Technology Forecast for 2014

In IDC’s (International Data Corporation) recent press release and as covered by, the IDC predicts next year will be a year of transition into IT’s “3rd Platform”, the emerging mobile computing movement, including cloud services, data analysis, and social networking. Effects on the hospitality industry have the potential to be transformative; we’ve summarized and evaluated how these might effect you below:

  1. We’ll see even more mobile use: Overall IT spending will grow 5% to over $2 trillion in 2014. Spending driven by 3rd Platform technologies will grow 15% year over year and capture 89% of IT spending growth. Worldwide sales of smartphones and tablets will continue to grow at a rapid rate (60% of total IT market growth). Prepare your hotel networks for even more mobile traffic.
  2. Emerging markets will be a huge source of growth: Hitting double-digit growth of 10% - 35% of worldwide IT revenue, and more than 60% of worldwide IT spending growth for the first time. China leading growth in BRIC countries and matching IT spending growth with the U.S. 2014 will mark the beginning of a “Post-BRIC” era. If you haven’t already, consider attracting and including international guests with an internationally friendly website and online presence.
  3. Services, content, & more will continue moving to the cloud: Cloud services and supporting technology are expected to grow 25%, over $100 billion, in 2014. The IDC predicts increasing data centers as cloud companies build to a global scale. Amazon already offers developers several platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings and higher value services for businesses. Traditional IT suppliers continue trying to quickly change gears. The hospitality industry and vendors are following suit and will continue investment in cloud services to improve overall operations.
  4. Data analytics will reveal all: An estimated over $14 billion spending on big data technologies and services – a 30% growth year over year as demand for data analytics continues to outweigh supply. The cloud will play a larger role in platforms that are capable of streaming data in real-time. Hospitality has much to gain as analytics help measure guest satisfaction and identify specific competitive advantages. (Read more about data analytics for better business intelligence here.)
  5. Social media will drive customer service: Social technology will become significantly integrated into all guest engagement and marketing strategies, as well as the product and service development processes. Social networks will become a standard cloud offering and no longer a separate operating arm of businesses. Design policies, train staff, and invest in social as an important part of your customer service.
  6. Every market will be disrupted: The ‘3rd Platform’ will come with competitive advantage apps and services that will disrupt market leaders in every industry. The key to competing in reinvented industries will be to adopt emerging innovation platforms built upon Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and other platforms.
  7. Towel tracking and beyond: By 2020 there’s an expected 30 billions autonomously connected end points and $8.9 trillion in revenue generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) – where all objects will have tracking technology transforming daily life. Hospitality will be able to track and analyze all activities, items, etc. (think towel tracking gone to a global-scale.)

It’s clear 2014 includes more technological advances and opportunities. Hospitality has been known to be living in the “dark ages”, but with the improvements in the economic climate and rate of investment in the industry, it’s possible we may see great strides in the near future.

What do you envision for 2014?