At SAP we've done a lot of thinking about what to expect in 2013, both from trends we see taking hold already as well as those just beginning. With that in mind, I have put together the following three predictions for the coming year.
1. The Internet of Things will hit warp speed thanks to the convergence of three major forces. First, mobile will continue its explosive growth in the device arena, connecting more people globally as they skip desktop and go straight to smartphone or tablet. But we'll also see reckoning points with regard to mobile platforms as developers of all sizes recognize the need to create their own foundations rather than build on current ecosystems.
Second, people not only want to share their experiences on Facebook, but they want to share across multiple channels, via multiple devices. Therefore, social will be critical for any app that emerges moving forward, whether it’s consumer or enterprise.
Finally, the cloud will continue to transform the way we develop technology, but players in the space will consolidate and compete more than ever, with IDC estimating an accelerated spend of approximately $25 billion by mid-2015. Together, these three familiar forces — mobile, social, cloud — mean greater access to data and the ability to use it anytime, with anyone.
2. The battle over BYOD has been won, and it wasn't by IT (sorry, guys). Gartner estimates that 70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018.
Now, IT needs to cope with the wave of BYOA (bring your own apps), as the workforce demands enterprise apps to help them manage their work that are as agile and beautiful as their favorite consumer apps.
LogMeln recently published a report that found 89% of IT pros said BYOA will demand changes to the required skill set for managing SMB IT environments. Change is here, the habits of workers demand it — IT departments must not only respond, but anticipate what will happen next.
3. Global corporations will feel the emergence of new markets more directly than ever. As entire populations adopt mobile technology, effectively bypassing traditional infrastructures, new business opportunities and tactics will emerge swifter and with far stronger resonance than we've seen before. According to IDC, mobile devices will account for 20% of all IT spending in 2013 —$2.1 trillion worldwide.
As new market leaders and disrupters emerge, they will not only be forces to contend with in the established, customary manner of business, but moreover, they will demand new ways of thinking, especially in terms of design, innovation, and delivery.