The Minority Report: Industry Predictions for the Rest of UsWhat is happening in our marketplace and what does the future hold for 2014? Let's take a look at four different sectors to see what the next year holds.

We all watch for the annual technology analyst predictons from Gartner, Forrester, IDC and the like. This year, I decided to kick off my CMSWire series with perspective on four of my favorite analyst predictions, plus a bonus one I predict you will not see anywhere else!

Financial Services Prediction: Cloudy With a Chance of Apps

“By 2016, poor return on equity will drive more than 60 percent of banks worldwide to process the majority of their transactions in the cloud.” ~ Gartner Research

It is evident that returns for banks are going to decline, largely because of Basel III, which will require that financial institutions NOT invest a certain percentage of their money, on which they would normally earn a return. I agree that we will see banks increasingly going to the cloud in part to control costs. How fast they will adopt will be impacted by fears regarding data privacy and security, so Gartner’s numbers may be aggressive. Most interesting to me though is the emergence of cloud-based apps that will help banks onboard their customers, deliver loans, implement regulatory compliance and more. These solutions, not just transactions, will be a big part of the move to the cloud.

Government Prediction: Under the Influence

“IT buyer profile continues to shift to business executives. In 2014, and through 2017, IT spending by groups outside of IT departments will grow at more than 6 percent per year.” ~ IDC

IDC is predicting a continued shift in spending from IT departments into the business. For the public sector, I see a related shift in influence becoming increasingly apparent. Although IDC predicts that business offices will purchase technology on their own, in the public sector, budget pressures will more likely take the form of business executives increasingly exerting the defining influence on IT planning and development, and purchasing decisions for their agencies.

Trouble lies ahead for CIOs who fail to understand this influence shift. However, for CIOs who are strategic and aligned with agency business needs, this represents an opportunity to strengthen ties and deliver improved results to the lines of business they serve.

Life Sciences Prediction: An Avalanche of Innovation

“By 2015, over 80 percent of life science companies will be crushed with some elements of big data, exposing poor ROI on various parts of their existing IT infrastructure.” ~ Gartner Research

I agree with Gartner’s prediction of an avalanche of ever increasing data and content, and see this as both an inevitable byproduct and a driver of innovation in the highly regulated life sciences industry. Case in point is the Human Genome Project, perhaps the biggest big data related project to date. While the project has created tremendous opportunity for the industry, at the same time it poses a threat to crush those companies who are not prepared to handle it.

This is just one example of what goes on throughout life sciences. Information is being created so fast and in such quantities that no one has figured out how to properly deal with it. I do see forward thinking companies -- the 20 percent of Gartner’s prediction -- that are putting disciplines and technology like case management and enterprise information management in place to upgrade their existing IT infrastructure, allowing unstructured and structured data to exist in a single repository, while maintaining strict controls and standardizing workflows.

Media and Entertainment Prediction: and the Winner Is …

"Industry-focused innovation platforms and ecosystems. 2014 will see an acceleration in the launch of platforms as a new base of competitive advantage.” ~ IDC