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Technology Prognosis Recap 2014

2014 Logo2014 impacted us with the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl and a spectacular Winter Olympics to events like the rise of ISIS and the outbreak of Ebola. Along the way we also lost people like Casey Kasem, James Garner, Robin Williams, Shirley Temple, and Joan Rivers.  The technology sector boomed as gas prices are at a 5 year low, while the rest of the world economy struggles. Our mix of both safe and controversial predictions for 2014 turned out to be mostly on target:

  1. IT Spending down significantly. This prediction was fairly safe as IDC and Gardner both predicted slow going, but the year ended with slightly more spending than expected.
  2. IT jobs down. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for technology professionals remains under 3%. However, the total number of layoffs and discharges is at a 10-year high. Only specialists in certain fields and cloud professionals saw wage increases.
  3. Staffing fees decrease. Staffing still dominates the industry, but LinkedIn had a strong year with over 40% increase in revenue. Staffing has limited barriers to entry, but specialization will be key for the winners in this segment to survive over the long run.
  4. Competency rules. The speed of change is making it difficult for everyone to keep up, but people without continued learning won’t catch up and are high risk to customers. For example, legacy Microsoft Certifications were retired July 31, 2014 and are no longer relevant for current technology.
  5. Twitter Boostrap rules. Builtwith shows over 3.7 million sites using bootstrap. The top traffic sites are converting first, meaning small and medium sites are losing big in mobile search and customer experience overall.
  6. Apple love affair over. Despite Bend-gate and no real cool factor, no one can deny the record sales of iPhone 6. However, iWatch is a tremendous flop even with the holiday season. While Apple can’t give away enough free Macs to Hollywood, who cheers about a 13% market share milestone after 30 years?
  7. Microsoft bashing on steroids. Surprisingly, the vitriol has waned some. Nadella is not an easy target versus Ballmer and trolls that yammer about 20-year-old technology opinions are just plain lost with new cloud and software updates coming out every 3 months.
  8.  Privacy avoidance. This debate has been dominated by net neutrality, which the mainstream press has staunchly avoided.
  9. Censorship pending. If you add encryption to your website, Google will give you better search results and your keywords can’t be harvested by automated tools and used by your competitors. Added trust and everyone providing a unique message is good. Having a company customize what you see on the web and not being transparent about the rules is bad.
  10. Social media flourishes. Social media has had ginormous year. There are so many platforms now that businesses will either need to hire full-time advertising firms or begin to focus on unique content for their customers on one or two platforms.

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