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

1 - Smarter, More Usable Apps Will Dominate in 2014: Nucleus Research
2 - Vendors Embrace the Dark-Cockpit Approach
3 - The Cloud, Again and Beyond
4 - Geofencing and the Art of True Mobility
5 - The Year of Multiple APIs
6 - Business Intelligence Moves to the Cloud
7 - Tablets That Truly Boost Productivity
8 - Compliance Gets Under Control
9 - HCM Enters the Social Phase
10 - Multi-Metric Data Replaces the Time Clock
11 - CRM Opens Its Arms
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Smarter, More Usable Apps Will Dominate in 2014: Nucleus Research

by Nathan Eddy

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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