Smarter, More Usable Apps Will Dominate in 2014: Nucleus Research

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-12-24 Print this article Print

"Smarter" but "more usable" will be the watchwords for 2014, according to Nucleus Research. In delivering its top 10 technology predictions for the new year, the research firm points to a growing focus on delivering simpler, more intuitive user experiences for technology as complexity increases under the hood. The focus will shift to usability as many end users are overwhelmed by fat, feature-rich solutions. Nucleus compares the changes to pilots in the early 1980s who were faced with a rapid upsurge of new safety technologies, gauges and buttons in the cockpit; end users are looking for guidance to fully benefit from added features. For the aviation industry, the solution was to darken the cockpit and then automate the flight process by illuminating buttons and gauges that pilots needed for each stage of the journey. "Technology vendors that follow the dark-cockpit model and guide users through complex software processes will emerge as leaders in 2014," Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research, wrote in the report. Take a look at Nucleus Research's top predictions for 2014.

  • Smarter, More Usable Apps Will Dominate in 2014: Nucleus Research

    by Nathan Eddy
    1 - Smarter, More Usable Apps Will Dominate in 2014: Nucleus Research
  • Vendors Embrace the Dark-Cockpit Approach

    As vendors seek to differentiate themselves in an increasingly risk-averse marketplace, those that can tie their applications' direct impact on users doing their job better will be more likely to make the cut. It may be the greatest design challenge for software vendors, but those that leap ahead in making software more intelligent will deliver incrementally greater value and differentiate themselves.
    2 - Vendors Embrace the Dark-Cockpit Approach
  • The Cloud, Again and Beyond

    The report predicts companies that embrace opportunities for virtualization and the flexibility of cloud computing will reap productivity, tax and other benefits. The final holdouts will crumble in 2014 as the lines between hardware and devices blur and voice over IP and other vendors deliver professional-grade cloud solutions that highlight the lack of innovation and customer hostage-taking strategies of their on-premise predecessors.
    3 - The Cloud, Again and Beyond
  • Geofencing and the Art of True Mobility

    For the manager, it means being able to track employees based on location and give them access to apps and data based on that location. Although employees may not see the upside of geofencing, ambitious employees will recognize the potential benefits of providing management with a much clearer and detailed picture of how effectively they manage their time.
    4 - Geofencing and the Art of True Mobility
  • The Year of Multiple APIs

    When companies stay on the upgrade curve, they can justify license maintenance investments or subscription renewals. Without vendor-managed APIs, they will always be below the value curve, the report warns. According to Nucleus, a robust cloud API strategy will be a core part of the portfolio of winning vendors.
    5 - The Year of Multiple APIs
  • Business Intelligence Moves to the Cloud

    Low-cost implementations, with little-to-no on-premise hardware or software requirements and little-to-no IT maintenance costs have certainly made cloud business intelligence a compelling option for many. Many of these solutions tout ease of use, ease of deployment and low training requirements as key benefits.
    6 - Business Intelligence Moves to the Cloud
  • Tablets That Truly Boost Productivity

    Users are demanding access to their reports and business information from increasingly mobile and untethered environments, and while the tablet definitely doesn't have the processing power of the desktop, it is starting to become the workhorse of the office and leave the notebook back with the desktop PC. Meanwhile, vendors will be selling more business-ready devices with support for business apps, and users will be demanding support for more than just social activities on their devices.
    7 - Tablets That Truly Boost Productivity
  • Compliance Gets Under Control

    Human capital management (HCM) vendors will likely become more nimble in cloud app development for compliance purposes while being careful to apply simpler user interfaces to customer-based compliance issues, especially following the Affordable Healthcare Act's exchange's initial failures. The report suggests 2014 will likely see an evolution of compliance requirements.
    8 - Compliance Gets Under Control
  • HCM Enters the Social Phase

    The report predicts 2014 will likely see the majority of HCM providers continue to integrate social media and social collaboration into their solutions to increase person-to-person functionality, integrate unstructured data into structured analytics, and rebalance the scale between objective and subjective data from hiring to succession planning. Innovators should go a step further with text analytics, in-application coaching and predictive problem solving to stay ahead of the competition.
    9 - HCM Enters the Social Phase
  • Multi-Metric Data Replaces the Time Clock

    The death of the traditional time clock will come when employees no longer have to engage an application for employers to track their working activities. "As we become more and more plugged in in our personal lives, we are providing more ways to be tracked according to activities, behavior, and ID that show our personal routines," the report said.
    10 - Multi-Metric Data Replaces the Time Clock
  • CRM Opens Its Arms

    The report astutely notes as individual worker's and consumer's profiles and social presence become increasingly intertwined, knowing the business buyer's personal preferences and expectations (and how much they want us to know about them) is plain good sales management. Although they may have different types of sales teams, the distinction between CRM supporting processes for business and consumer buyers will melt away.
    11 - CRM Opens Its Arms

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