The following post is by Pluto7a predictive analytics company with a proven track record of delivering value through business insight in the Enterprise. Visit us at to learn more.      2014 promises to be an exciting year. Major technology advances coupled with a real appetite in the industry to make significant investments fueled by a charging economy are sure to make the coming year a memorable one. Contributors of these predictions are highly respected in their organizations, in the market and are considered thought leaders. We plan to track our predictions throughout the year and share our assessment at the end to see how we fared. 1.       “SaaS goes mainstream” – Adoption of subscription based Software-as-a-Service will accelerate in companies of all sizes. While SaaS has been expanding rapidly over the last few years in the broad market, we see a major uptick in usage of SaaS solutions for mainstream applications within large enterprise customers as well. Forbes reports that 40% of all CRM sold in the last year was SaaS-based. Even in traditional Supply Chain Management, and related domains, Forbes shows 21% has gone to SaaS and we see this growing rapidly in the coming year as companies adopt a ‘cloud-first’ approach, primarily motivated by the economic benefits of moving away from budget gobbling and time consuming on-premise implementations. 2.       “Big Data dust settles” – As companies understand how to apply Big Data for practical and actionable uses, we’ll see demonstrable ROI emerge from Big Data usage in 2014. Most companies already realize the potential of Big Data and the focus this last year has been on learning the technology and ideal usage models.  While many struggled to find where and how Big Data can make a measurable difference to their business, some cracked the code. We observed a major toy company leverage Big Data to drive their product into the “10 most-wanted toys for Christmas” list this holiday season.  As Business and IT get smarter about this technology and its value, we will see many more success stories emerge in 2014. 3.       “From Trending to Prediction” –   Predictive Analytics will gain more traction within day-to-day analysis in various enterprise functions. The best companies and managers have always been data-driven, and organizations spend a lot of time generating reports looking at past performance and analyzing them to determine trends. New predictive analytics capabilities, statistical modeling and recommendation algorithms now provide the ability to have real projection information as part of operational metrics. With dramatic improvements in compute power, infrastructure costs and efficiencies, we see predictive analytics becoming a part of the standard toolkit of smart business leaders. 4.       “IT becomes a service broker for the Business” –  As Business gets more tech-savvy, and chooses SaaS and cloud-based solutions, IT’s role evolves to become an  effective service broker. A key trend in recent times has been a lowering of barriers to technology adoption through the availability of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS models. With the Business now empowered to directly acquire, or deeply influence the acquisition of, software solutions – IT’s role as a solution provider is rapidly evolving from solution provider to a service broker.  Business now demands rapid turnaround and solutions at ‘cloud-speed’. In 2014, Smart IT organizations will increasingly focus on establishing procedures and guardrails to effectively on board best-of-breed Service providers to ensure rapid ROI while still maintaining control over the technology and software ecosystem. 5.      “Social media in the Enterprise” – Supply Chain, Sales and Finance collaboration will drive better customer experience beyond just Marketing using Big Data and Social Analytics data. Amazon new patents “Anticipatory” Shipping approach to start sending stuff before you’ve bought it, is an example of blending and pushing the predictive analytics deeper into supply chain, finance and social media. In 2014 within the Enterprise boundaries and expanding into partner, customer and supplier networks, feedbacks on product and services will flow into your supply chain, marketing, product engineering, operations and finance. Product defects found in your supply chain will preempt defective products shipped to customers saving money and many such examples. 6. “Data Everywhere” – Internet of Things (IoT) will bring the People, Process aspects into lime light aligning with Machines, Mobile, Social.  From 2014 heading towards 2020, the explosion in “things” generating data will generate a rich wave of new sources of data with varying formats for analytics. Enterprises will continue to struggle to keep up between innovation and massive information coming from the mobile work force. From phones, to cars, to refrigerator to smart meters to medical sensors, everything will talk to everything if there is an incremental value to humans with the corresponding data analyzed. Business decisions will be accelerated in organizations that have a better adoption plan for IoT across their ecosystem. Nest product bought by Google is an excellent example of a device supporting IoT momentum. 7.       “Innovative Minds” – Everything stated above is created by human minds.  There will be a continued shortage of smart brains in US and some areas globally. Get ready to pay more to your high performing existing employees or new hires. Call it Data Scientists, Developers, Programmers, Analysts or any other roles you can think of which brings newer insights into business improvements through data and process reengineering. As an example, In Silicon Valley California, the last seen massive labor growth was in 2000. With 14 years gaps, rapid innovation, enterprises now ready to spend, US economy recovering, Investors itching to invest in smart ideas and US government in tightened the immigration, the labor costs for smart human minds will go up. 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