As we approach the new year, now is a good time to look ahead to some of the trends that will likely flourish in 2015. Over the past year, a few patterns have emerged: mobile apps are becoming a preferred marketplace, employees are likely to provide much of their office's IT infrastructure in the form of their own personal devices, and productive mobility has given companies and employees more flexibility. These are new developments that businesses are still experimenting with. In the next year, expect the fine-tuning process to begin as organizations learn how to best implement some or all of these platforms.

These are concepts that apply at least as much to small businesses as they do to large corporations – if not more. That's because small businesses have the agility to implement new techniques and strategies without requiring a huge rollout. In 2015, these trends will play a significant role in small business operations.

Enterprise mobility to flourish in the new year
Mobile enterprise apps and mobile startups that work with companies to create better apps have risen in 2014 and should continue their growth in 2015, according to Business 2 Community. Enterprise mobility owes its expansion to three changes in the way business is done and mobile technology operates.

To begin with, an increasing number of apps have the ability to function offline. That means more employees and clients will have the ability to work and communicate with one another from wherever they are – even in areas without cellular service. Additionally, employees are bypassing company technology in favor of their own – which might be newer, faster, better and easier to use than the platforms their employers can provide. That allows employees to work more efficiently and comfortably using their own devices. Finally, mobile startups are the ones in position to lead the way, rather than the huge companies that once held all the cards. These startups have the user experience at the forefront of their operations, so they are poised to deliver apps that users will actually enjoy.

Mobile platforms support one another
The growth in mobility, BYOD and big-data is not isolated – in fact, they depend on one another, according to LinkedIn. And because each is growing, the others are benefiting. The three have a symbiotic relationship in which each one supports the other two.

However, that also means that IT departments must be prepared to tackle the security and network usage challenges that come with a changing data landscape. Bill Grossman, senior vice president of Rand Worldwide, noted that the trend will continue and IT must have a strategy.

"The problem is that the people that make mobile devices … don't build their OS with the same level of preparation for backup and archiving as the Windows or Linux OS's," Grossman explained to LinkedIn. "So, it does present an equal challenge for IT departments dealing with iOS and Android devices as it [does] for their entire Windows platform."

With that said, Grossman did maintain that mobility is a huge asset for its ability to allow employees to work remotely, efficiently and with greater frequency.

In the new year, the experimentation phase will likely give way to set parameters and methods for integrating mobility into the workplace. As for what happens next – the future is wide open.

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in information technology equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.