What will 2015 hold for tech?
It's that time of year again when we predict what 2015 will hold.
Looking back, 2014 was the year of digital maturity. It's hard to believe that Facebook was only created 11 years ago and Twitter nine years ago. They've become such huge parts of all our lives and have even entered the dictionary as verbs!
There continues to be an upsurge in the number of digital platforms available, and we've all grown more and more confident using technology, whether that's at home or at work.
This is hardly surprising with the constant announcements of new tech hitting the press. Both Google and Apple were at the forefront of digital health this year with the unveiling of new fitness apps and Apple Watch confirmed that wearable devices are here to stay.
So after nearly a year of non-stop innovation, it's time to look ahead to 2015.
Millennials take on privacy
2015 will be the year when businesses will increasingly face issues around privacy. This issue has dominated the news agenda this week, in fact.
More than ever, businesses will have to strike a balance between essential safe-guarding and acknowledging Generation Y's open approach to sharing.
Just two years ago, the Edward Snowden surveillance revelations highlighted how we still have a long way to go before achieving a balance between sharing personal data and maintaining security.
Astonishingly, Big Brother Watch's most recent Global Privacy Survey revealed that 79% of global internet users were concerned about their privacy online.
Despite these reported anxieties, Millennials are 'donors' of personal information, supporting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's declaration that the age of privacy is over.
As Gen Y moves into the workplace and in many cases begin their careers, businesses must take a step back and assess their corporate privacy.
Those that get it right won't run the risk of twenty-somethings tweeting confidential updates. Instead, Gen Y can use tech to accelerate a company's growth without compromising privacy.
Digital skills are paramount
It doesn't take a crystal ball to know that 2015 will see an even bigger focus on digital skills.
Technology is revolutionising the way we work and communicate. Companies have adopted digital media to remain competitive in the global marketplace, individuals are more connected than ever before, and new jobs are being created around Big Data.
In fact, over 50% of the jobs our children will get don't exist yet - mainly because the technology hasn't been built!
This statistic may seem overwhelming, but the UK is in a promising position.
The Business Growth Fund and Barclays published a report this year revealing that London is home to Europe's fastest growing tech cluster. To put this into context, 27% of all job growth in the capital is generated by the tech and digital sector.
However, each sector demands different skills and it's our responsibility to equip the next generation so the UK can retain its position as a world leader in technology.
With the election in May, we'll be looking out for pledges that build far beyond this year's introduction of coding into the National Curriculum.
The UK needs to really use the tech infrastructure that already exists to power the potential of those kids heading for the jobs of the future.
If we fail to do so, we will face a real and direct threat to the future of the UK economy.
So whilst 2014 was a remarkable year for tech, we believe 2015 will be bigger and better. Technology presents fantastic opportunities for all of us in every facet of our lives: what an exciting year we have to look forward to.