Looking ahead to 2014

Enterprise-technology trends for 2014

Himanshu Sareen, founder and CEO of Icreon Tech

Despite talk of a potential tech bubble following several highly public IPOs, the outlook for continued disruption and groundbreaking tech companies is actually brighter than ever.

Mobile is continuing to surge, and it is continuing to impact enterprises worldwide. Web development is evolving for the age of tablets and rich interactivity via HTML5. Even the way in which a company builds and strategically assembles its IT infrastructure are evolving thanks to the cloud, distributed computing, and open-source technology.

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With a nonstop news cycle exploring hot-air filled buzzwords and seemingly legitimate trends, deciding on which new technological resource to adopt can be exhausting. Here's a guide to what I see as the leading enterprise-technology trends for 2014.

Web development gets more scalable

In 2014, HTML5 will gain traction as a leading option to develop custom enterprise apps that are compatible with multiple device types. Many enterprises have avoided such tools in light of excessive software development costs. Using an amalgam of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, web developers can create highly interactive, yet economical, web applications (accessible online and offline) for today's tech-savvy business user. This, especially, will hold value, given the prevalence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for today's modern business.

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Mobile apps get securitized and firewalled

The rise of exclusive enterprise mobile apps will proliferate the existence of custom enterprise-app stores. Businesses will continue to develop in-house apps that can be accessed inter-departmentally for managing, modifying, and viewing corporate data. Yet, while said businesses will be highly eager to empower employees with such tools, security will also remain a top priority.

Organizations using an array of device types with dozens of software applications will be challenged to keep their environments secure. As such, the growing concept of the enterprise-app store will be used to fight the never-ending war against malware, unsecured networks, and unauthorized data access.

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Software applications and business tools get smarter

In addition to progress with enterprise applications, traditional analog business tools are becoming increasingly smart and digitized. Machine to machine communication will change the way enterprises plan logistics, maintain security, and even conduct human resources.

Splunk, a $190 million San Francisco based corporation that went public last year, offers web applications for analyzing massive sets of machine generated data. This year also saw a flurry of robot and smart machine oriented acquisitions and investments (Boston Dynamics by , and Amazon's automated delivery drones to name a few).

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But in 2014, expect smart machines and embedded sensors to transform the way the enterprise perceives and manages operational health and productivity.

Enterprise applications with real-time operational data feeds from factory machines, truck fleets, and facility sensors will be a godsend for executives. But from an IT perspective they will require enhanced security to manage access and protect information.

Regardless of the industry, disruptive technologies will transform the way enterprises manage, augment, and analyze operations. From our biased perspective, we believe that innovative software development will be the catalyst for such growth in 2014.

Enterprises will use HTML5 as an economical way to build cross-platform apps for employees. Individual departments from HR to Finance will start churning out their own exclusive apps for relevant employees. And as 2014 emerges and progresses, software development trends will continue to evolve alongside smart devices and sensor embedded industrial equipment.

Throughout 2014, enterprises will continue to assert control over the real-time data that is central to their growth, while providing pervasive and secure access to employees who put such data to work.

— By Himanshu Sareen

Himanshu Sareen is the founder and CEO of mobile-app and web-development company Icreon Tech in New York City. Follow Icreon on Twitter @icreontech.