Just about everyone, regardless of the field of technology they work within, realizes the importance of staying up to date on new implementations and advances in order to stay relevant to the job. Knowing what is expected to be the major trend in the future is a good way to get a head start on being ready for the changes. Whether you are looking for a new job, or just staying relevant to your current position, being prepared with the latest skills and ideas will be a benefit.
Social media is a main focus these days for both individuals and businesses. Most all businesses now understand the importance of having an online presence on multiple platforms, and 2013 saw forward momentum in many areas. Google+ saw major increases in use as it launched the Hangouts app with its unique version of combining social media and technology. And Facebook, with its Timeline feature has made it much easier for developers to utilize various apps in order to better produce sweepstakes and promotions. These were just a couple of the noticeable growth areas in 2013.
When it comes to further social media advances in 2014, Business 2 Community writer Kim Beasley lists these exciting new expectations:
- Social Media TV – This term refers to the union of social media and television. In this coming year we will begin to see more television networks utilizing social media and what the public is posting on social media sites.
- Social Good – In 2014 we will see an increase in using social media and technology to increase the messages and the efforts of non-profits and other community action organizations.
- Flipboard Publishing – This new app allows publishers to share content in a beautiful and interactive platform.
- Google Wallet – This is a mobile payment system developed by Google that allows its users to store debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards, as well as redeem sales promotions. I can see that Google Wallet will become more integrated into online and offline shopping. Especially since Google Wallet now allows a debit card to be connected to your online account.
As far as business applications, Los Angeles Internet services provider j2Global polled more than 1,500 of its small business customers recently to get their 2014 expected usages. According to Profit Minded writer Adrienne Burke, this poll revealed that “Few have used or plan to use some of the most talked-about mobile apps for business development or marketing: Under 3 percent are interested in Snapchat, the company that turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook this year, and only 6 percent use or plan to use FourSquare.” Instead, they plan to continue working with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for marketing.
The survey also revealed that about half of the small businesses out there still do not have a website for their business, though about 25% of the total group polled stated they plan on increasing their online presence. Also on the rise among those polled, is the plans to increase the use of email marketing to reach their customers. Another surprise is that very few of them are concerned with making their emails and webpages mobile friendly, considering the skyrocketing mobile use these days.
An increased use of cloud services is predicted by more than half of those companies polled, and most participants expect it to save them money, though forty-two percent say they do not expect to see any savings with cloud services.
So, gradually the population is starting to rethink their business practices in light of the continual advancements in technology, and so it is greatly beneficial to the employee to be sure they are up-to-date on all of these additional services in order to be a better asset all around.
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