Deloitte reveals top 10 business technology trends

Disruptive technologies provide an opportunity in 2014 to reshape organisations, change business models and transform industries, according to Deloitte’s 5th Annual Tech Trends Report, released today.

The report, titled Inspiring Disruption, examines the changing landscape of technology and how multiple disruptive technologies are impacting business today. The study focuses on the next 18-24 months and is divided into two categories – enablers and disruptors.

Disruptors represent opportunities for technology executives to create sustainable positive changes in IT capabilities, business operations and business models. The current report features: CIO as venture capitalist, cognitive analytics, industrialised crowdsourcing, digital engagement and wearables.

Enablers are technologies in which many organisations have already invested, but new developments and opportunities have inspired new business applications, thereby warranting a fresh look. The current report features: technical debt reversal, social activation, cloud orchestration, in-memory revolution and real-time DevOps.

“Disruptive technologies – from wearable devices to cognitive analytics to crowdsourcing – present unprecedented opportunities to reimagine how work gets done, how businesses grow, and how markets and industries evolve. But they also represent threats – and real challenges on how to balance experimentation for tomorrow with the realities of today," said Kevin Walsh, head of technology consulting at Deloitte UK.

"Our report examines how these trends are changing business as usual and opening the door for CIOs to truly transform their business operations.

“One of the most interesting – and perhaps most talked about – trends this year is the CIO developing a venture capitalist mindset in relation to IT portfolio management. An effective portfolio view enables the CIO to continually evaluate and manage the strategic performance of each asset, project and vendor and communicate the value contribution in terms that business leaders understand.”

>See also: Top 10 mobile technologies and capabilities for 2015 and 2016

Examples of disruptive trends include:

CIO as venture capitalist

CIOs who want to help drive business growth and innovation will likely need to develop a new mindset and new capabilities. Like venture capitalists, CIOs should actively manage their IT portfolio in a way that drives enterprise value and evaluate portfolio performance in terms that business leaders understand. CIOs who can combine this with agility and align the desired talent can reshape how they run the business of IT.


Wearable computing has many forms, such as glasses, watches, smart badges and bracelets. The potential is tremendous: hands-free, heads-up technology to reshape how work gets done, how decisions are made, and how you engage with employees, customers, and partners. Wearables introduce technology to previously prohibitive scenarios where safety, logistics, or even etiquette constrained the usage of laptops and smartphones. While consumer wearables are in the spotlight today, we expect business to drive acceptance and transformative use cases. Please also see our case study on Virgin Atlantic.

Cloud orchestration

Cloud adoption across the enterprise is a growing reality, but much of the usage is in addition to on-premises systems—not in replacement. As cloud services continue to expand, organisations are increasingly connecting cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-core systems – in strings, clusters, storms and more—cobbling together discrete services for a complete business process. Tactical adoption of cloud is giving way to the need for a coordinated, orchestrated strategy – and for a new class of cloud offerings built around business outcomes.

>See also: Top five technology trends that will 'reset' IT

Social activation

Over the years, the focus of social business has shifted from measuring volume to monitoring sentiment and, now, toward changing perceptions. In today’s recommendation economy, organisations should focus on measuring the perception of their brand and then on changing how people feel, share and evangelise. Organisations can activate their audiences to drive their message outward – handing them an idea and getting them to advocate it in their own words to their own network.

This year, in collaboration with Singularity University, the Technology Trends research also added a section on Exponential Technologies. The fields highlighted have far-reaching, transformative impact and represent the elemental advances that have formed technology trends both this year and in the past. Five exponentials with wide-ranging impact across geographies and industries were featured: artificial intelligence, robotics, cyber security, additive manufacturing and advanced computing. The report provides a high-level introduction to each exponential — a snapshot of what it is, where it comes from and where it’s going.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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