Last year I took a few guesses about 2013. I was right about smartphones, and encryption has slowly become more important late in 2013. BYOD has become a hot topic that continues to be a problem, but I think most companies are resigned to the fact that they'll have to accept and co-exist with personal devices in the workplace.
As far as SQL Server goes, it seems more and more companies are looking to implement SSD storage, but I'm not sure it's the standard for new hardware. I see plenty of people still stuck with spinning disks as part of their SAN storage, or even in local disks. We didn't move to dedicated SAN storage for SQL Servers, at least not in any large wave. However there has been trends for some companies moving away from SANs and back to local storage, especially for the people that are thinking about flash storage, like the FusionIO cards.
It has felt like a quiet year for SQL Server in 2013. Microsoft is in between releases, with 2012 slowly maturing this part year as people adopt it, find issues, and publish guidance, solutions, or workarounds. Some of us have been following the upcoming SQL Server 2014 release, but that is still months away from RTM. There were two big changes with SQL Server this year: HDInsight (Hadoop) and the growth of SQL Server in the Azure cloud as Windows Azure SQL Database. While both of those were used by a small group of SQL Server pros, they have dramatically expanded the cases and situations in which SQL Server can be used.
In the SQL Server community, I don't think we had any radical changes occur. We had a lot of SQL Saturdays in 2013 ( 84 by my count), a new conference (SQL Intersection) along with ones we've had for years (SQL Bits, PASS Summit, SQL Connections). We continued to publish lots of information at SQLServerCentral and Database Weekly, and there was no shortage of new bloggers and writers sharing their knowledge with the community.
In the database world, there was continued media attention given to a variety of RDBMSes and NoSQL platforms, but all the news has felt evolutionary, not revolutionary. The world at large continues to underestimate the importance of data and data professionals, but slowly more managers and companies are having more respect for the jobs that we do. However, despite the many people that were awarded MCMs before the termination of that program, I still find large numbers of SQL Server professionals learn the bare minimum they need to acceptably do their job. I keep hoping that the efforts of sites like SQLServerCentral and events like SQL Saturday will change that, but it feels like we've barely made a dent in our profession.
However we'll keep trying, and encouraging people, and I hope you continue to do the same.