A few weeks ago I shared with you the three lessons that we learned here at AvePoint in 2014. However, lessons learned are nothing if we don’t have our eyes set on what’s happening now that will directly impact our future.

In that vein, here are 3 trends I believe are going to shape our business in 2015:

  1. Dictionary.com got it wrong – “privacy” should have been the word of the year again in 2014, not “exposure”. Privacy will make another run for word of the year in 2015. I can’t think of a week-long period in which we haven’t heard about a data breach affecting tens of thousands, if not millions, of people. In 2014, Apple acknowledged its largest breach to-date, exposing iCloud documents, images, and other content of its users – including high-profile celebrities.  Code Spaces, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider which hosted and managed source-code for developers, was put out of business by an attacker who deleted the company’s data and backups. The now infamous attacks by alleged North Korean-sponsored hackers as well as a group of cyber vandals known as Lizard Squad on Sony and Microsoft closed out the year, temporarily cancelling the release of a major motion picture. More importantly, 2014 set the stage for a new era of cyber vandalism and proxy wars. We’re in a world that puts a high premium on sharing information quickly – 2015 will mark the year we put an even higher premium on making sure that information is protected from those who shouldn’t have access to it.
  2. Hyper-personalization in the consumer world will firmly establish itself in the enterprise software industry. People now expect the same experience with technology and software when they’re working as when they’re at home Instagram-ing photos of their children. What does this mean for enterprise software? Instead of only creating on-premises, extensive, customizable, feature-rich products – vendors will have to take advantage of the scalability of the cloud to create customized business applications that can dominate niche product areas, better known as Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) solutions. Businesses don’t want to take time trying to tweak and customize a product to fit their needs – in 2015, more than ever, that onus is being placed on vendors like ourselves. In response, we’ve already started rolling out Innovative Business Solutions to meet this need in public and private sectors alike.
  3. Enterprise software companies that can be agile and stay ahead of these disruptive trends will survive, behemoths will not. We’re seeing Microsoft morph itself into a cloud-first, mobile-first company. Hewlett-Packard split into two companies this past year – a PC company and an enterprise technology company. Others are calling for more breakups of mature technology stalwarts facing slower growth prospects and heated competition in a sluggish IT spending environment. Combine that with changes in buying behaviors among customers who prefer software-as-a-service, and the message is clear: Vendors have to race with the changes in technology or else be left behind by companies that can.

Between major media events and the continued evolution of how we engage with technology both on and off the clock, 2014 set the stage for what is to come this year. Privacy, personalization, and agility will shape 2015 not only for our business at AvePoint, but also for those around us as well.

What are some of the trends you expect to see take shape 2015? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Dr. Tianyi (TJ) Jiang oversees product strategy and business development for AvePoint’s global businesses, and is one of the main architects in guiding AvePoint’s evolution to become a Collaboration Enabler, focusing on helping enterprises in their digitization journey to enable employees to collaborate with confidence. Prior to co-founding AvePoint, TJ’s career focus was on designing and implementing fix-income trading systems, global equity program trading platforms, credit risk modeling, and conducting research in Data Mining. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.