Given the tumultuous events of 2009, it’s easy to forget the world didn’t come to a standstill. Life continued and Silicon Valley kept innovating. Here are my predictions on eight trends that will surface next year:
Corporations deploy technology for advantage, not cost.
As the economy recovers, organizations will for the first time in nearly a decade, look to information technology as a means of gaining competitive advantage as opposed to a means for simply reducing cost.
Social networking divides.
People settle into a pattern of using different social networking platforms for different purposes.
The notion of a single social graph for work, personal, and other activities separated only by the friend-type of the linkages is dead.
Facebook, assuming they don’t continue to make heavy-handed privacy mistakes, ends up owning friends. LinkedIn owns business colleagues, but has to share status’ing with Twitter. Boutique networks own other activities, perhaps with Ning as the underlying platform across those networks where users don’t mind and/or desire a common profile.
But social network fatigue sets in.
While teens will continue to use social networks as telephones, social networking amongst the middle-aged and working crowd will lose of its luster. Despite Facebook succeeding where Classmates failed, the novelty of reconnecting with long-lost high school friends will fade as will the “I’m at Safeway in the meat department” status message.
In some ways, social networks settle back more into the Plaxo vision of permanently connected address books than the hipper vision of a constant communication platform. Twitter suffers and it’s not just from the Iranian Cyber Army.
Cloud computing hype peaks.
Passing Gartner’s “peak of inflated expectations,” Cloud Computing begins to dive into the “trough of disillusionment.”
The types of cloud (e.g, public, private, virtual private) begin to stabilize as does the number of as-a-service acronyms.
Strategic cloud consultancies like Appiro and cloud interconnection companies like CastIron begin to clean up as pragmatic customers seek to define sensible cloud strategies that leverage the best of many options and combine them.
The database market siege builds.
The attack against the once-sleepy $15B market controlled by Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft will continue to build. While Oracle will reluctantly honor its MySQL promises for the European Union, Postgres will gain momentum among those worried about MySQL’s mid-term future.
Specialist database systems from vendors like Aster Data, Mark Logic, and Streambase will continue to eat the edges of the market while new database-as-a-service cloud offerings will commoditize the core.
Google shows signs of weakness in search.
As spammers gain ground in the cat-and-mouse game of search engine optimization, it will continue to get harder and harder to, for example, find a dishwasher on Google.
While a long way from death by-a-thousand-cuts, the first hundred cuts or so will come from Bing, “decision engines,”such as machine-learning upstart Hunch, and human-powered “answer engines” like Mahalo or AskVille (formerly, AnswerVille) from Amazon.
The XML silent revolution continues.
Without a shot fired, XML take over as the principal underlying file format both within the enterprise and across the Internet.
As the latest suites from Microsoft, Adobe and others continue to penetrate the market, more and more information will, often unknowingly, be stored in an XML format.
New industry standards such as XBRL for financial reporting and HL7 for health records are driving the need for information infrastructures that mange both traditional data and this reservoir of XML-based unstructured content.
Yes, this is good for my company but the dynamic opens the door to a range of tools and services to help companies extract greater value from data.
Mobility takes off.
With the combination of new devices, higher-speed mobile networks and new location-aware technology, mobile applications continue their ascent.
Augmented reality goes mainstream by combining the camera, the screen, and the GPS in the devices turning one’s mobile phone into not only a communication and web surfing device but also a head’s up display to guide you through life.
Last year around this time I wrote about e-books taking off thanks to the Kindle. Now, Sony and Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon have stoked demand into the mainstream.
Regardless of how these 2010 predictions play out, we know one thing with certainty—
The tech industry will always bring challenges to the status quo.
About the Author, Dave Kellogg
Dave Kellogg is CEO of Mark Logic, an information infrastructure software company serving industries such as media, government, financial services and healthcare to name a few. Prior to Mark Logic, he was senior vice president of marketing at Business Objects. Dave blogs at http://marklogic.blogspot.com/ covering topics ranging from venture capital to the business of software.