Of course, the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 bring all sorts of articles predicting what will be hot in the coming year. For small to midsize businesses (SMBs), quite a few outlets are reporting their lists of technology trends to watch.
Entrepreneur gave three “promising trends” for 2015, which include creating and leveraging well-designed technology, adopting software as a service (SaaS) and developing “data-driven insights.”
Taking advantage of data to make better informed decisions is also a top trend for SMBs to watch from the Huffington Post. According to writer Joyce Maroney, “Smaller businesses, swimming in lots of data of their own, will likewise be taking more advantage of that data to bring science as well as art to their decision making.” That likely means delving further into more data sources than just Google Analytics, says Entrepreneur writer Himanshu Sareen, CEO of Icreon Tech.
Sareen says that data-driven insights (DDI) help paint a more detailed, “complete picture of your business health.” He recommends using “the 3 Cs to drive DDI” within an SMB:
- Capture a lot of varied data about your business, including sales, marketing and production, and put it into databases.
- Collate the data and warehouse the information so that it can be more easily accessed.
- Calculate information through “statistical analysis, data modeling, visualization and industry specifics” through team members who understand how to bring together data to formulate big-picture analytics to help executives make more high-level discoveries about where business has been, where it’s going and where it needs to be.
Pinnacle predicts that 2015 SMB technology trends will “be more akin to strategies and game plans than directly related to hardware or software improvements.” It also says that much of the coming year for SMBs will likely involve following the footsteps of the enterprises that have already begun to dabble in most of the six technologies that were listed.
For SMBs, Pinnacle lists:
- Flash storage adoption, including the use of all-Flash storage arrays.
- Strengthening company infrastructure for mobility use, including easier access to corporate data from various devices.
- Paying attention to shadow IT and educating users about the risks of using unauthorized cloud services, along with providing approved alternatives for users within the business.
- Deciding a best-use case for Big Data and using it to “make better business decisions, improve sales and optimize marketing campaigns.”
- Planning ways to leverage DevOps practices to further application development for the business.
- Increasing business and IT flexibility and agility via various software-defined technologies.
Of course, many other technologies will likely come up in the next year that will take businesses by surprise. Increased use of mobile devices, BYOD, wearables, and social media are all also on a few trend lists, but many of these items were also on last year’s lists. It will be interesting to look back later this year and see which trends really met the early year predictions.