This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
It's that time again: time to look at what we've accomplished over the past 12 months and make predictions for the year ahead. In that spirit, I want to discuss three technology trends that captured our attention in 2014 and will drive greater action in 2015.
1. Cybersecurity tops board issues
Data breaches topped the news this year. Sony Pictures experienced a vicious cyberattack around the release of The Interview. Home Depot was a victim when 60 million card numbers were stolen, Target announced its holiday breach cost the company US$148 million and who can forget the iCloud celebrity photo scandal?
Since 2013, I have seen cybersecurity evolve as a pressing management issue much more slowly than I had expected. The technology to act on such warning signs and slow down or even prevent breaches or hacks is available, but the mindset to invest in it continues to fall behind the need.
When you consider that a breach in security opens up business liability, damages customer loyalty (and in some cases their finances), and jeopardizes people's jobs, it must require action that exceeds the attention it is getting. Businesses need to set proactive managed security solutions with industry experts as they seek to remedy and protect both corporate and customer assets. I predict through necessity cyber security will become a leading agenda item for Boards across every industry with a focus equal to that of business strategy, product development and R&D.
2. Big business catches up at the intersection of IoT and the cloud
The Internet of Things (IoT) has captured the imagination of consumers, from wearable devices to home automation and connected cars. At the same time, cloud and software-defined datacenters are reaching into the enterprise world unlocking transformative levels of insight, flexibility and scale.
But until now, consumer big brands have grappled with how to put the two revolutionary technology trends together in ways that are meaningful. It's been start-ups like FitBit, AirBnB, and Nest that have figured out how to use the cloud to create a more-connected consumer experience.
However, in 2014 we started to see that tide turn. Google closed its Nest acquisition.General Motors announced 30 models of 4G-LTE automobiles and just a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, GE - with partner Quirky, announced their vision for the connected home.
So far this year, we have already seen innovations in these areas from major brands. During the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Qualcomm announced a partnership with Walgreens. Mercedes-Benz unveiled a self-driving car. Nest announced new smart home partnerships with companies including LG. Garmin also revealed a new fitness tracker in partnership with designer Jonathan Adler.
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