As 2014 begins, so do the Predictions for the next 12 months. I came across the below on a Forrester Blog and thought it would be worth sharing
- Mobility: Look for a sustained mobile mind shift. Customers and employees are beginning to expect that the information, services, social networks, and customer service will all be available to them in context on any device at their exact moment of need. In 2014, we’ll see an increase in this mobile mind shift. Customers will actively shun businesses that lack mobile applications to enrich their experiences. Customers will gravitate toward businesses that use mobile technology proactively to solve their hardest problems.
- Fragmentation: Watch device proliferation and fragmentation continue. Fragmentation is already a way of life as we end 2013. In 2014, we’ll see a continuation of that trend, as people tradeoff between multiple devices and find ways to thrive across operating systems. All those articles about Android becoming the Windows of the mobile world? Not quite. Android remains internally fragmented, with inexpensive, often forked, versions of Android inflating global numbers through non-standard devices in the Chinese market. Loyalty won’t be achieved within ecosystems in 2014, though numerous players (Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft) will be trying to create stickiness across devices.
- Wearables: Expect accelerated innovation in wearable devices and business models. Sure, wearables are facing a hype bubble. So did the Internet; that didn’t make it any less significant in the long run. Wearable’s are just taking off and have a bright future ahead of them. I’m impressed with the wide array of companies, entrepreneurs, and agencies innovating in this space, which is really more of a long tail of different computing market segments. In 2014, we’ll see commercial availability of a range of heretofore theoretical wearable’s (including Google Glass), a richer set of business models, the entry of bigger players (like Apple), and the maturation of business models. In a forthcoming report, I’ll continue building my argument that enterprise wearable’s have a particularly rich future ahead of them, often in customer-facing situations.
- Intelligent assistants: Anticipate their rise to prominence. Although names like Apple’s Siri and IBM’s Watson have made some headway into the mass consciousness, they haven’t really made it into the zeitgeist just yet. In 2014, intelligent agents will start to look…. useful. Usable. More interesting. Easier. They’ll help people shop, manage calendars, and surprise users by mining personal data. They’ll start to reshape the way we compute altogether.
- Gestural computing: Plan on seeing new applications and scenarios. With Xbox Kinect in tens of millions of households, Leap Motion now commercially available, and Thalmic Labs showing off some exciting examples of the Myo device, 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. In the enterprise, this will include in particular the healthcare vertical (manipulating and navigating medical imaging).
- Channel: Time for discontinuous innovation. 2014 will be the year in which you walk into a store and it “knows you” and customizes your visit. Technologies will start to bring a greater sense of relevance and tailored experience to shopping, as Tesco is doing with facial recognition software that allows it to serve up appropriate ad content in its stores.