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2014 is only halfway over, but so far, the year has already ushered in a host of new software applications, services, security features, medical devices, communications platforms, and back office management tools that provide users with a stronger foothold in almost every industry.

Offsite Data Management

Offsite data storage (also known as the cloud) and SaaS contracts (software as a service) were barely stepping onto the marketplace a few years ago, and at this point, these services and data management systems have become a nearly universal aspect of the modern workplace. In 2014, very few organizations still maintain onsite server networks, and those that have yet to make the switch face a growing list of available options and products. These options have become so flexible and scalable that they’re accessible to even the smallest organizations with shoestring budgets and zero risk tolerance.

Cyber Security

Meanwhile, cybersecurity has risen to the top of the list of pressing issues for CIOs and IT managers. With offsite storage comes an increased risk of data breaches and security and privacy concerns, and in certain industries like banking and healthcare, new regulations and growing customer concerns have made network and data security a top priority for service providers. But the news is positive: as hacking and counterfeiting efforts become more sophisticated, security measures have kept pace, and indicators suggest that these trends will continue for the rest of the year and beyond.

Metadata

Metadata analysis (also called Big Data) continues to make strong inroads into marketing and business development efforts in 2014. The growing use of social media and “inbound marketing”– in which potential customers are encouraged to make contact with companies on their own terms– has led to marketing revolution of sorts. No longer do companies rely entirely on cold, one-directional, broad-based advertising and direct marketing campaigns; in this age, consumers are invited to join communities, engage in voluntary dialogue with companies, and provide information over social media channels that companies can use to tighten and focus their marketing efforts within increasingly narrow demographics. These tools and strategies are altering the competitive landscape across a wide range of industries.

For more information about the technological developments that are shaping the business environment in 2014, reach out to the MA IT staffing experts at Tech Needs.

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