Last week I discussed the Gartner Tech trends for 2014 here - this week, in part two, i'll be discussing some of the other highlights.
The Internet of Things
Recently, news broke that Google bought Nest Labs for $3.2bn. Nest Labs is a supplier of connected “smart” thermostats for the home. British Gas has also recently launched a product called Hive, which promises to provide customers with a fully connected, smart heating system. This will allow users to control the heating in their home, remotely. As we can see, Gartner’s fourth technology trend for 2014, the ‘Internet of Things’ is already in full swing.
We can now control devices, not just monitor them. What we will see in 2014 is the increasing interconnection of data to people, regardless of location. This trend has been growing in our post-industrialized and globalized society for some time, and we are now seeing “developing” nations going through similar evolutions.
Cloud/Client Architecture and The Era of Personal Cloud
The trend of connected “anything” extends to the user themselves. With a personal cloud, we have access to all the information and control we need for work and personal life, from anywhere. However, this does raise security concerns. If you are going to start increasing the level of information traversing the public internet, you need to make sure that it is secure.
Post ‘Prism’, if you are worried about Apple’s iCloud, Google’s GDrive, or consumer cloud applications such as Dropbox storing your data, there are secure enterprise grade alternatives you can use to protect your confidential information.
My personal favourite Gartner technology trend for 2014 is 3D printing. In 2009, 3D printing was just starting to become a viable offering. Five years later and 3D printing’s buzz – thankfully – is not a fad. What’s next? Undoubtedly there will be fears over intellectual property protection and how to restrict the reproduction of patented goods. Will we see 3D scanning and copying of the atomic structure of pharmaceuticals? It’s not beyond the realms of imagination.
These trends point to a deeply connected 2014. Whether that is a connection to devices and appliances, or to our own data, the age of anywhere connectivity has arrived. With this comes the commoditization of technologies that were previously not freely available for public consumption, as can be seen with the personal cloud, and 3D printing.
We've put together a list of out top 10 work resolutions for 2014, so check them out here and make sure you keep up to date with the Workshare weekly blogs!