off.
Innovation in 2013 should bring about a comprehensive solution to this missing link in our computing experience. This will provide a continuous experience for workers across call logs, text messages, notes and activities as they move from laptop to desktop, tablet and mobile.
Mobile device management
If we can agree that 2012 gave rise to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, then it stands to reason that 2013 will give rise to Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategies.
Business leaders need to seriously consider BYOD, the challenges and efficiencies it brings to an organization, and develop an MDM plan to deal with these new IT intricacies. Remote monitoring and management tools will become more sophisticated in 2013 and play a role in MDM plans.
Whatever your organization develops, your employees need an explanation upfront about what your MDM strategy means to them and how it ensures the security of your organization’s data without compromising their privacy in unintended ways.
The end of privacy
Our previous point brought up the issue of privacy, and in the short term, this is an important concern. When viewed as a larger, long-term consumer trend, 2013 may just see the end of privacy as we know it.
According to The New York Times, in 2012, wireless carriers replied to 1.3 million requests from law enforcement agencies for subscriber information, including location data, calling records and text messages.
Couple these statistics with a growing number of applications that require that users share information, plus the low level of concern that younger people generally have about privacy — it’s easy to see the changing digital landscape is an open one.
For those who are a bit queasy about this shift, 2013 will likely see an increase in digital jamming tools — software and hardware that acts a bit like the “incognito mode” in Google Chrome. These tools create an environment where not only can your own hardware not see where you are or what you’re doing, but third-party sensors can’t, either.
4 (more) technology trends for 2013