2014 was an eventful year in technology, marked with the rise of new game-changing trends as well as cybersecurity issues of unprecedented scale. Wearables transitioned from novelty to mainstream technology, the market for drones took off, big data dominated the boardroom agenda, smartphones prices plunged as low as US$50 and new eCommerce records were set in China on Singles Day.
Cybersecurity also dominated headlines and generated a whirlwind of discussions - from the most recent Sony episode that is still unfolding to unparalleled zero-day vulnerabilities like Shellshock and Heartbleed to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks of a scale and complexity never seen before.
As we head into 2015, F5 peers into our crystal ball to find out what the next year will bring.
The rise of 'consumer hyperawareness'
Understanding what drives customers has become the baseline for any organization interested in success. Research firm Gartner predicts the market for business intelligence platforms to grow and reach more than $1.6 billion by 2017.
As companies gear up for the future, this ability will become more critical than ever as businesses fight for competitive advantage with more data about consumers and better equip themselves to draw insights from this data. We call this new level of customer knowledge "consumer hyperawareness". It will allow organizations to identify and meet consumer needs with previously unimagined precision, forever changing how organizations tailor and deliver products, services, and support to customers. The timing is perfect: network ubiquity, processing power and analytics solutions are now capable of making consumer hyperawareness a reality. In addition, the social media revolution has made people more comfortable than ever about volunteering information and enjoying a rich mix of benefits for doing so.
The first steps toward achieving true consumer hyperawareness are already happening. As the lines between online and offline commerce continue to blur, businesses are capitalizing on more channels to capture even more data to increase their business intelligence. Brick-and-mortar shops adopt technologies such as Bluetooth beacons to track and analyze movement patterns of shoppers, and this data is matched up online tracking data to provide a full picture of each customer.
As more organizations join the information chain to become 'hyperaware' of their customers, the opportunities for enterprises - and the potential benefits for customers - are bound to explode.
A tipping point for digital delivery of public services
With citizens becoming increasingly connected and tech-savvy at exponential rates, they have began to demand from their governments the same level of convenience and speed they get from businesses' online services. In this digital era, Governments will move quickly beyond the small steps they have taken so far.
The same technologies that allow organizations to better understand and serve their customers could become the saving grace for the public sector. The advent of social media and mobile devices has also increased the comfort level of people sharing information and making transactions - even sensitive ones - online and on-the-go.
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