Key technology trends for business in 2013

in Technology by Jonathan Crossfield
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Key technology trends

Technology is transforming the way we work – and play – at supersonic speed, so how do you know what to expect in the year ahead? Let’s have a brief look forward to what 2013 may hold for your business.

Workload automation

Automation technology isn’t new, but it certainly has been growing in sophistication and popularity more recently.

Automated marketing and lead generation systems like Marketo and Eloqua continue to expand into the Australian market. Meanwhile, IT systems management software is helping businesses free up IT man hours from routine tasks while improving efficiencies and streamlining workflows.

When everything has to be “mission critical” these days, automation becomes essential to turn reactive activity into proactive strategy.

Big data

We’ve heard this one every year for a while now. Data, data, data – and lots of it. But every year, the numbers grow even more staggering. However, big data brings big technology challenges.

This month, IDC released a new report showing that businesses now generate a massive five exabytes of data every two days. That adds up to 2.8 zetabytes (2.8 billion terabytes) of data generated in 2012. Yet only 0.5 per cent of the world’s available data is currently crunched to generate valuable business insights1..

Virtualised, elastic cloud storage is an obvious solution to handle an ever-growing mountain of information. 2013 will also see more businesses adopt bigger, more powerful information management systems and high-speed analytical tools to extract the full value from their data and integrate it back into real-time business operations.

Digital publishing

E-books and PDFs have long been perfect for digital documents, business reports and marketing material, but publishers and businesses are moving away from these simple replicas of their print-publishing parents.

The most successful and awarded digital magazines of 2012 are more than just PDF copies of the print edition distributed via an app. They allow the reader to explore and interact with the dynamic content in a way a print magazine could never do.

However, magazine publishers are not the only ones taking advantage of new publishing platforms such as Adobe DPS. Organisations are using digital publishing for reports, promotional content and prospectuses.

Meanwhile, software such as Apple’s free iBooks Author is helping smaller businesses to publish interactive textbooks and publications with features that make the most of today’s touchscreen tablets.

You didn’t really want to release the same old marketing whitepaper PDFs next year, did you?

3D printing

It still sounds like science fiction to some, but 3D printing is right here, right now. Desktop 3D printers are currently available for under US$2000, encouraging crafty businesses to rethink manufacturing costs. No wonder 2012 has seen use of the technology shift from prototype modelling to final production items.

The results are quick and notably cheaper than traditional manufacturing methods, making customised production far more economical. Even mechanical components can be duplicated – sometimes over great distances via the internet. There are already cars and jet aircraft that contain printed parts.

It only takes a little imagination to see how 3D printing can change existing business models or open up entirely new ones. 

Desktop decline

Laptop sales first overtook desktops back in 20082.. But 2012 has seen a further decline, with IDC and Gartner Inc. reporting an 8 per cent drop in US PC shipments in the third quarter of 2012.3.  Plus Google has reported a 4 per cent decline in desktop web searches year on year for the first time ever, while mobile internet use is set to account for a third of all web traffic in 20124..

Declining sales and usage mean declining investments by manufacturers. Apple fans have suspected for some time that the iMac is a lower priority for the computer manufacturer these days. The most recent models released in October didn’t do much to change that view.

If it’s time to update your computers in 2013, maybe a desktop is no longer the most obvious first choice.



This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.

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Jonathan Crossfield

Jonathan has worked within, and written about, the technology industry for many years. Before going freelance as a writer in 2012, Jonathan had worked for Netregistry (web hosting) and Ninefold (cloud computing). Jonathan has won awards for his articles on online business for Nett Magazine and his over-opinionated blog Atomik Soapbox. He continues to write for Chief Content Officer magazine.

Poll Results

How many hours do you work on your business each week?

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Poll Results

How many hours do you work on your business each week?

20-30: 18%
30-40: 18%
40-50: 23%
50-60: 41%