2014 is right around the corner, and now is a great opportunity to forecast potential tech ideas and trends that might take off in the New Year.
1. Big Brother, Little Brother
It seems George Orwell’s 1984 came to fruition in 2013 with the NSA spying relevations. According to the Guardian newspaper, it has only published one percent of the 58,000 documents given to them by Ed Snowden. In addition to potentially more devastating NSA revelations of government surveillance in 2014, with the growing use of personal technology and social media by ordinary citizens, Little Brother will also continue to rise and the division between the right to knowledge and the right to privacy will increasingly become blurred. The question really isn’t just about if your government is watching you, as it is if your next door neighbor is watching you too.
2. Cyber Security
Cyber security continues to be a simmering concern for all online users. With more people getting online to do almost all of their life activities, more vulnerability to hacking and thief becomes apparent. The United States has a considerable vulnerability due to poor IT infrastructures, as compared to EU countries. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the United States is on the verge of a possible cyber-Pearl Harbor, due to the increasing risk of foreign computer hackers disabling its power grid, transportation system, financial networks and government operations. Could 2014 see a major hacking that could disable a whole country? Anything is possible.
3. Backward Compatibility
In many Western countries, many people purchase new electronics or software applications approximately every two years. This is driven partly by the product’s obsoleteness, as there is always a newer version of everything coming onto the market these days. However, we are still in the midst of a global recession, and purchasing priorities are changing, and buying the latest “iThing” may not be on the top of that list. It is not uncommon to see people in the developing world who have owned their mobiles for seven or eight years, and their operating systems are most likely outdated. As the economic downturn continues to drag on, we might also see many people in developed nations begin to use their tech gadgets well beyond two years too. In 2014 we think web professionals will begin to create products and software applications that are energy efficient, backward compatible and accessible, allowing for older electronics to be more useful for longer and reduce e-waste.
4. Sustainable Web Design
Speaking of greening technology, this idea of making web design more environmentally sustainable has been floating around for a while now. Climate change is a very real concern globally, and our technology use is partially contributing to the problem. Did you know that the Internet’s carbon footprint is larger than the entire aviation industry? Our increasing appetite for computers, mobiles and tablets is decreasing the earth’s resources very quickly. All those high resolution images and video slideshows on your site might be great, but all this multimedia slows down websites and uses more energy. As a matter of fact, today’s average web page is 15 times larger than it was 10 years ago. In the very near future, eco-friendly web designers will have to think about creating web page size budgets, optimized images,“ content first” strategies, and green hosting.
5. Content, Content and More Content
Content Strategy, Content Development, Content Marketing – these are all the same idea with the same goal – the planning, development, distribution and management of informational material. Pretty much everyone doing business online understands that in order to stay in business they have to understand how to do content the right way. As a matter of fact, approximately 60 percent of businesses today are proactively doing content online, and this trend will grow tremendously in 2014, with a particular interest in mobile content marketing.