2014 has been an amazing year for new tech. With the launch of Oculus Rift, the new iPhone and massive leaps made with wearable tech, we're being taken in new and exciting directions. 2015 will only see this level of innovation grow - especially in business.
Companies are now recognising the potential new technology can bring - not only in terms of the tech itself, but how they use it. But we need to ensure that they have the right skills to use it to the best advantage.
With that in mind, Virgin Media Business presents its predictions on what will be the key trends for 2015, and what impact they are likely to have on us all.
Building digital knowledge
We see an even bigger focus on digital skills in the coming year. Over 50% of the jobs our children will get don't exist yet – mainly because the technology hasn't been built!
With the election in May, we'll be looking out for pledges that build far beyond this year's introduction of coding into the National Curriculum. The UK needs to really utilise the tech infrastructure that already exists to power the potential of those kids heading for the jobs of the future.
Flexible working becomes the expectation – Flexible working feels like it has been around for ages but, with new laws this year, we're likely to see the idea break new ground in 2015, reaching sectors that have previously been more traditional.
The businesses that gain the most will be the ones that have the tech that can match the aspirations and needs of their people, so there's a seamless cross-over from in-office to at-home performance.
Personalisation of content
In 2015, businesses will need to have a bigger focus on tailoring content for their audience. With new technologies and innovations, from new mobile applications to wearables and augmented reality, more start-ups will be looking at this opportunity and how we can ensure consumers get the right content, tailored for their device. That, in turn, is going to send a new tide of data washing through the network, putting a premium on fast, reliable connections.
Big data becomes more usable
Next year, already-stretched CIOs and IT managers are going to come under much more pressure to not just collate data, but to use it. Big data is old news. What we actually need is big insight. If we understand the data we have and what it means, that's what will make a difference in unlocking new business opportunities.
Millennials take on privacy
Sharing and privacy are set to go head-to-head in 2015, as Gen Y's open approach to sharing meets corporate privacy. While security remains vital, businesses must take a step back. They'll need to strike a balance between essential regulation and nurturing the opportunity tech provides. Those that get it right won't run the risk of twentysomethings tweeting confidential updates instead, talent will be empowered to use tech to accelerate growth.
- Duncan Higgins is marketing director for Virgin Media Business