According to Verizon, the main technological trend to watch out for in 2014 is the shift in control over the environment from business to consumer.
The carrier's annual report says that the new year will see a sharp focus on how enterprises and governments use technology to enhance the customer's experience and enable innovation -- but in turn, consumers will realize how much power social networks and the personalized service trend grants them.
"We are experiencing the democratization of enterprise technology," said David Small, Verizon Enterprise Solutions' chief platform officer. "Mirroring what has happened in the consumer technology space, enterprise technology users look for services to be delivered on demand, to a time and place of their choosing, and in the way that they want. In 2014, enterprise success will be measured by how well organizations are able to use technology to meet user expectations and harness individual innovation."
The key trends Verizon believes will brand technology in the enterprise and government spheres next year are:
1. The customer of One comes of age:
The ability to tailor a consumer's experience and to cater for individual needs will become a brand differentiator in 2014. Verizon believes that enterprises will refocus on customer service through channels including the Internet, mobile technology, broadcast and in-store to entice customers -- who will more often than now expect more personal service. As a result, these routes will open up new market opportunities as businesses engage directly with their consumer market and be able to exploit insights generated by Big Data.
2. M2M 'as a service' simplifies access to the connected world:
4G LTE wireless service and the availability of machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions "as a service" over the Internet is likely to improve, and third parties may be able to help secure these devices from cyberthreats, a major factor that has prevented the enterprise from embracing M2M technology. In addition, Verizon believes that as M2M accelerates, manufacturers, dealers and business partners will be able to realize the full potential of new revenue streams and improve the efficiency of their supply chains.
3. Cybersecurity management becomes a priority, thanks to the shortage of skilled security experts:
Cybercrime and attacks on high-profile targets have become prolific -- and will force corporations to increase cybersecurity-related budgets in 2014, as well as rethink traditional approaches to cyber security management. As enterprises continue to adopt mobile devices, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, Big Data and cloud solutions, both in-house and third party security solutions are predicted to rise. Verizon says that the enterprise will develop and execute hybrid cybersecurity-management models that combine both across a broad range of capabilities such as identity management, security analytics and cyberintelligence, as well as governance, risk and compliance.
4. IT decentralizes:
Organizations embracing cloud, mobility and M2M will see the decentralization of information technology. IT will become critical for all business functions, and as a result, IT will work more closely with individual business units and focus on developing tools for processes useful to both employee and consumer.
5. Providers add gravity to the cloud:
In a world where mobile technology is commonplace and media content is on offer, the cloud is predicted to become "the only location" where growing data volumes can be stored, accessed and analyzed on demand. Verizon says that in 2014, adding software and services to the cloud will be a key focus for cloud providers seeking to attract customers.