Similar to every year, we have started reading predictions reports and articles on 2014 technology trends. Sometime I feel publishing such articles has become a ritual task than a reality check. Analysts, Evangelists, thought leaders and technology vendors, each one of them have their own point of view on what will we see around technology adoption in 2014. Like most of you, I also have started going through these point of views and digesting as much as I can. People like to talk on future trends (easy thing to do in life) based on some supporting data and many assumptions. In most of the cases, more than ‘supporting data’ it is the ‘set of assumptions’ which decide fate of specific technology trend.
Architects and Technologists need to read and interpret these reports not just for hyped predictions but need to read carefully all assumptions and relate these predictions to the facts and feasibility checks on the ground.
Here are few considerations you may find useful while going through these reports and for analyzing relevant technology trend which you can seriously follow in 2014 and adopt in this and subsequent years.
1. Review 2013 technology trends: While you look at 2014 technology trends, make sure you also analyze state of 2013 technology trends, what has moved on the hype curve, which technology has moved up in the maturity curve and which is fading away. Also it would be nice to review variation / derivative of specific technology being considered in 2014 in the context of what has been talked in 2013. Mobile, Cloud, Analytics etc are appearing in such reports again and again. Watch carefully and compare 2013 and 2014 predictions around this stack.
2. Relevant use cases: Did you find specific / relevant use cases for your industry around these trends in 2013? When you look at 2014 technology trends make sure you spend time to identify and analyze appropriate use cases where you can apply these trends. Creativity and innovation to solve business problem through such technology trends is one part but at a broader level, feasibility of adoption in the given context is equally important.
3. Prerequisites and dependencies: Nothing works in isolation and not these technology trends too. While you read these reports, try to find what prerequisites and dependencies have been identified for successful adoption and implementation of these trends. Make sure you are not spending your time for too futuristic trends. (Obviously you will not find all these details in free version of reports which are meant to create hype. You may have to buy those at hefty costs…)
4. Hype to reality: Obviously trends take time to be reality. While reading 2014 trends it would be a good idea to look at 2011, 2012 and 2013 trends to find out what has become reality? Are there relevant case studies, noticeable business benefits and reference adoptions in real life? If not, how much additional time would it take and what are the hindrances? Has the technology trend become business reality or still hype? And do you find similarities between those trends and what have been listed in 2014 trends?
5. ROI and TCO considerations: You may probably find relevant use cases and reference case studies for a specific technology trend but ROI and TCO factors in the context of it are equally important. Hype and practical considerations are different and due considerations for ROI and TCO are must.
6. Critical brainstorming: Analysts and others who come up with such reports do industry study and obviously do their homework – no doubt about that. But it would be a great idea to critically brainstorm pros / cons / applicability / feasibility /etc within equal minded technology and business groups. Not necessarily analyst reports cover everything.
7. Too early – too late: There is always a debate around is it too early to adopt a technology trend before it become mature and OR/AND is it too late now as everyone else has adopted it? You have to take right judgment on what is too early and too late. There is no specific thumb rule. To be in a business, it has to be a right time decision though!
What other suggestion would you like to consider while reading 2014 technology trends?
Note: All these blog posts and views mentioned in my personal blog are my own and NOT of my current and previous employers. I am NOT representing any of my organizations through this blog. This blog is just for sharing my personal views based on publicly available information related to interesting things happening in Technology area.