gypsy-fortune-teller2013 comes to a close and new year is right around the corner. After going through and reviewing my 2013 predictions  I am ready to lay down my insights for 2014. This year is tough because I think 2014 will be a breakout year that will set the stage for the years to come with the introduction and inclusion of advanced technology concepts that have been generally reserved for the corporate world into the mainstream consumer market. From encryption, storage, backups, access, identity management, authentication and hopefully a fundamental shift in the way the markets conduct electronic payments all could begin this year.

Innovation comes from the demand and needs of the consumers. Who can protect it best and with the simple to use technology? Who can ensure their credit card information will not end up on the black market? How can you ensure snooping eyes from a group or agency isn’t reading your emails and phone calls?

In a general prediction, 2014 will be the start of this movement, however the wave won’t get going until the education gets down to the consumers because the average tech user has no idea what all this means so therefore how can they ask for it?

2014 Predictions

  1. Encrypt Everything - Led by Google there will be services released that will help users encrypt all their data. At home, at work, on the phones and tablets. Going way beyond simple email encryption the Encrypt Everything movement will begin. The only way to stop prying eyes from looking is to encrypt it all at a level that they can’t read and with algorithms they don’t have back doors for.
  2. Location Based Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – The DLP space is on the cusp of becoming a relevant security service. Personally I am cynical and jaded toward DLP as a viable security practice for the main reason that it’s mostly a voluntary service within an organization and DLP’s purpose is really to stop stupid mistakes like emailing out Social Security Numbers. If anyone wants to get data out of a company they are going to do it and no DLP can stop them if they initially have the access in the first place. However, in the mobile world we live in I have not seen or heard of any DLP security features to use a location as part of the access model. Sure you can set it up from a network standpoint, but what about GPS or cellular network. An example, you have a spreadsheet of credit card numbers, you ave the full authority to look at that document on your device.  Assume the worst and your device is stolen along with all the local access, but what if the physical device had to be in an approved area to access anything. Use the mobility as part of the security, 2014 will start to add this.
  3. HP Gets A New CEO – HP is a flopping fish on the dock of the IT ocean. PC sales are falling at terminal velocity, companies are buying cloud services over racks and racks of local servers and disk, and HP treading water trying to figure out where to go next. Toward the end of 2014, Q3 I would say, Meg announces her exit. Her departure will coincide to HP releasing a smart device which will fail miserably.
  4. Biometrics Expand – The Target breach will bring light to the broken and archaic security processes of the electronic and card based payment systems. Look how easy it is to get what you need to steal millions, all the data is right on the card. Biometrics will start to become mainstream. Apple’s finger reader on the new iPhones is the start and others will jump into the mix. The payment systems need to add that physical tie to the authorized user, basically introduce multi-factor authentication for physical payments beyond a PIN. What you have – The credit/debit card. What you know – The PIN. What you are – Biometric (fingerprint, eye scan, etc…)
  5. Amazon Releases A Media Device – Amazon jumps into the home entertainment arena with an Amazon media device to complete with Roku, AppleTV and Netflix. Amazon has announced they are getting into the television series market it’s only logical that they will release their own device as well. Why does this make sense? Think about an advanced Amazon device watching an Amazon show that can tie directly into all the product placements and the viewer can order anything they saw in the TV show from an outfit to the food eaten right from Amazon.
  6. Facebook Gets Exposed – Facebook gets exposed to their information sharing with government agencies. Facebook already practices self-imposed censorship when it comes to pages and posts that goes against Facebook’s thinking but it comes to light when it’s revealed that they allow certain groups to see everything. The revelation that Facebook watches what’s typed and deleted is just the start from what they are watching about the users.
  7. Microsoft Focuses On The Software Again – IBM/Intel machines are no longer the majority. Microsoft is no longer holds the power of king of the IT planet by relying on cheap hardware to get their software on. Mobile devices have left Microsoft in the dust and their Windows 8 failure isn’t helping. The new Microsoft CEO will make Microsoft relevant again by dropping the OS centric focus and shifting it to software as a whole. It’s estimated that Microsoft is missing out on $2 billion by not having the Office Suite on iOS. If Microsoft wants to get back their status of kings of the world they need to drop the dream of hard dominance and focus on what they do best, software. Software on all devices hooked into the Microsoft cloud. The device is irrelevant when accessing cloud stored services and data.
  8. Apple Takes On The Enterprise – Apple has the individual consumer market locked up but they still have been ignoring, at least publicly, the enterprise IT sector. With Blackberry failing hard and Microsoft losing their grip on the productivity devices and PCs, the stage is ready for Apple to step up. An upcoming iPad Pro will bring Apple to the front of the pack for delivering a secure platform and device for the enterprise. Mobile Device Management is the sticking point for many organizations trying to move to a BYOD or mobile workforce but Apple will finally provide the tools and services to make it work.
  9. The Monopoly Of The Cable Companies Begin To Crumble – Individual choice of services when it comes to television entertainment is finally here. For decades local cable companies have had a corrupted grip on consumers, gouging them with expensive and ever rising costs with sub-quality programming options and service. The days of their comfortable monopoly is done. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, YouTube and many others have options and services that no longer require contracts with cable companies. In 2014 I predict that HBO will break away from the cable companies and offer their HBO GO as a standalone service to compete with Netflix and Amazon. If that happens it will be the beginning of the end of the cable company monopoly. If you think there is no monopoly just look at your local town, how many options do you have for land based cable delivery? This is a good thing for everyone, competition is a win-win for the consumers.
  10. The US Postal Service Shifts To Deliver As A Service – There was an article I read that was a tongue-in-cheek story about Amazon buying the Postal Service. I think that it’s not out of possibility but from a monopoly standpoint it probably would never happen. However, the ever money bleeding Postal Service needs help badly. Amazon could be the start of the saving it. Amazon is already testing Sunday delivery with the Postal Service. The internal bureaucratic disaster of the Postal Service can be fixed but what would be hard to re-build is the Postal Service’s infrastructure and ability to reach all the homes in the country today. If it’s broke fix it, why re-create the wheel? The Postal Service can survive if it’s allowed to compete and evolve away from the government grip, Amazon will be the first to help that growth.

There you go, my predictions for 2014. In 12 months we’ll see how I did.

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