1. The shift from voice to data usage. Telecoms companies in South Africa are already seeing this trend and will have to adjust accordingly. In 2013 Vodacom’s revenue, for the first time in the company’s history, actually dropped. It was a small drop of only 2.6% but is a historic drop if you consider that it’s never happened before. Meanwhile data had increased by 20%. This is a trend that telcos will have to embrace if they don’t want to see a drop in their margins. Conversely marketers should take cognisance as increased data usage opens up new ways to speak to the consumer.
2. Increasing App Usage. Following this widespread uptake of data usage there will be greater demand for Apps both in the personal and business environments. Custom developed Apps for specific business process will be on the rise and the ability to manage and implement them successfully will become increasingly important.
3. An IT skills shortage. The exponential growth of social, mobile and cloud technologies has caused great disruption in the industry. People with the skills necessary to fully utilise these technologies will become invaluable. Big Data for example needs people with a highly specialised skill set to properly analyse it and companies that invest in these skills will come out winners.
4. Security. Increased use of mobile, social and cloud platforms have open enterprises up to a whole new world of security issues. Finding the vulnerabilities in the various new platforms and learning how to deal with them will be a core issue for business in the coming years.
5. Cloud as standard. While the idea of ‘the cloud’ is not new 2014 will be the year when it is considered standard. Cloud computing will officially become mainstream business practice as more and more companies adopt it and it will become a require enabler for new and disruptive technologies.