In today's world, technology is moving faster than it ever has.

I was recently asked by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) to identify 5 technology trends that organization leaders should be considering for 2016. They relate to organizations of any size and shape, and I've summarized them below:

1. Using mobile to broaden your reach

As organizations look to broaden their reach and attract Gen Y and Millennials, mobile technology is a key consideration. Mobile usage continues to rise across all demographic segments, and has surpassed desktop/laptop usage in younger demographics. Ensuring your organization’s digital assets are mobile-friendly will be key to providing an engaging experience for your members.

Questions for Corporate Leaders

  • Is our website optimized for mobile visitors?
  • Do we understand the mobile usage patterns of our users and are we leveraging mobile technology to engage with them?

2. Getting file storage out of the closet and into the cloud

Cloud computing is a buzzword heard endlessly if you are tuned in to the world of technology.  Simply put, cloud computing is the use of Internet-based servers to store, manage and process data. It has proven to be a cost effective alternative to hosting and managing your own file servers (often found in your office’s closet), and can reduce your in-house IT management costs while dramatically decreasing risk of failure and loss of files.

Questions for Corporate Leaders

  • Have we considered the entire cost of maintaining file servers in our office, including staff time to manage them?
  • How confident are we in the security and reliability of our organization’s data storage?

3. Using micro services to solve macro problems

The concept of micro services is gaining momentum in the world of software. Simply put, micro services are small software tools that are focused on a smaller set of functionality and are capable of integrating with other software tools that – collaboratively – help you to reach your operational goals. By using software tools that do one job, and do it very well, organizations can avoid the use of large, bloated software applications that are not meeting your organizational needs.

Questions for Corporate Leaders

  • Are the software tools we’re using doing their job well, or creating headaches for our staff and users?
  • Have we considered diversifying the software vendors and tools we use, as a more cost effective way to meet our operational needs?

4. Taking advantage of open source software solutions

Open source software is freely distributed under licenses that enable organizations to use, change, and re-distribute if applicable. The open source software community continues to grow, and more and more amazingly powerful software is being distributed under this model. Whether to power your website, manage your document and file storage needs, or do word processing, there are endless open source solutions that can reduce your dependence on proprietary, licensed software.

Questions for Corporate Leaders

  • How much are we spending annually on licensing fees for proprietary software?
  • Have we considered open source software alternatives that can reduce our operational budgets in the long-term?

5. Turning big data into smart data

Much has been said in recent years about the importance of data, igniting a flurry of data collection initiatives across organizations of all types. As the big data hype continues, organizations are realizing that collecting the data has no value if they aren’t positioned to use it as part of strategic decision making.

Questions for Corporate Leaders

  • Do we know what data we have and a clear rationale for collecting it?
  • Are we in a position to leverage our data as part of strategic planning activities?

Here at Industrial we love to talk technology and the impact it has on organizations of all types. Want to talk more, get in touch!