Dan Swinhoe (Global) - Most Wanted Tech 2013: B2B

Dan Swinhoe investigates what the most wanted business technology will be in 2013.

For some, 2013 will be all about Apple TVs, new Xboxes, and whether or not Kim Dot Com will re-launch MegaUpload. For the vast majority, it will just be wondering if you'll finally get that new office coffee machine that was promised early last year. Here's the list of what other essential tech offices won't want to be without in 2013.

Green Tech
The IT sector is quickly becoming as harmful to the environment as cars. Whether it's to save money, meet new regulations or just to sleep soundly knowing you're saving the planet, Green IT will be big next year. Energy efficient computers, solar panels on your smartphone, apps that tell you where all the juice is going and paper recycling, as well as more efficient data centres will all be popular.

Just like this year, Cloud computing will be big in 2013, and everyone will be wanting a Cloud of their very own (albeit one that isn't affected by bad weather). With the Cloud comes Mobility, so people pining to use the tablets they got for Christmas will soar.

Tablets are nifty and do a lot of cool things, but the fact remains they lack the practical functionality that a proper computer or laptop provides. Your answer? Hybrids. Lenovo, Dell and Sony are all getting in on this market, and while they probably won't be up to the same standard as either of the devices they're emulating, that might not be the case in a few months' time.

Grey Hats
Not to be scaremonger, but Hacktivists and Black Hats are making companies and governments look foolish. Barely days go by between each scalp that is being claimed by tech whizzes with little interest in the rules. ‘Grey Hats' are the ones that do the hacking, but are nice enough to tell you instead of spreading all your information everywhere. Hire a few of these in addition to the ‘White Hats' and you might have a chance to prevent your business being in the news for the wrong reasons.

Robot Bosses
Not as daft as it sounds. AutoMan is a new system that ‘delegate tasks to human workers via crowdsourcing platforms such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk.' "I'd rather have a computer as my boss than a jerk," says AutoMan's creator, Daniel Barowy, whose creation is able to send out jobs, manage workers, accept or reject work and make payments. May struggle with those monthly meetings though.

Desktop Missile Launchers
For those that are stuck with human bosses, or equally human and annoying workmates, this may be for you. With a built in webcam and a 25-foot range, this USB foam missile launcher means your inbox will be safe from people trying to add more work to it for all of 2013. Or if you prefer to coax workers into staying longer, place a few at the exit door and aim via Skype or MSN.


In recent weeks Apple, while still arguing over minute details with every phone maker associated with Android, have filed patents for: the rectangle, the leaf, wireless charging, disappearing screens, flexible screens, and a dozen other things. Patents are worth millions, if not billions, and hence Patent Trolling is now a thing. No doubt this will only balloon next year. Get in on the action -patent everything before someone else does.

Other possible trends include:
Rogue entrepreneurs; also known as ‘doing a McAfee'. Struggling for media attention in a highly competitive sector? No problem, send head honcho to a remote country and let him get into all sorts of trouble. VICE magazine and worldwide headlines await.
Tech-hubs: If the hype is to be believed, you can't move because of the millions of industrial parks parading themselves as the ‘next silicon valley'. Expect offices to be moving into remote areas that look nicer than your old office but means you have to start cycling once you get off the train because it's in the middle of nowhere.
Being bought by Facebook or equally big company; an extension of the Patent Wars. You have a legitimately original idea that you legally own, and you're too rich/famous to simply have your idea nicked off you, so what do mega rich companies do? Buy you out at a hugely inflated price. Result.


By Dan Swinhoe, Editorial Assistant, IDG Connect