The first two weeks of the year are always rich with articles suggesting want technology we can expect to see for the months ahead.  It is no difference in 2013 with The Telegraph already suggesting Google will launch a driverless taxi service in Las Vegas and The Daily Beast suggesting the end of email.

If the iPad Mini does become the bestselling consumer-tech device this year then great – but the real impact of that prediction to your business is not a lot.  These are our six technology predictions for 2013 that may affect your business.

A significant increase in the use of touch.

Using touch to interact with your electronic device is not new.  In fact touch has been used to drive our smart phones and tablet computers using either a stylus or our fingers for a number of years.

Microsoft’s recent launch of Windows 8 takes touch to a whole new level, putting it on the desk and in your face with patents pending for a holodeck!  If you’ve already used Windows 8 on a touch capable device then you’ll know exactly what we mean.

This year we expect a significant increase in the number of hardware devices that are enabled for touch, giving you a whole new way to innovate with your computer.

The Cloud Computing bubble will burst.

For the last twelve months or so Cloud aka “the Internet” has been a much banded around marketing ploy.  Within industry and throughout our vendors you cannot move without hearing the words Cloud or something-as-a-service.

Running your business applications online has been popular for a while, now IT companies are casually offering to run your entire business “in the Cloud”.  Very dangerous stuff indeed.

We are predicting an epic failure on a global scale for Cloud Computing this year.  Either a significant provider will suffer from a wide-scale disaster, or there will be a data leak of serious magnitude.

Alternatively – the US Department of Defence will seize and close down Dropbox because intelligence suggests that terrorists are using it to exchange information.  Would you be affected by that?

Windows 8 will be a dark horse and do quite well.

Early reactions to Windows 8 are mixed.  Cut through the bigotry that plagues any new Microsoft release and it is difficult to gauge either an industry or user opinion as to how well Windows 8 will fare.

What does stand in good favour for Windows 8 is the situation for Windows XP.  Although Windows XP still makes up 20% market share, Microsoft is ending mainstream support for XP in April 2014 – that means there are still a lot of computers that need replacing.

Our prediction is that Windows 8 will do quite well for itself, taking on much of the market share to be had from Windows XP.

BYOD in the SME world

Another buzz word in industry right now is “bring your own device” or “BYOD” for short.  In simple terms this phrase refers to employees who bring their own computer kit from home to do their work.

Our first prediction is that BYOD strictly within the SME world won’t happen, at least when it comes to general computing.  It’s too complicated for the average SME and cheaper alternatives exist.

However our second prediction for BYOD strictly within the SME space is that mobile take-up will greatly increase.  Mobile access to your corporate email is a quick win for productivity.

“Slate” type devices will increase

The number of Slate devices – Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface et al. – being used will greatly increase.  Feature rich, functional for basic operations and inexpensive to some households.

Discussing this prediction in the office we’re not sure whether this uptake will stay the course, with a struggle between the gimmick factor versus practicality/fit-for-purpose.

4G will be a wet blanket

Massive investment required by the mobile operations.  Orange EE got off to a patchy start with coverage issues.

Kevin Bacon.

Have your say….

Those are our technology predictions for 2013 that will affect your business.  If you have your own predictions or have an opinion on ours – use the comments box below and start the debate.