Deloitte Tech Trends 2014 report: Wearables, cloud orchestration, social activation, cognitive analytics and cyber-security shape, inspire and transform business

In launching the Tech Trends 2014: Inspiring Disruption report, Robert Hillard, Deloitte’s Managing Partner, Technology Agenda, said 10 topics were selected that have the opportunity to have an impact on organisations across industries and geographies over the next 18 to 24 months.

“These 10 trends exemplify the unprecedented potential for emerging technologies to reshape how work gets done, how businesses grow, and how markets and industries evolve,” said Mr Hillard. “Each of the 2014 trends is relevant today and has significant momentum and potential to make a business impact.  All of the trends warrant timely consideration, even if the strategy is to wait and see. Our advice to you is not to be caught unaware – or unprepared. Use these forces to inspire, to transform and to disrupt.”

As in prior years, the trends are organised into two categories. Disruptors are areas that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations, and sometimes even business models. Enablers are technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but warrant another look because of new developments and new capabilities. Simply put, disruptors are trends that will disrupt current ways of doing things, while enablers will enable ways of doing things differently.

The report’s major take-outs explore how CIOs are going to be preoccupied with five forces: data; mobile; social; cyber-security; and cloud. Cyber-security is a recurring thread throughout the report; more important than ever, but embedded into thinking about how to be secure, vigilant, and resilient in approaching disruptive technologies.

The top 10 technology trends for 2014 include:

Disruptors: 1. CIO as venture capitalist – Trading on IT’s assets, talent risk and results 
2. Cognitive analytics – Wow me with blinding insights, HAL
3. Industrialised crowdsourcing – Sometimes more is better 
4. Digital engagement – Context + content for marketing… and beyond
5. Wearables – On-body computing devices are ready for business


6. Technical debt reversal – Lowering the IT debt ceiling 
7. Social activation – From passive to active tense
8. Cloud orchestration – From cloud to clouds (to core) 
9. In-memory revolution – An answer to big data
10. Real-time DevOps – Empowering the business of IT.

A new section in the report is dedicated to exponential technologies, in collaboration with Singularity University, and highlights five innovative technologies that may take longer than the standard 24-month time horizon for businesses to harness them. Examples include artificial intelligence, robotics, and additive manufacturing (3-D printing). The research, experimentation, and invention behind these ‘exponentials’ are the building blocks for many of our technology trends. These technologies can lead to new ‘Kodak moments’, where existing businesses are wiped out (as Kodak was by digital cameras) by upstart companies harnessing the emerging technologies.

“It will be about industries effectively leveraging technologies to improve their productivity and cost-efficiency, resulting in more agile and adaptable businesses that can create new opportunities,” said Mr Hillard.

The exponentials are:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Robotics
  • Cyber-security
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Advanced computing.

“Many business leaders confront exponentials in a negative way as they believe their survival is under immense threat. However, CIOs and business leaders need to adopt an abundance mindset and become aware of the  limitless opportunity a population of digitally connected people will mean in terms of economic value,” concluded Mr Hillard.

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Copies of the Tech Trends 2014: Inspiring Disruption report is available on request. Each trend is presented in the report with multiple examples of adoption from Australia and/or overseas to show the particular trend at work. This year, we’ve added a longer-form Lesson from the front lines to each chapter to offer a detailed look at an early use case. Also, each chapter includes a personal point of view in the My take section.

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