7 tech trends that will help your business in 2013

What's in store for IT professionals in 2013? Biometrics, 3D printing, and a whole lot more

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4. Television will go apptastic
One of the most interesting trends for 2013 will be the app-ification of television. We've seen this trend developing for years, as many viewers only watch TV via Netflix on an Xbox 360. But the trend will finally hit full stride, says Himanshu Sareen, the CEO of IT service provider Icreon Tech, because of the process of curating. What works so well for Pinterest will work the same for TV; already, there are apps such as SnagFilms that are dedicated only to obscure independent films.

5. Classrooms will go online (in a big way)
Here's a trend businesses should watch carefully. In the past year, massively open online courses on services such as Udacity and Coursera paved the way for a new trend: Attracting legions of students to compelling user-create courses.

Related: Harvard, MIT Online Learning Portal to Help Web, Classroom Learning

In 2013, these services, along with "traditional" online institutions such as the University of Phoenix, will start causing even more disruption at brick-and-mortar college campuses, according to Thomas Koulopoulosm, chairman of the consultancy Delphi Group.

6. Design will become less ornamental
This trend will impact every computer user. In the past, a strange concept called skeuomorphism took root. This design practice, akin to using leather stitching on plastic moldings, adds superfluous elements to make something look more ornate or authentic.

Commentary: Apple Management Shakeup: The End of Virtual Wooden Bookshelves?

Experts say this trend will stop in 2013. User interfaces will go back to a more simplistic approach, a la Windows 8. The tile interface everyone loves to hate is at least clutter-free-to see a photo, for example, you click on the photo tile.

7. Internet outages will cause systemic problems
Like a swine flu outbreak, Web outages will cause more damage than they have before. That's because one site often feeds into many others, which in turn feed to additional sites. Think of the Facebook Like button. When Facebook has a problem with its code, as it did last spring, it causes problems at thousands of other sites. One helpful tool to circumvent these problems is Outage Analyzer, which can look for links between sites and root out problems.

John Brandon is a former IT manager at a Fortune 100 company who now writes about technology. He has written more than 2,500 articles in the past 10 years. You can follow him on Twitter @jmbrandonbb. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.

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This story, "7 tech trends that will help your business in 2013" was originally published by CIO.

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