Microsoft: Enterprise Social, Big Data Among Top IT Trends for 2014
In the new year, enterprise social networks will grow up, and businesses will find themselves challenged by managing a deluge of data caused by the Internet of things.New challenges and opportunities await the IT industry in 2014, according to Susan Hauser, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. And in her interactions with customers, she has identified some areas the company expects to have a big impact on how enterprises devote IT resources in the coming year. Enterprise social is maturing, and organizations are waking up to the business-boosting potential of embracing social-enabled modes of employee collaboration and customer communications, wrote Hauser in a TechNet Blog post. Compared with two years ago, when businesses were cool to the technology, "today I have a conversation on enterprise social in almost every meeting," she reported. "Business differentiation for many customers comes from the ability to quickly respond to changing customer sentiment in a meaningful way," Hauser wrote. She cited restaurant chain Red Robin and its success in sparking conversations among workers in all levels in the company. (Microsoft acquired Yammer in 2012 for $1.2 billion.) "Flattening internal communication like this can save money, make companies more responsive, and course-correct quickly," said Hauser. The effects can also spread beyond the bottom line. "Some companies even note large improvement in morale when communication is open and widespread," she added.
Big data will continue to challenge businesses. This time, a growing Internet of things will add new urgency to how businesses manage their data.