Tech predications for the future: What’s on the cards for 2014?

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The 2014 predictions are pouring in – here’s what’s getting the futurists excited about the year ahead.

According to forecasting put forward by computer security software company Symantec, the key to predicting the future lies within listening to the whispers.

In previous years, one such whisper was certainly the cloud – in 2013, cloud solutions moved from a whisper to a shout. As the CTO of Fronde James Valentine affirms, 2014 will be a year of better understanding key elements of the IT transformation.

Here are some of the key predictions for SMBS in 2014:

1. Continued rise of big data

In the midst of an information explosion and the popularity of social media and mobile connectivity, we’re charged with needing a way to store, and make sense of all the information.

Some companies are already predicting that their information will grow by an incredible 60-70 per cent.

Alongside this will be more sophisticated threats to data security.

2. Address the information management skills gap

There is already a skills deficit in high-level IT roles, and into 2014 those able to secure their information management skills will establish a competitive edge.

Research by Gartner has previously forecasted that by 2015, some 25 per cent of companies will have a CDO managing their digital goals. Therefore, these skillsets will be in increasingly high demand, and companies will be forced to pay a premium to secure the right talent.

3. Legislative and compliance framework

As governments play catch up with the law, companies will need to stay on top of legislative change and compliance regulations.

The Privacy Act in set to change from March 2014, representing the biggest changes to privacy law in the last 25 years.

4. Software-defined data centres (SDDC)

With data centres now everywhere, the rise of shared resources, a shift from hardware to software, and hybrid clouds solutions – the new environment poses some challenges.

Many believe 2014 will be a year of education as customers come to understand the benefits of software-defined anything – compute, networking and storage – and overcome the challenges associated with trust and security.

5. Rise to the challenge of managing privacy and fending off cybercrime

From ransomware to mobile cybercrime, app scams, exploiting niche social networks, corporate espionage or the move from mass cyber threats to more sophisticated and targeted attacks, there is no doubt that cybercrime and privacy will continue to be problematic for consumers and enterprises – both large and small.

6. 3D printing to become more mainstream

Already 3D printing is more affordable and available, yet alongside this, Symantec is predicting the technology to become another target of cybercriminals, with attempts to exploit blueprints of valuable designs.

7. Mobile first and the end of desktop

Fronde believes mobile devices will become the norm, as desktop continues to decrease in popularity. Likewise, concepts like responsive web design will become non-negotiable elements of new applications.