2014 has already seen the rise of several different technology for businesses. Mobile computing is trending upwards in popularity, offering businessmen revolutionary utility, convenience and efficiency. These devices work hand in hand with the emerging cloud computing technologies that are quickly replacing PCs and servers. Let’s take a closer look at these and other breakthrough technologies that will change businesses in 2014. The Cloud 2014 looks to be the year of the cloud. Clouds are taking over as information storage databases instead of traditional PCs and servers. Cloud computing allows businesses and customers to store and share large amounts of data off site, “in the clouds.” This really means that a third party stores the business’s information in a digital database that can be accessed from nearly any electronic device connected to the Internet. Cloud computing reduces and can even eliminate the need for expansive PC hard drives and expensive servers that have been traditionally used for information storage. Cloud computing is reaching a tipping point as it makes large amounts of information easy to access. It empowers business professionals to collaboratively edit documents in the clouds with both co-workers and customers. It is also incredibly convenient for businessmen who frequently travel and predominantly use mobile computing devices to complete work. Gamification More progressive corporations are utilizing “gamification” technologies to increase worker morale and productivity. Gamification makes traditional workplace tasks much more interesting by adding a fun and competitive element. Gamification makes use of modern technologies to make a “game” out of work tasks that are often quite dry by offering positive reinforcement for game participation and successes. A department equipped with smartphones or other mobile “smart” devices will be able to set up a game or contest that will rank or reward team members for performing tasks, answering questions on a work related quiz or meeting specific objectives. For example, a corporate sales team can “gamify” sales challenges by ranking each person’s sales with a mobile gaming application specifically designed for their industry or even specially catered to their company’s unique line of business. Studies have shown that the gamification of work makes employees more interested in what they are doing and as well as being successful at doing it. Gamification brings out the competitive spirit in people along with the childish, fun side of their personalities that is often hidden beneath formal business garb. “Smart” Devices Internet aware devices are taking over the business world and will reach a tipping point in 2014. A flurry of “smart” electronic devices are hitting the market. They do not require a traditional computer to access the Internet. These devices include Google Glass, tablets, smartphones, and high tech printers. Multifunction printers utilize technology like Dell Document Hub or Brother’s Web Connect to empower workers to print or scan documents into or from cloud storage services. The PC is no longer needed to accomplish such tasks. Goodbye PCs and Desktops The PC is also no longer needed to perform many other traditional office tasks aside from just scanning and printing. Tablets and laptops are quickly replacing traditional office PCs as they are cheaper, more mobile and offer the convenience of touchscreens. Today’s incredibly fast mobile processors made by Intel and AMD allow mobile computing devices to meet business demands. Hello Convertible Computers and Tablets A desktop’s processing power is no longer needed to get the job done. Traditional laptops are even losing steam and being replaced by tablets and “convertible” computers. Convertible computers are really just laptop-tablet hybrids that have fold and swivel style screens. Some of the more popular convertible hybrid computers are the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, HP EliteBook Revolve and the Acer Aspire R7. Businesses are flocking to convertible hybrids as they allow employees to utilize them as either tablets or laptops, depending on contextual demands. Images: “Business man using a touch screen device / Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator. Want to get your business featured on Tweak Your Biz? Check out #TYBspotlight.