Now that we’re a few weeks into 2015 and we’ve all had time to recover from the holidays, I wanted to tell you a bit about what I think 2015 is going to offer. It’s always exciting in the tech industry, but this year more than ever, I think we’re going to see some real changes when it comes to how technology is employed in business and in marketing.
First, I think in 2015, we’ll see a shift in social media. What I’m calling basic social media – things like tweets and posts merely for posting’s sake (or what I like to call drive-by posting) – are dead. In 2015, I think you’ll see businesses being much more interactive and using social media to conduct conversations openly. Which is, I’d like to point out, exactly what social media is for – conversation. Now, instead of direct messaging someone @mentions a company on Twitter or posts on a Facebook wall, you’ll see conversations conducted in real time right out in the open. Social media of all type is the back fence we used to chat across.
Second, we’ll continue to see companies diving even deeper into the content marketing pool. Instead of just cranking out content for content’s sake, we’ll see businesses listening much more closely on social media, as well as using analytics to look at their customer base, in order to understand who their customers are and what they need. It’s only then – once you understand the behavior patterns of your audiences, that you can give them the exact right content at the exact right time. It’s all enabled by big data analytics, really. No business is too small for big data. According to Mark Troester of SAS, “Big data is a relative term. Every organization has a tipping point, and most organizations – regardless of size – eventually reach a point where the volume, variety and velocity of their data will be something that they have to address.”
Which leads me to my first technology trend I think we’ll see. SMBs fully embracing a hybrid cloud platform that helps them innovate and accelerate. That means managing their big data in the cloud, using cloud infrastructure to improve service availability, and embracing cloud-hosted productivity solutions like Office 365 or SalesForce.
I also think we’re going to see different and better ways to work. Millennials have led the charge for being able to work when, where, and how they want – and tech companies have responded. This year, you’ll see people cut the cords even more as Intel® Pro WiDi and Intel® Wireless Docking start permeating the marketplace. The former will let you connect wirelessly to projectors – no more fumbling for dongles and waiting for the projector to recognize your laptop. With the latter, the instant your laptop or 2 in 1 moves into the activation area of a wireless docking station, the process begins. The dock quickly determines the optimal wireless channel based on your environment—so other office devices will not interfere with the performance. By the time you sit down, your docking is complete, and you are ready to go. I’m pretty sure these two technologies are going to keep me productive and radically reduce my frustration levels in 2015. And they make good on the promise of transforming work.
Finally, I think we are going to see the Internet of Things (IoT) really take off this year. We’ve been talking about IoT for a few years now, but as wearables come into the business space (and not just the consumer space) and more data is grabbed, and the more apps enable the use of that data, you see intelligence moving all the way to the edge of the network. This impacts MSPs from a device management standpoint, right? In fact, by 2020 – a mere five years from now – McKinsey predicts that IoT could soon connect and embed intelligence in a trillion objects and devices around the world. And IoT will trigger an estimated 15-fold increase in machine-generated data, which will comprise 42 percent of all data, up from just 11 percent in 2005 – which leads us back to big data and…well, you can see where I’m going with this. It’s a lot for both SMBs and MSPs to manage.
What do you think 2015 will offer? How do you think business will evolve and adapt? Let me know here or on Twitter @Eric_D_Townsend.
Eric Townsend is Director of MSP and SMB Marketing for Intel. You can contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.