It’s almost impossible to predict the future in technology, although we try. We need to have an eye on the future to be able to address the needs of our customers and to maximise the advantages offered by emerging technologies. We have already covered the core IT skills we think will be most in demand in 2013, now we discuss the industry in general. It seems obvious to us that the general demand from business and consumers will be more. More bandwidth, more apps, more devices, more productivity, more efficiency, more accessibility and more diversity. The success of the smartphone and tablet has awoken a demand for network bandwidth, IP addresses, applications and innovation. As users become aware of the potential of these portable devices, they will increasingly expect more from them, driving demand for more apps, faster networks and more intuitive accessories. To satisfy this demand for more of everything, we think there will be an increase in crowdfunding projects along the lines of Kickstarter. The ability for anyone to buy into the development of a product and create an emotional as well as financial investment has seen hundreds of projects green lit from crowdfunded sources. With lending at an all-time low and suspicion around corporations at an all-time high, it’s the right answer at the right time for development of new products. Productivity is important as our patience decreases and competition increases. Online retailers are driving efficiencies to speed up order fulfillment, the service sector is embracing technology to cut down on duplication and make efficiencies across the board and businesses of all kinds are accepting virtualisation, cloud computing and outsourcing as ways of getting more for less. Accessibility is going to be a watchword for 2013 too. We all know how to use a computer, a smartphone and a tablet. The world of IT is no longer the preserve of geeks and is gradually opening up to the rest of us. The success of Raspberry Pi and the Minecraft coding project are allowing anyone to learn development languages. The move to apps over specific programs are also helping to make digital creations easier than ever to realise. All these changes are bound to bring more diversity to the marketplace. The move away from corporate or traditional funding, the shift from companies to individual programmers and the rise of the app means anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it. If that doesn’t give us hope for 2013, nothing will.

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