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Towards a cloudy future: predictions for digital business developments

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It’s been some years now since cloud technology began to be broadly used in business environments. One could say that today, as far as a company’s successful future is concerned, cloud technology has become indispensable. The developer’s focus is, from hereon, centered on software enhancement features, such as assigning a more active role of digital capabilities in the business decision making process.

The Forrester Business Technographics Global Telecom and Mobility Workforce Survey assess to what extent companies and industries used, in 2014, cloud technologies in order to enhance their business.

The infographics embedded below focuses mostly on three platforms: iOS, Android and Windows, together with the industries where they are highly demanded, and the popularity of their apps. Extra information comes from the percentage of devices used for accessing specific business applications.

Thus, while iOS is present mostly in the legal (95% of the survey respondents) and public (82% of the survey respondents) sectors, its competitor, Android, is more popular within the high tech (45% of the respondents) and manufacturing (39% of the survey respondents) industries.

Also, the central device in businesses continues to be the laptop, 51% out of the 7,032 survey respondents relying on it to perform their work-related operations. However, the use of mobile devices is gaining more terrain with the smartphone being an indispensable tool for business operations for 40% of the survey respondents. The tablet is the main device for only 19% of the enterprise workers, however, as technology advances, and the main focus is on mobile technology, this percentage is bound to boom within the next years.

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Gartner, the renowned information technology research company, has also pinpointed 3 main trends on which software developers are currently focusing on to take the cloud technology towards its next phase. The “Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2015 and Beyond: Digital Business is Driving Big Change” report highlighted the following key findings, as mentioned by Gartner:

  • Software developers are increasingly more focused on creating human-centric designs to business and individual-based solutions. In addition, computers and devices are being assigned a more active role than before when it comes to undertaking tasks that, until recently, had to be performed by human;
  • The current software and gadgets are becoming more advanced, capable of taking a limited number of decisions by themselves, without the need of any human input);
  • One important digital priority of business and non-business software solutions is to reinvent the customer experience.

Based on these key trends and its vast expertize, Gartner enumerates the following predictions for the near and more distant future:

  • By 2017, computer algorithms will be advanced enough to launch significant and disruptive digital business.
  • By 2017, 50% of U.S. digital commerce revenue will be generated by customers’ mobile engagement behavior.
  • By 2017, 70% of successful digital business models deliberately rely on unstable processes that can easily, and without negative consequences, change as customers’ needs change.
  • By 2017, 50% of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations.
  • By 2017, almost 20% of “e-tailers” will create personalized goods by using 3D printers.
  • By 2018, 30% of the total cost of ownership for business operations will be reduced through the benefit of using smart machines and industrialized services.
  • By 2018, digital business will require 50% fewer business process workers and 500% more key digital business jobs, compared with traditional models.
  • By 2020, retail businesses that use targeted messaging in combination with internal positioning systems will see a 5% increase in sales.
  • By 2020, developed world life expectancy will increase by a half-year, due to the widespread adoption of wireless health monitoring technology.

As far as present business owners are concerned, by taking into account these guidelines they can orientate their strategy in a manner that will not contradict future expectations from digital business software. The better prepared and informed we are about what lies in front of us, the more capable will we be to tackle future problems or to spot opportunities when they present themselves.

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