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Predicting the Future of IT, One Customer at a Time

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As 2013 comes to a close, it’s natural to think about what the coming year will bring for the dynamic technology industry. Industry analysts release their predictions this time of year, and it’s interesting to see what the experts believe will be in store for IT in the near future.

International Data Corp.’s predictions for 2014 were heavily influenced by what it calls the “Third Platform” — a symbiosis of mobile computing, cloud services, big data analytics and social networking. IDC analysts coined the term “Third Platform” in reference to the mainframe and PC platforms that preceded it, and describe it as “the industry’s emerging platform for growth and innovation.”

Gartner analysts refer to the trend as the “Nexus of Forces” while the IEEE Computer Society prefers the term “Mobile Cloud.” But all seem to agree that this new model will dominate the technology landscape in the foreseeable future and drive technology investments in 2014 and beyond.

IDC predicts that the mobile device onslaught will continue in 2014, with sales of tablets expected to grow by 18 percent and smartphones by 12 percent. Cloud spending, including cloud services and the technology to enable those services, will surge by 25 percent in 2014, reaching more than $100 billion.

Social technologies will become increasingly integrated into existing business applications over the next 12 to 18 months. In addition to being a strategic component in virtually all customer engagement and marketing strategies, data from social applications will feed the product and service development process.

Developers will be vying to create the cloud-based applications and solutions that will fuel the market’s growth. The Third Platform will deliver the next generation of apps and services that will significantly disrupt market leaders in virtually every industry.

What does all this mean to your business? At ICG, we believe that the Third Platform (or whatever you choose to call it) will be boon to many of our SMB customers, further leveling the playing field and providing competitive advantage. That’s why we have developed a comprehensive suite of cloud-based offerings and offer expert application development services to help you streamline and mobilize your workflows.

But in the end it all depends upon your specific needs and goals. While industry predictions make for interesting reading, they are of little practical value without a solid understanding of your business.

At ICG, we prefer to make our predictions one customer at a time. As your technology partner, ICG is here to help you make sense of these trends and develop a technology strategy that will help drive your business forward in 2014 and beyond.

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