Ten Emerging Trends

Here's a quick run down of 10 emerging trends I am curious about. 
  1. Smart Healthcare Payment Systems:   Managing health care payment through small personal devices, such as smart cards.
  2. Real-time Translation Services:  Translation in major languages as a service for the health care, government, travel and transportation industries.
  3. Simplified Business Engines:  Developing and marketing an easy-to-use and prepackaged set of Web 2.0 services and blade servers that allow small and mid-size businesses to tap into custom applications.
  4. Intelligent Utility Networks: Increasing the reliability and manageability of the world's power grids by building in "intelligence" in the form of real-time monitoring, control, analysis, simulation and optimization.
  5. 3D Internet:  Partnering with others to take the best of virtual worlds and gaming environments to build a seamless, standards-based 3D Internet – the next platform for global commerce and day-to-day business operations.
  6. "Digital Me":: Creating a secure, user-friendly service that simplifies storage, management and long-term access to personal content (digital photos, videos, music, health and financial records, personal identification documents, files, etc.).
  7. Branchless Banking for the Masses:  Enabling existing and new financial institutions to profitably provide basic banking services (checking, savings, payments, microlending) to remote, inaccessible populations in fast-growing emerging markets.
  8. Integrated Mass Transit Information System:  Establishing systems for integrating, managing and disseminating real-time data for all of a municipality's or region's transit systems, optimizing buses, rail, highways, waterways and airlines.
  9. Electronic Health Record System:  Creating a standards-based infrastructure to support automatic updating of, and pervasive access to, personal health care records and the integrating of patient data with transaction systems.
  10. "Big Green" Innovations:  Starting a business unit in IBM that will focus on applying the company's advanced expertise and technologies to emerging environmental opportunities, such as advanced water modeling, water filtration via nanotechnology and efficient solar power systems.

All of these ideas are interesting to me, however my favorite idea is #5.  Having been in Second Life now since last September, I realize the potential of virtual plaforms to the future of business. 

Now that I've identified these 10 emerging trends, I will be integrating these topic areas into the research I do for this blog.   If any of you reading this blog have material on the above topics please let me know.  AND…if you have any ideas on a subject matter experts I could contact on these subjects…please email me!!!!

The HorizonWatching Blog Begins!!

It has been a long time coming, but I’ve finally decided to start this blog.  I’ve picked the name HorizonWatching, as it not only refers to what I do for a living, but it is named after the community I lead wthin IBM that is called HorizonWatch.  As the name implies, the focus of the HorizonWatch community is sharing knowledge on emerging business issues, technology trends and IBM opportunities.  This is what I hope to do here on HorizonWatching as well.

Within IBM, my full time job is to research, analyze, and write about emerging topics that will have an impact on IBM’s ability to grow.  I started the IBM internal HorizonWatch Community six years ago with an objective to provide Executive, Strategy, and Marketing teams with an early warning identification system of new/emerging opportunities, threats and trends in the marketplace.  The community has evolved into a collaborative network of people who are all interested in hearing about and discussing these emerging topics.

HorizonWatch is a ‘grass roots’ community within IBM that has almost 1500 members.  These people come from all divisions/locations within IBM.  The community ‘meets’ via conference calls and I communicate with them via emails and my internal HorizonWatch blog, which I have been writing since September 2006.

I am hope that by launching this HorizonWatching blog, I reach a whole new set of people who are, like me, interested in learning about and collaborating on emerging topics of interest to businesses worldwide.

So, welcome readers to the HorizonWatching blog!!!