Predictions are everywhere as a new year begins. Just like with weather forecasting, guessing what lies ahead in tech can be tricky. After all, the climate can change at any given moment.
That said, I’m confident 2015 will be a bigger-than-ever year in tech. We’ll see significant expansion in cloud-based enterprise solutions that give both workers and their companies maximum flexibility.
Here’s what I look forward to this year:
Cloud communication technologies will continue to swim upstream into enterprise, especially for geographically-distributed companies and companies with a mobile workforce. Cloud unifies communication and enables collaboration in a way nothing else can. For this reason, it’s just going to get bigger and bigger.
Work-from-home and flexible-hours will resurge. A couple of years ago, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer made big news by ending her company’s work-from-home program. But requiring face-time in an office is an outdated practice, especially when our communications are facilitated so easily by cloud communication technologies. Even without that, we have the ability to videoconference while walking around on our mobile phones! This year, I see flexible office-hours and working-from-home trending upward in tech companies.
Even manufacturing will require less physical presence. As manufacturing automates through robots, solid modeling and strong data analytics will matter more than location and cost. The cloud will store this data.
In fact, everything will be automating more. Workers’ productivity will increase as machine learning becomes more commonplace. Companies can use machines to handle the processing and storage large amounts of data seamlessly, freeing workers up to do more creative things that machines cannot do. I suspect that as machine-led automation increases, so will human-driven innovation.
Along those same lines, data crunching will continue to become more powerful and less expensive. This means many good things. In health care, for example, DNA testing will become less expensive, more available, and more mainstream. This will enable medical treatments to become more specific and effective as they’re personalized for every patient.
Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled devices and appliances will become more mainstream as they adapt for enhanced security. For example, Kwikset’s Kevo door lock, which can integrate with a homeowner’s Nest through an app. This connection enables users to save energy costs, as locking the Kevo will prompt the user to set their Nest to “away” mode. Cloud technology will matter increasingly to IoT, as it is necessary to connect disparate devices for data-gathering.
What excites you about the year ahead? I welcome your predictions in the comments.