2011 Horizon Report: Emerging Trends in Higher Education Technology

The 2011 Horizon Report was released earlier this year at the by EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) and the New Media Consortium (NMC).  

This report has staying power as it has been released every year since 2002.  Each year, the report identifies six emerging technologies that are likely to have a significant impact on higher education in the next one to five years.  The format of the report stays consistent every year, but the process to arrive at the six emerging technologies keeps improving. 

The report presents an overview of each of the six technologies accompanied by examples and suggested readings for each technology.  Below I provide my summary of the six emerging summaries. I’ve also embedded a video (3:30) that provides you with an overview from the NMC team.

The areas of emerging technology cited for 2011 are:

Timeframe:  The Next 12 months…

  • Electronic books:   The Horizon Report mentions that e-books have taken hold strongly in the consumer sector and the time for mass adoption across campuses is now.  This trend has been strongly enabled by the explosion of tablet computing, which can augment text with interactive experiences, support classroom note-taking and research activities, and allow readers to interact socially.  This trend will totally change our perception of what it means to read.
  • Mobiles (i.e., mobile devices).   Mobiles enable ubiquitous access to information, social networks, tools for learning and productivity, and much more.  2011 will bring new interfaces and new apps that leverage location-awareness.  The mobile device of is a versatile tool that can be easily adapted to a host of tasks for learning, productivity, and social networking.

Timeframe:  Next 1-3 years….

  • Augmented reality, enables content providers the ability to provide additional information to what ever users are viewing on a screen device.  This information is ‘layered’ over the whatever the user is viewing at the time (e.g. whether in the real world, or on a screen). While most applications have been in the consumer sector (tourism is one application example)), we can expect new applications to become available over the nest 1-3 years that will enhance learning.  Augmented reality brings a significant potential to supplement information delivered via computers, mobile devices, video, and even the printed book.
  • Game-based learning continues to grow as an application area that can enhance learning for students of all ages. We should expect to see a whole new suite of emerging game and simulation-based applications that are developed expressly to enhance the learning process.  The report says that perhaps the  greatest potential of games for learning lies in their ability to foster collaboration, problem-solving, and procedural thinking.

 

Timeframe:  4-5 years…

  • Gesture-based computing technologies continue to evolve. Gone is the day of interacting with the computer via just a keyboard or a mouse.  Gestures allow the motions of the body to control computing devices.  The next generation of students entering higher education will have grown accustomed to interacting with computers and gaming systems via touching, tapping, swiping, jumping, and moving.  The Horizon Report specifically mentions new interface technologies such as Kinect, SixthSense, and Tamper, which make interactions with computational devices far more intuitive and embodied.
  • Learning analytics employs a combination of data-gathering tools and analytic techniques to study student engagement, performance, and progress in practice.  The goal is not just to understand the past, but to help predict the future.  This technology trend area will help administrators and teachers revise curricula, teaching, and assessment in real time.  Learning analytics will allow educational institutions to tailor education to individual students more effectively.

For more information, you can download the 2010 Horizon Report or view the 2011 Web version

Storage Trends in 2011 Focus On Cost and Efficiency

Storage Our appetite for creating, gathering, and storing data continues to grow and grow and grow. The huge growth of videos, pictures, audio, social media and other unstructured data is taxing the storage systems of many data centers.

In addition other trends are impacting storage, including Cloud computing, virtualization, energy costs, economics and performance.  Businesses also are increasingly needing to keep multiple copies of data for regulatory compliance. These trends continue to put pressure on the storage infrastructure. As a result, CIOs and IT departments are looking to storage vendors to help them store more data in a smaller footprint, store more copies of data in different locations, and keep more copies of data for longer periods of time. 

Let’s face it, CIOs are focused on cost reduction. The cost of storage for most enterprises remains a high component of the overall cost of a datacenter, even though the cost of storage per gigabyte continues to drop.  More storage means more drives, which consume more datacenter space, power, and cooling resources, as well as human resources.  In this environment, CIOs will be interested in solutions that help reduce storage costs or improve efficiency of existing storage assets.  

In 2011, storage vendors must continue to seek ways to deliver storage more efficiently while reducing acquisition and operational costs, improving time to market, and reducing complexity. Storage vendors will be pushing CIOs to purchase technologies such as Thin provisioning, Data deduplication, Automated tiering, Flash technology, Solid State drives, and Virtual tape.

Analyst Perspectives

A review of analyst sites provides some analyst perspectives on the importance of storage as a trend.

“Data growth is the biggest data center hardware infrastructure challenge for large enterprises. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported that they will be investing in data archiving or retirement by the end of 2011 to address the data growth challenge.” – Gartner (link)

“Despite technologies that will increase storage efficiency, enterprise data will continue to expand by more than 40% a year. Enhanced performance requirements, coupled with the need to reduce power and capacity costs, will drive the creation of new storage technologies and services.” – Gartner (link)

“The emergence of cloud-based application and computing services is already having a profound impact on the storage industries” – IDC (link)

“Three Key Trends in Storage

  • Migration to smaller (2.5in.), more energy efficient enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs)
  • Greater utilization of existing storage capacity;
  • Continued adoption of solid state drives (SSDs) and various other storage efficiency technologies (e.g., data deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning).”  – IDC Oct 2010 (link)

Tony Pearson’s “Future Storage Trends” Deck

Tony Pearson is a Master Inventor and Senior Managing Consultant for the IBM System Storage product line at the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Tucson Arizona.  Tony blogs regularly at “Inside System Storage”.  Here is Tony’s deck on future storage trends.

Future Trends in IT Storage

View more presentations from Tony Pearson.

Drivers of this Trend

  • Data and content creation growth continues
  • IT organizations are keenly focused on reducing costs.
  • Power, cooling and space efficiency challenges.
  • Compliance and litigation support.
  • Risk mitigation.

Inhibitors/Challenges

  • Utilizing available capacity
  • Cutting power and cooling costs
  • Reducing redundancy of data
  • Reluctance to experiment with online storage

Implications

  • Technologies that help reduce storage costs or improve efficiency of existing storage assets will be in demand
  • Technologies to watch include Thin provisioning, Data deduplication, Automated tiering, Solid State drives, Virtual tape and Flash Memory

For More Information

Mobile Computing Poised To Impact B2B In 2011

Unless you have been living on another planet, you realize that mobile computing and the ecosystem that surrounds it is a major growth industry.  5 years ago, mobile meant being able to make phone calls with your cell phone and perhaps accessing the internet with your laptop. Today, mobile means something totally different, thanks to the introduction of the smartphone, the Iphone, Google’s Android, and just this past year, the iPad. 

HorizonWatching Mobile Computing - 2011 Today, more people are working through remote or mobile access than ever before. Mobile devices are increasingly being used for web searches and applications traditionally done from a desktop. Over the last year there has been a focus on the development of mobile applications, services and cloud infrastructures, both public and private. These efforts will focus on delivering new innovative services to employees, business partners, consumers, and citizens on any device, anywhere.

To stay competitive organizations are extending their resources, data, and connectivity to people wherever they are…whether that is in face-to-face customer engagements or in an operational setting, such as a retail store, supply chain logistics, or field service. In addition, users are demanding access where ever they happen to be….whether they’re in their car, on a plane, in a hotel, or on a weekend camping trip.

Mobile email, mobile websites and mobile applications are becoming viable channels in which to conduct business.  As smartphone adoption continue to grow through the roof, we are now seeing with the popularity of the iPad the emergence of the tablet form factor. I believe we are moving towards a place where the typical business user might have three devices….a laptop, a smartphone, and a tablet. IT developers will need to accommodate all three display form factors into their application environment.

And as a result, the mobile application infrastructure will need become more sophisticated. Enabling technologies will be new devices, faster networks, new location-aware technology, and improved mobile applications.

One area of focus today is Mobile Marketing. Consumers are wanting to use their mobile devices to help them do searches, get information on products and services, and help them make purchase decisions.  As consumers get used to using their mobile devices for consumer product purchases, they will increasingly want to use their devices in a business context. Marketing and sales managers need to understand the potential uses of mobile devices and how to apply the mobile marketing techniques to increase sales.

Some Analyst Perspectives

“Brands seeking a persistent presence with their customers must have a strategy to engage with their customers via mobile phones.” – Forrester, Sept. 2010 (link)

“59 percent of mobile consumers plan to use their mobile phone for holiday shopping and planning holiday celebrations, not including making phone calls” – Mobile Marketing Association, Nov. 2010 (Link)

“Consumers are relying on their mobile phones for more than talking and texting these days. They are using them for everything from reading and writing emails to watching the news, trading stocks, and booking hotel rooms.” – Forrester, Sept. 2010 (link)

“Mobile Proximity Marketing In U.S. to Reach $750M By 2011 And Nearly $6B By 2015” – Borrell Associates, Oct 2010 (link)

Adoption Drivers:

  • Growth of smartphones/tablets
  • The application development community is focused on developing mobile web application services and improvements in apps, browsers, and search will push new adoption.
  • Growth of location based apps
  • Faster networks (4G )
  • Mobile worker efficiency and productivity
  • Gen Y lives mobile / wireless life and will expect that in B2B transactions
  • Mobile devices are increasingly being used for web searches and applications traditionally done from a desktop.

Challenges:

  • Integrating mobile into business processes
  • Mobile analytics
  • Coverage in rural and undeveloped regions
  • Cost, Security issues.
  • Managing productivity of a remote workforce.
  • Reliability of mobile technologies

Implications for B2B:

  • Innovative mobile solutions enable new business models
  • Business processes and applications have to be re-engineered for mobile.
  • Expect increased interest in technologies that can boost the productivity of a remote workforce.
  • Growth countries use mobile as a leapfrogging approach to connect the base of the socio-economic pyramid to the formal economy.
  • Emerging solutions will include voice search, location-aware, and mobile video.
  • There will be increased focus on the development of enterprise-based mobile applications, services and cloud infrastructures, both public and private.
  • Knowledge economy produces a global and virtual workforce.
  • Mobile becomes a critical part of Unified Communication solutions

Some key mobile trends to watch in 2011 include Voice Search, Location Based Services, Video, Gaming, Event-Based Marketing, and Augmented Reality. On the horizon are applications like Mobile Video Collaboration solutions and 3D Mobile Internet allowing customers to browse 3D pictures/videos of products.  All this has implications for business processes throughout the organization. Some older companies will need to change culture and transform workflows as a result.  CIOs and IT leaders need to understand how mobile fits into their organization’s enterprise wide unified communications and social collaboration strategy.

For More Information – Internet

HorizonWatching: Top IT Technology Trends For 2011

I’ve developed my list of top Information Technology Trends for 2011 to add to the trend lists that are being published at this time of year.  I came up with 11 trends this year on the list, rather than the customary ten. 

Slide2 The list below should not be a surprise to you all that much as most of the trends have been on my radar (and probably yours) for a number of years already.  Some of them are more mature in their adoption and development than others.  However, those that made my list are the trends that I feel will have the most impact on IT departments in 2011. 

For each of the trends, I’ve provided a short discussion of trend and what developments I expect in 2011.  I also provide you with links to sites where you can explore the trend topic in more detail.  All the text makes for a long post, but I like sharing more information rather than less.   With that in mind, here are the top IT technologies trends to watch in 2011.

 

1.  Private Clouds

The cloud computing ‘buzz’ has been going on now for 3 years.  Public clouds have been a major part of the discussion and experimentation.  However, more companies have begun adopting approaches to private clouds in parts of their businesses.  Many CIOs and business leaders are concerned with having their data residing outside their firewall.   In 2011 I expect to see mid and large-sized businesses to increase their experimentation and implementation of private clouds as the promise of the cloud delivery model is one that is just too good to pass up.  There’s also a growing interest in private ‘community clouds’ hosted for a group of organizations who trust each other.  The largest hurdles to cloud computing continue to be a lack of cloud standards and concerns regarding security, availability and performance.

For more information

 

2. Virtualization

Virtualized infrastructures are becoming popular not only for cost savings, but because they can enable quick changes to business models, operating structures and the way that business processes are enabled.  In addition, a highly virtualized infrastructure is a prerequisite for private clouds so CIOs will continue to focus on virtualization.    Over the last 3-4 years we’ve seen server virtualization really take off as a trend and now it is almost standard technology in the data center.  While security concerns remain a hurdle to deployment, we’ll continue to see a focus on virtualization across the entire infrastructure in 2011. 

For more information

 

3. Social Business

Social collaboration is changing the way business is being conducted.  Over the next 10-15 years, social computing capability will becomes part of every business function within the company.  Social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction.  All participants involved in a company’s business processes and transactions will have the ability to share content, comment on content, rate/vote on content, and collaborate in an open and sharing environment.  In addition, all this social activity will generate data that will be mined and analyzed in both batch and in real-time.  The insights generated will be a critical input into all business processes, including research, product development, marketing, sales, technical support, and even business processes like accounting, procurement, and legal.  Since social will eventually be embedded in every business process and transaction workflow, social computing capability will need to be a critical part of every business application.  As a result, I expect entire business application suites will be rewritten to make use of social collaboration features.

For more information

 

4. Mobile Computing 

5 years ago, mobile meant something entirely different than it does today, thanks to the introduction of the smartphone, the Iphone, Google’s introduction of Android, and just this past year, the iPad.   Mobile computing and the ecosystem that surrounds it is a major growth industry.  As smartphone adoption grows and the application infrastructure becomes more sophisticated, mobile will expand beyond messaging, and make mobile email, mobile websites and mobile applications viable channels in which to conduct business.  Enabling technologies will be new devices, faster networks, new location-aware technology, and improved mobile applications.  Some key mobile trends to watch in 2011 include Location Based Services, Mobile Apps, Mobile Gaming, Event-Based Mobile Marketing, and Augmented Reality.

  • Prediction that Smartphone Sales To Beat PC Sales By 2011 (see this)
  • Mobile Web usage more than doubling YoY (see this)

For more information

 

5. Storage Trends

The huge growth of videos, pictures, audio, social media and other unstructured data is taxing the storage systems of many data centers.   The cost of storage for most enterprises remains a high component of the overall cost of a datacenter, even though the cost of storage per gigabyte continues to drop.  In addition other trends are impacting storage, including Cloud computing, virtualization, energy costs, economics and performance.  In 2011, watch for increased adoption of storage technologies like data deduplication, flash, solid state disks and automating volume-level tiering.

For more information

 

6.  Advanced Business Analytics

While information overload was once a barrier to good decision making, today’s technology and analytics expertise make it a real benefit. The explosion of data that is taxing storage systems is also driving the requirement for advanced business analytics.  Business leaders are yearning for deeper knowledge and insights on all aspects of their business and they know that the information they need is available within all the data flowing through the company IT systems.  Advanced analytics solutions can help business leaders adopt a proactive versus reactive strategy, enabling them to predict future behaviors and events before they occur.   Insights generated can help business leaders optimize individual business decisions, processes and entire business models, as well as manage risk and fraud, with the goal of improving the development and delivery of products and services. In 2011 look for advancements in streaming technologies, mathematical algorithms and predictive modeling as applied to business analytic solutions. 

For more information

 

7. The Personalized Web

Thanks to the explosion of social media, how users are influenced, consume information, and make purchasing decisions has been altered forever.  Users are increasingly expecting company websites, products, and services to be tailored to their individual preferences, past experiences, and what they happen to be doing at this very moment.  This puts the demand on business and IT leaders to create a personalized and engaging experience for end-users across all channels, both online and offline.  In 2011, I expect business to focus on advanced solutions that can delivering a more personalized experience to end users.   These solutions will be designed to mine the customer’s profile, buying behavior, browsing behavior and other insights obtained through marketing analytics in order to deliver a more customized and personalized online experience.  Look for further improvements in technologies such as marketing analytics and predictive algorithms that can automatically deliver highly relevant, contextually aware, personalized content and recommendations to customers via both online and offline channels.

For more information

 

8. Video-enabled Business Processes

Video content continues to make its way into all business processes.  This trend will continue over the next 5-10 years.  It makes my list this year as it is crossing over from both a security tool and a marketing (e.g. YouTube) tool, into a tool that can be applied across business processes to improve the way businesses communicate, collaborate, and educate all stakeholders.  Visual communication can actively promote teamwork and accelerate problem-solving processes leading to better business decisions.  In 2011, I expect forward looking business leaders and business process reengineering consultants will begin to use video to transform key business processes in order to create competitive advantage, lower costs, and to reduce environmental impact, particularly by avoiding the need for travel.  IT departments need to start preparing now to be able to handle future video requirements.

For more information

 

9. Service Oriented Architecture

In 2011 (as in recent years), I expect continued focus on aligning information technology efforts with business objectives and SOA will be a big part of those discussions.  SOA has been around for years, so it is not a new concept at all.   What’s new is that 1) business processes are in need of reengineering as a result of the social, mobile, and video trends discussed above and 2) a service orientation is a prerequisite for private clouds.  This doesn't mean that a mature SOA must already exist before an enterprise can venture into the cloud, but rather that architecture strategies that involve cloud must have a service orientation.  A service orientation gives businesses the ability and flexibility to realign operations as business goals evolve from year to year.   This ability can mean a competitive edge in terms of time to market for products and services, responsiveness to customers, and customer satisfaction.  So in 2011, I expect to see increased interest in SOA policy governance tools, repositories, and business rules engines all driven by the need of businesses to become more agile and prepare themselves for private clouds.

For more information

 

10. Sustainability and IT

Government and Business leaders alike are looking across their operations, to the products and solutions they sell, to the way they manage supplier relationships in order to understand how to better protect Mother Earth. The sustainability trend is a big one and technology can play a big part in helping to eliminate wasted energy, wasted space, and wasted natural resources/materials.  New technologies are available that can help organizations become more energy efficient, implement new ways to source, manufacture and distribute goods and services in a more sustainable manner, and enable safe and renewable sources of energy. In 2011, I expect companies and governments to develop strategies to incorporate sustainability information technology solutions that include the capability to analyze data and synthesize information in a variety of forms required by different departments within an organization.

For more information

 

11.  Risk Management

Organizations are facing an ever evolving and increasingly sophisticated threat environment.  Adding to the complexity is the fact that organizations are installing new computing capabilities such as cloud computing, mobile computing, and social computing that are making applications  interconnected than ever before.  These new technologies are also introducing new risks that are compromising critical infrastructures, privacy and identity, requiring organizations to rethink how they deal with compliance, risk management and data protection. Business and IT leaders are realizing that they need to build security and risk management capability into the initial design of their infrastructure and their applications, rather than add them on as an afterthought.  In 2011, I expect organizations will increase their focus on employ technology solutions to help them manage risk and provide a more secure environment for business operations.

For more information:

 

So there you go, that is my list of the top IT related technology trends that I believe will have an impact on IT departments in 2011.  CIOs and their IT departments should be well aware of these trends and have plans to implement the enabling technologies that make up these trends.   I’m developing a slide deck version of this post and will be posting it to the HorizonWatching account at SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/HorizonWatching  sometime in early January. 

Top Ten Digital Marketing Trends For 2011

If you are in the marketing profession, I think you’ll agree that our profession is experiencing some major disruption.

Top Ten Digital Marketing Trends for 2011 - HorizonWatching The traditional marketing theory and methods I learned at Kellogg Graduate School of Management back in the mid-90’s are still very valid.  Half the battle is still doing the all important work of market segmentation, targeting, and positioning. I still refer to my 7th edition of Phil Kotler’s textbook Marketing Management from time to time (although that book is now in it’s 12th edition!)

However, back in 1995, we had no clue just how much the Internet would impact marketing over the next 15 years.  And the impact has been very significant. The Internet has turned into a game changer for marketing. 

Leading edge marketing professionals understand that they need to learn how to leverage all the new digital marketing capabilities.  It is a great opportunity to build brand value, increase revenues, and cut down on marketing expenses.

So with that in mind, lets take a look at the top trends in online / digital marketing for 2011. 

  1. Marketing Budgets Will Continue to Shift Towards Online.  Customers and prospects are increasingly going online early in the buying cycle to gather information, form relationships, and make decisions about how they will buy.  As a result, marketing leaders must move marketing mix budgets to mirror where the customers and prospects are – online.  Online channels can reach a very targeted audience, are lower cost, and are becoming more measurable.  As a result we should expect the continued decline in the use of traditional media.  This cannibalization of traditional media will bring about new marketing channels, professions, and processes as well as a decline in overall advertising budgets.  Traditional agencies and publishers must transform their businesses to include digital marketing capabilities.
  2. Social Media Marketing Is Maturing.  Those in the marketing profession can sense that we are in the middle of an important transition to the use of social media for marketing purposes.  While the past few years many marketers have been experimenting with social media tactics, in 2011, leading marketing teams will be executing social tactics that are fully integrated into the overall marketing strategy. An overall social media marketing process will emerge that has firms following a never ending cycle of 1)Research, 2) Plan, 3)  Engage and 4) Measure.  Simultaneously, a new set of marketing capabilities are emerging, including Social Listening Research, Influencer Marketing, Community Marketing, and Social Gaming.  These new capabilities will require new marketing marketing professional Career Paths and Education tailored to the new social media marketing realities. 
  3. Mobile Marketing Set To Take Off.  In conjunction with the Social Media Marketing trend described above, the interest in mobile marketing has exploded, driven by the tremendous success of and media buzz around Apple’s iPhone, Google’s introduction of Android, and Apple’s introduction of the iPad.  As smartphone adoption grows, mobile marketing will expand beyond mobile messaging, and make mobile email, mobile websites and mobile applications viable channels in which to conduct marketing.  The combination of new devices, faster networks and new location-aware technology, will fuel this steady march toward greater significance.  Some key mobile marketing trends to watch in 2011 include Location Based Services, Mobile Apps, Mobile Gaming, Event-Based Mobile Marketing, and Augmented Reality.
  4. Personalized Marketing Customizes Messages To Individual.  Expect more personalization capability to be embedded in websites in 2011.  Regular visitors to a web site will see a page based on all the information collected from previous visits.  Marketers will present personalized sites to these customers by organizing information and prioritizing it based on the individual's liking.  Products and services offered on those pages will be pre-configured. “Anonymous” visitors to websites will get customized messages based on referring URL, search terms, geo-location and other insights.  Personalized marketing will be extended beyond the website to other digital channels, including social media marketing, mobile marketing, and email marketing.
  5. Social Video As A Marketing Tool Gains Momentum.  Video is an incredible way to connect with people online.  Until the Internet, the only way to get your video message to a mass audience was to pay for a TV commercial.  Today, social media sites and video go hand in hand. Distributing video via your social networks is a powerful way to imprint your images into the memory of your customers and prospects.  Video strengthens the relationships you have with existing customers and it helps prospects get to know you better.  So in 2011, there will be a focus among digital marketing professionals to understand how to make the best use of Video Marketing within Social Media Marketing Strategies and Programs.
  6. Search Engine Optimization Gets More Complex.  Customers naturally use search engines as their primary vehicle to find information on products and services.  But its not a one search engine game anymore as Google’s been joined by Bing in the US market and there are important local players like China’s Baidu and Russia’s Yandex.  On top of that, social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are increasingly becoming an important source for searching.  Add to that search engine innovation, mobile search, and geo-location search and the job of the marketing professional to ensure their brand is on the first page of search results gets so much more complex.
  7. Marketing Analytics Helps Make Sense Of All The Noise.  The explosion of social conversations across the many online channels is providing marketers with a never ending stream of incoming data.  The challenge for marketing professionals is to turn all that data into insights and then develop strategies/actions based on those insights.  Marketing analytics applications can help, but they need to get better at integrating data from all sources (web, search, video, mobile, and social conversations).  Analytic applications will also need to get smarter and more predictive about customer buying preferences based on all that data.   In 2011, I expect to see a focus on the development of advanced analytic capabilities that can identify, analyze and describe patterns within all the information “noise”, giving marketing professionals important predictive insights they can use for making better decisions.
  8. Real Time Web Assistance Connects Buyer With Experts.  Online customers and consumers are some of the most impatient and demanding around.  They expect answers from your online support group right away.  Live chat services allow operators to interact with online customers and respond to their questions quickly, helping you convert web queries into customers and site traffic into transactions.  In 2011 watch for leading edge companies to combine the use of Twitter customer service accounts and the real-time chat services to provide ways of connecting product / service experts with customers in real-time in order to solve customer business issues.
  9. Online Privacy Concerns Continue.  Privacy issues continue to be an important trend for marketing professionals to be out in front of as government regulators have threatened to legislate solutions if the industry does not take action by itself.  Creating a secure online transactional environment is absolutely critical to a maintaining trust in customer relationships.  All it takes is one significant privacy issue to negatively impact a brand.  Privacy concerns from customers have forced brands like Facebook and Google to continually adjust their business models.  As enterprise marketing gets more social and mobile, privacy issues must be dealt with very carefully. 
  10. Digital Marketing Optimization Emerges As A Priority.  The past few years we have seen new ‘islands’ of marketing capabilities emerge within the marketing profession.  We are moving beyond Web 2.0 with all sorts of new channels and capabilities including mobile (messaging, websites, apps), rich media (video, podcasting, gaming), social media (blogs, microblogging, social networks, user generated content), and more.  The state of digital marketing is such that these ‘islands’ are not well integrated into an overall cohesive strategy.  In 2011 expect to see a focus from marketing leaders to focus on optimizing and integrating these separate initiatives into an overall umbrella digital marketing strategy.

So these are the online and digital marketing trends I’ll be watching closely in 2011.  A look through the above list tells you that there is so happening in online marketing.  As it is in almost every industry, Internet technology is totally changing the rules.   

Gartner’s 2011 Top Ten Strategic Technologies

Gartner Ten Strategic 2011 Gartner recently held their Symposium/ITxpo, October 17-21, in Orlando.  At that conference, Gartner released their annual list of top 10 Strategic Technologies and trends for 2011 in a presentation delivered by Gartner VPs David Cearley and Carl Claunch

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years.  Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.  

The summary below provides the list of the ten technologies along with my summary observations about Gartner’s take on technology trend.  The first five on the 2011 list is familiar from last year's list. 

  • Cloud Computing. This trend continues to mature along both private and public delivery models.  In 2011 expect more vendors to focus on providing private services or technologies to create private implementations to address concerns with security and control.
  • Next-Generation Analytics.  Gartner says the next focus for analytics is to combine real-time predictive functionality with collaborative applications.   Future analytics capabilities will bring business intelligence to a much broader set of users and therefore impact a broader set of business processes.
  • Social Communications and Collaboration.  An outgrowth of the ‘Web 2.0’ trend, this technology area includes the use of social software for internal communication and collaboration, customer-facing websites, and public social networking.
  • Mobile Applications and Media Tablets.  This emerging technology will significantly impact both consumer and enterprise computing.  Gartner points out that the launch of the Apple iPad will drive IT departments to evaluate when, where and how tablets should be used in a business context.
  • Storage class memory.   Gartner says that flash memory, becoming popular in consumer devices, will make its way into the enterprise storage hierarchy in servers and client computers.  There are key advantages for IT (space, heat, performance and ruggedness).  Expect this technology to have a significant impact on many analytical and transactional applications.

New to the Gartner list for 2011 are the following 5 technologies.

  • Social Analysis:   Gartner says that social analytics, an intersection of “Next Generation Analytics” and “Social Communications and Collaboration”, is an important emerging trend.   A key development to watch out for will be the ability to harvest intelligence from mobile applications and context aware computing. 
  • Context-Aware Computing:  Systems will increasingly anticipate the user's needs (based on their things like environment and historical behavior patterns), then proactively provide the most appropriate and customized content, product or service.
  • Video:  Gartner says it is time for businesses to develop strategies and goals for using video technologies within business processes.  Video can add new capabilities to business processes and workflow.
  • Fabric-Based Infrastructure and Computing:   Gartner says systems will become more flexible and modular as they evolve to support the dynamic needs of public and private cloud computing.
  • Ubiquitous Computing:   The explosion of sensors, chips, and other low cost computing devices is resulting in smarter objects.   Businesses and IT leaders will need to learn how to incorporate these ever increasing large number of computing devices and their data they provide into business processes and decision making systems.

For more on Gartner's list of 10 strategic technologies

Gartner: Top Technology Trends You Can’t Afford To Ignore

Successful business leaders do a good job of understanding and preparing for the potential futures.  They take time to figure out what the potential disruptive trends are today…and what trends will cause disruption in the future.   They understand not only those disruptive trends that will impact their business, but those that will disrupt their customers businesses as well.

Gartner - Tech Trends You Cant Ignore Gartner regularly holds a webinar about every 2-3 months entitled “Top Technology Trends You Can’t Afford To Ignore”.     During these hour long webinars, Gartner presents it’s most current list of the top ten technologies.   The list changes from year to year ever so slightly, so when Gartner held one of these webinars last month, I attended.

To make this top ten technology trend list, Gartner says the technology has to be disruptive in nature.  Gartner defines a disruptive technology as one which drives major change in business processes or revenue streams, consumer behavior or spending, or IT industry dynamics.  These trends have the potential to significantly alter the competitive environment in an industry.

During the webinar I attended,  Raymond Paquet, Managing Vice President at Gartner,  1) defined the trend, 2) described the impact the technology has on business and IT, and 2) provided recommendations on how leaders should begin using the technology.

Here’s the list of Top Technology Trends You Can’t Ignore from the recent Gartner webinar of the same name.

  1. Virtualization – This trend, which used to be focused just on servers, is maturing across all elements of an information technology infrastructure.
  2. Data Deluge – The explosion of unstructured data is causing the emergence of a whole set of new emerging technologies designed to manage all data inputs and make sense out of the chaos.
  3. Energy and Green IT – There’s an increasing awareness on energy efficiency measurements.
  4. Complex Resource Tracking – Monitoring energy consumption so that you can dynamically move workloads to save energy.
  5. Consumerization and Social Software – Gartner says this trend is impacting business in a great way and business leaders need to incorporate social computing across their business.
  6. Unified Communications – Tightly integrating all forms of communications into all business applications and organizational processes.
  7. Mobile and Wireless – The explosion of mobile smart devices is leading to an explosion of mobile applications, causing a whole new set of requirements on the infrastructure. 
  8. System Density – Blades are evolving into componentized, data-center-in-a-chassis solutions and therefore the trend is towards high density application of blades resulting in maximum use of floor space.
  9. Mashups and Portals – Lots of creativity going on here with focus being placed on both visualization integration and content integration into a personalized, customized portal.
  10. Cloud Computing – Gartner says cloud technology is an important one for businesses to implement.  Private clouds will dominate and will allow businesses to improve agility.  Leaders should ignore the hype and focus on results.

For more information, you can access the replay of the webinar I attended:   Technology Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore (website registration may be required).  You can also access the full library of Gartner webinars (upcoming and replay archives) at the following URL  http://my.gartner.com/portal/server.pt?objID=202&open=512&mode=2&PageID=3428358  (website registration may be required).