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@CloudExpo Authors: Dana Gardner, Eric Aarrestad, Liz McMillan, Adrian Bridgwater, Pat Romanski

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Software trends to expect in 2013

Software changes fast. So fast that sometimes it’s hard to see the trends and changes, the patterns that determine how tomorrow’s tools will work. Normally that’s no big deal – it’s exciting, right? – but in the world of business software, even subtle changes can carry implications.

We test and implement new software systems all the time, so naturally we get a pretty good idea of what’s changing. Here are 3 of the major trends we expect to see in 2013.

More mobile

Since “cloud” became a household word in the early 2000s, software has become increasingly mobile. That trend will intensify in 2013. More applications will offer features unique to mobile devices, and new applications will be built with mobile as the primary intended access point. That’s a big deal – it’s great news for businesses who work “on the go,” but it means changes for sedentary workflows. The cellphone is the new desktop. Working that way will bring technological benefits.

More integrations

Gone are the days of the multitool approach to software. Instead, development teams are throwing out the superfluous stuff to focus on core functionalities. For businesses, that means integrations are increasingly crucial – getting your CRM to work with your proposal software and your accounting tools could save hours on every deal. Expect to see more cooperation between the tools you use, but fewer features in standalone apps.

Better UX

Every week we see new solutions sprouting up. Email CRMs, sales CRMs, real estate CRMs – they’re a dime a dozen. To stand out from the rest, the good developers are increasingly focused on UX (“user experience”),  which means software *should* get easier to use. Instead of being built for middle management (ala Salesforce), tools are being built for the salesperson who doesn’t like computers, or the receptionist with a billion things to do. That’s a good thing (using Salesforce sucks). Expect more UX overhauls.

All in all, it should be a good year. Leave your predictions in the comments below!

VM Associates is a New York City cloud computing consulting firm. We help companies transition into newer, better, smarter software. Contact us to talk about your business, the cloud, and how we might help.

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Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.

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