5 disruptive business predictions for 2014

Cloud, mobile and social technologies are forcing the information technology industry to effectively “hit the reset button” to meet a pace of change that businesses and organizations are facing. While the Asia Pacific tech market will grow by 4.5 percent in 2014, according to Forrester Research, Inc.’s January 2014 report entitled “A Better But Still Subpar Global Tech Market In 2014 And 2015,” Progress predicts how five major global technology trends will shape technology adoption in the region.

1. The Internet of Things Does Not Make For One Big Happy IT Family. While developers and IT decision makers already have their hands full with changes wrought by the sheer number of smart phones and tablets and BYOD (bring your own device) policies, they are in for a surprise. The “Internet of Things” (IoT) – composed of wearable personal technology, smart consumer and medical devices, as well as connected machines and sensors located all around the planet – is about to make the challenge even greater. With 59 percent of IT professionals in Asia Pacific surveyed by ISACA citing plans to capitalize on IoT devices and the nearly unlimited addresses provided by the adoption of IPv6, scalability and complexity of technology adoption will take on new meaning and an explosion of new data that must be harnessed.  Furthermore, ever improving “smarts” will mean device-to-device “conversations” will start to become more important than user-to-user “conversations,” adding more complexity.

2. Analytics Moves to the Forefront. Despite being a talking point within the industry in the past year, 2014 will see businesses putting analytics at the top of their agenda. The accelerating data tsunami – powered by the Internet of Things and the growing recognition of the potential value of all data –means that developers must build in analytics from the start, making it an inherent aspect of information technology delivery and making context-sensitive and location-aware capabilities ubiquitous.

3. When It Comes to Apps, Everyone’s Paying Attention. While the performance and usability of large, publicly visible projects, especially in healthcare, have drawn growing scrutiny, increased adoption of model-driven, democratized and user-based development will also drive high expectations for application delivery. ABI Research forecasted that Asia Pacific will be the fastest growing region on the adoption of enterprise applications, with enterprise app stores adoption expected to grow at 59 percent year-on-year, driven by rapid uptake of BYOD. This will lead to increased adoption of new rapid development tools and practices to speed delivery, increase predictability and reliability, meet stringent service-level requirements, and control costs.

4. The IT Budget Shift. The prevalence of the cloud and the democratized development trends present many new options, especially for individual lines of business – which will increasingly seek to control their own destiny by funding their own projects or wresting money from IT. As a result, businesses – and CIOs – will need to find ways to adopt and adapt without losing control of information, encouraging security risks, or taking new directions that could lead to technical dead-ends or expensive rework in the future. In an era of very rapid transformation, they must stay ahead of this curve and take the lead.

5. PaaS goes mainstream. Platform-as-a-Service finally goes mainstream in 2014. This cloud layer will become the choice for many businesses and IT decision makers because it supports better and faster development, agility, analytics, cloud-based cost-advantages, and vast scalability. The growing popularity of cloud-based applications in the region will see many developers jumping onto the PaaS bandwagon as they look into rapid and simplified process of developing new software solutions. Providing structure and control that meets the near-term and strategic needs of management will further accelerate adoption. The capabilities available through a PaaS will drive further organizational changes – putting powerful data integration tools into the hands of LoB specialists and making data integration ubiquitous.

“In Asia, we are already seeing the beginnings of change for the Internet of Things, big data, cloud or mobility, and expect business to see accelerated change in these areas in 2014,” said Stephen McNulty, Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan at Progress. “The successful organization will take a good look at the needs of the end-user first – creating an empowerment profile for each group – and providing them with the tools they need to be productive and efficient. One size will no longer fit all, especially in this part of the world where technology infrastructure varies with each market. Enterprises in markets like Indonesia and the Philippines may choose to deploy a PaaS for rapid application development to meet the demands of end-users, while enterprises in Singapore may choose to launch an enterprise app store instead to help employees gain access to the apps they want in a secure environment.  In any case, it’s about the information and being able to access it whenever, wherever and however its needed.”