Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending in 2015 will grow by 3.7 per cent to US$3.88 trillion. So what technologies are businesses investing in this year? Here are the four big trends:
1. Customer-process technologies
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation tools are becoming increasingly important as your customers demand a more personalised experience when doing business with you.
To treat your customers as individuals you need to learn about them. Have they been to your website? What pages have they viewed? How many times have they called your support team? Do they prefer to communicate via online chat, phone or email? Customer-process technologies capture and help you respond to these types of questions.
And with customer-process technologies knowledge is power. You can send customised emails and provide custom phone-routing to suit individual needs. You can prioritise your most important customers and understand why dissatisfied customers leave you.
Customer-process technology is traditionally very expensive and reserved only for big business but Cloud-based ?pay as you go? services are making advanced tools affordable for even the smallest of businesses.
2. Big data
The Internet of Things is here and every day more and more products are becoming Internet-enabled. Your business has increasing opportunities to learn more about your customers and to respond faster to their needs but leveraging the vast amounts of data available requires collection, storage and analysis. Big data analysis can only be done effectively with cutting edge software tools and more hardware to support the data crunching.
To access big data you will need to decide whether it makes more sense to upgrade your own servers and storage, outsource to a cloud-based service or take a hybrid approach and do both.
3. Cognisant Computing
This is the ?next phase of the personal cloud? where services and advertising are automatically tailored to your needs. With Cognisant Computing your device acts as a personal assistant for you by understanding what your need and proactively presenting it to you, eventually acting on your behalf through learnt or explicit rules. For example, it would automatically change your hotel booking if your flight is cancelled.
For businesses, Cognisant Computing gives greater knowledge of consumers and helps fine-tune marketing approaches and offers. Businesses need to adapt their strategies to take advantage of this, and create applications and devices that can harness it.
Mobile device growth is flattening out but mobility products are a big focus this year. Thirty nine per cent of businesses listed mobility as a priority according to TechTarget, and it?s also expected that by 2017 half of employers will require employees to use their own devices for work.
As you introduce mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies into your business a major area of consideration is mobile security, with a focus on device management and mobile endpoint security.