This is the perfect time to take a look at the lessons that shaped our markets and businesses in 2014, and identify top trends that will shape the market for 2015.
It’s been a busy year spent traveling around the world meeting with CIOs and executives in the public and private sectors trying to stay ahead of disruptive technology trends in order to continue improving their businesses. Here are my key lessons learned based upon our experiences at AvePoint in 2014:
- The days of box moving, configuring software, and leaving customers with customized code to maintain is over. We live in an age where we don’t even necessarily want to visit media sites that have a plethora of coverage areas. Instead, many of us download a mobile app just for finance news, another app just for entertainment news, and so on. Now that we’ve shifted to highly scalable, accessible, and instantaneous cloud solutions, today’s business users demand this same agility for the applications and solutions they use at work as they do for the ones they use when they’re off the clock, but in a Commercial of the Shelf (COTS) approach that’s supported and extensible.
- The market isn’t just looking for completely new cloud solution providers. Why? There’s so much legacy content and data that is already on-premises. The vast majority of enterprises’ institutional knowledge, which is their greatest asset, still resides in conventional file sharing and content management platforms. That means vendors must have true hybrid capabilities to bridge the gap between on-premises and cloud/mobile technologies – and it has to be seamless. It’s incumbent upon us as solution vendors to have clear roadmaps that allow for smooth, seamless transitions.
- I’ve already talked about moving fast as a business and surfacing data quickly. But how do we know it’s safe? There’s a critical balance that must be struck between data transparency/availability and data privacy and control. It seems like a week didn’t go by in 2014 where we didn’t hear about a major data breach – intentional or unintentional. Privacy was the word of the year in 2013, and you could make a strong argument that it should be the same this year as well. It takes $1 million to put together a hacker team, $10 million to protect yourself against breaches, and $100 million-plus in litigation costs in the event of a breach. While you may quibble with the actual numbers, this asymmetrical threat and cost focuses attention on solutions that can stitch together information systems that help people collaborate better while simultaneously ensuring that data is governed and secure.
Tech is moving fast, and there’s danger fraught with moving too fast or too slow. Too fast, and you’re risking the control and security of the data that is the lifeblood of your organization. Too slow, and you’ll quickly fall behind those who are taking advantage of cloud-based scalability to collaborate and innovate.
The book The Second Machine Age, written by economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, posits that smarter and faster machines are coming: Those who thrive will be the ones that evolve and race with the machines. The same is true for businesses today; race with the change in technology or else be left behind by companies that can.