Gartner: 10 Emerging Mobile Technologies to Watch

Gartner Mobile Technologies to Watch Today, more people are working through remote or mobile access than ever before. To stay competitive in an interconnected world, enterprises need to extend their resources, data, and connectivity to individuals wherever they are: in face-to-face customer engagements; in operational settings, such as retail, logistics, or field service; and on the road, whether they’re in their car, on a plane, or in a hotel.  Mobile technologies will all play such an important part in the development of mobile applications, solutions, and services and we all need to monitor how they are adopted over the next few years.

In advance of Gartner’s Wireless, Networking & Communications Summit, Gartner has released a list of 10 mobile technologies that it says will impact the growth of mobile applications and solutions for both consumers and enterprises.  The list covers a wide variety of technologies from widgets, to security, to location based technology.  Here is my summary of Gartner’s list

  1. Bluetooth (3 and 4):  Gartner says to expect enhanced Bluetooth versions that will speed data transmission and enable communication with a wider range handsets and PC peripherals.
  2. The Mobile Web:  Gartner says that as mobile devices with larger screens hit the market, we’ll want to use those devices to access websites.
  3. Mobile Widgets:  Gartner says that widgets will play a big part in the emerging mobile application market.
  4. Platform-Independent Mobile AD Tools:  Developers need tools that help them develop platform-independent mobile applications.
  5. App Stores:  Gartner expects that App stores will be the primary way to distribute mobile application solutions and services.
  6. Enhanced Location Awareness:   Location awareness technologies, including GPS, Wi-Fi and cell ID systems, will be used to exploit location-based services and applications. .
  7. Cellular Broadband:  The growth in mobile applications and services will require enhancements to the broadband networks.
  8. Touchscreens:  Touch and touch-related technologies will play an important part in the emerging mobile application solution marketplace.
  9. M2M:  Gartner says to watch machine to machine technologies in many applications areas, including meter reading, security/surveillance, automotive systems, and retail.
  10. Device-Independent Security:  Gartner says to expect a focus on emerging security technologies as CIOs look to deliver applications across a wider range of devices, while still controlling security risks.

I think we can all agree that mobile and wireless is a very hot area in 2010 and that it will continue to heat up over the next few years.   So its pretty important to keep an eye on the emerging technologies that will become important in the mobile application infrastructure.   It certainly is one of the top trends on my radar screen. 

For more information, check out these resources from Gartner

Leveraging Social Media: 12 Steps To Develop Your Personal Online Brand

12 steps to manage your personal online brand Do you have a plan on how to leverage the social media trend in order to achieve your career objectives?

Are you taking part in the online conversations that are happening on the topics that are important to you and the development of your career?  Or are you on the sidelines when it comes to participating in online communities, social networks, etc?   

If you are not part of the conversations that are important to your career, you can’t learn from those conversations.  Nor can you influence those conversations.  And in the future when potential employers look online to see if you have participated, they will not see you.

You are responsible for how you are perceived online. If you are not managing your online brand, then it is being shaped for you (perhaps by those pictures your friends are posting on Facebook).  

The following 12 steps can help you take control of your online personal brand.

  1. Document Your Career Goals.  Have a balance of short term and long term goals.  For each goal, think about how participating in online communities and social networks could help you achieve those goals. 
  2. Document Your Top 4-5 Career Related Topics.   These are the most important topic domains that you need to master in order to become an authoritative source of information a subject matter expert for the duration of your career.   Think about the topics that you can remain passionate about for a long time.
  3. Analyze Your Existing Social Network And Online Presence. How does your current social network and online presence align with your documented goals?  How can you build stronger ties and increase your ability to learn? 
  4. Master The Online Productivity Tools.  You need to have a good foundation in order to maximize your ability to collaborate online.  These new social tools can help your collaboration efforts be more productive.  Spend time educating yourself on how to use Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc. 
  5. Research / Collect Information.  Learn where the online sources are for information related to your 4-5 main career topics.  Visit these sites often.  Collect and maintain a master folder of documents, resources, Web links, etc., which have been helpful to you.  You will want this for step 11 below.
  6. Document Where The Buzz Is Online.  Check out my social-search bookmarks on delicious and learn how to search the social media.  Search on each of your 4-5 career topics you listed in step 2 above.  Document where the online conversations are happening for those topics.   Document who are the most influential online people.  Find out where those influential people are hanging out online.  Maintain a list of URLs (suggest you book them on delicious).
  7. Join Online Communities.  For the topics that are important to your career goals, join the most active online communities, groups, and networks.  Connect with and then ask members where else they connect with like-minded people.
  8. Move Your Conversations Online.  For the topics that are important to your career goals, cut down on email conversations and increase your online conversations in those places you’ve identified above.
  9. Manage Your Personal Online Brand.  Take control of your virtual online presence.   Establish and keep all your profile(s) updated.  Make sure that when people look for you online…which they will…information about you is current and accurate.  Your effort here is all about helping you achieve the goals documented in step 1 above.
  10. Connect With The Community Champions.  ‘Friend’ the most active people in the online communities that are important to your career objectives.  Connect with them on LinkedIn and Twitter.   Follow their blogs, tweets, and community posts.  Post replies to their blogs and retweet their Tweets.  Share insights with them and point them to your online content.
  11. Share Your Knowledge Wealth.  For the communities you have joined, increase your online conversations.  Post comments in discussion forums and on blog posts.  Share your bookmarks.  Share the insights and opinions you’ve formed as a result of your efforts in documenting where the online buzz is.  Save time by organizing your centralizing all of your thoughts on each topic area into document templates with URL links to those sites, blog posts, etc., that you feel are the most important.
  12. Establish Yourself As An On-line Authority.  Establish and maintain a presence on all sites where your 4-5 career topics are being discussed.  Be a visible and active participant in the most important communities.  For the topics that matter most to your career, establish your own online site/blogs/communities.  Link to other authoritative blogs and communities often and continue sharing your insights and opinions on those sites as well as developing your own site.

Don’t sit idle on the sidelines. Take responsibility for your future and get involved in the online conversations happening about the topics you are passionate about.  You have important ideas to share with the rest of us.  We will all learn from your experience, thoughts, and content.

VentureBeat: Venture Capital Trends For 2010

venturebeat_logo There was an article published at the end of December that I thought those in interested in the venture capital trends for 2010 might want to read.  The article appeared on the VentureBeat site and was written by two partners at Grotech Ventures.  It caught my eye as it discussed where money might be flowing in 2010.

A quick summary of the article:

  • Social Media.  The authors say that social media will be a hot sector.  While there are still many questions about how to monetize the conversational and real-time nature of social media, the authors expects social media to move towards profitability in 2010.
  • Cloud Computing.  The authors expect money to continue to flow to the cloud in 2010.  The financial value of cost savings, infrastructure savings and productivity enhancement will drive continued investment. 
  • Prosumer Technologies.  The authors say this space will fizzle in 2010 and we will see a re-separation of consumer and professional devices, having a trickle-down effect on the ecosystems of startup companies developing for the iPhone, Droid, and other platforms.   It’s interesting to read this view as Deloitte recently came out with their 2010 Technology Predictions (Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010), and one of those predictions was that the Prosumer trend will continue to be hot and cause disruption for IT departments.
  • Freemium Model.   The authors say that start-ups should understand that the gap between free and paying customers is widening. As customer attention spans shorten, their brand loyalty diminishes as well.  Users tend to move move on to the next trendy, free offering.  This will put pressure on providers to innovate at an incredibly rapid pace in order to keep pace with market demand.  For more on the freemium business model, see Wikipedia’s article on Freemium.

Check out the full article at VentureBeat “Venture Capital 2010:  Hot (and cold) sectors to watch”.

AdAge: 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch In 2010

ad age_logo Mobile is such a megatrend.  Mobile technologies, applications and services will be big a big story in 2010 and this shift in computing will impact our lives forever.  That is a fact we can not deny.   So I have my radar tuned to any content that helps me understand the underlying drivers and trends.

AdAge recently had an article titled Five Mobile Trends for 2010 that caught my eye.  It provides us with a perspective of the mobile megatrend from those in the advertising industry.  The two authors Dan Neumann (Organic) and Allison Mooney (MobileBehavior) have been focusing on the mobility trend and the impact it will have on advertising.  The article provides their thoughts on the key trends.

Here’s my summary of the five trends they see…

  1. Local Advertising.  Mobile will completely revolutionize the way local advertisers can connect with potential customers.  Mobile search and location based services will allow small local retailers and service providers to reach consumers like they’ve never
  2. Shopping Applications.  The growth in adoption of mobile shopping applications (apps such as price comparison, user product reviews, coupons) will continue to alter in-store consumer behavior. 
  3. Branded Apps and Display Media.   The authors expect that brands and agencies will continue to build their own branded apps.  However thanks to Google, they will also have more attractive display media options.  The authors say to watch out for Google as it attempts to one-up the iPhone app experience.
  4. Outdoor Advertising.   The authors give a few examples of where mobile users can now interact with outdoor ads and signage, opening up a whole new set of opportunities for advertisers.
  5. Social Provides Instant Feedback.  Social technologies give users the ability to express their opinions anywhere, anytime.   Companies need to figure out how to embrace this as part of their marketing process, encouraging and acting on the real-time feedback.

Some interesting trends along with a unique perspective from the advertising industry.  I think it is safe to say that Google has an iron-clad plan to grab their share of the mobile advertising market. 

Emerging Trends in Crowd Sourcing

You may have heard of the Netflix competition to improve the level of its predictions.  The DVD-rental company offered $1 million as well as continued ownership of intellectual property to anyone who could boost the accuracy of its predictions by 10%.  These winner-take-all races seem to fit in well with another 21st-century trend—crowdsourcing, or seeking help from others (often for no compensation) via the Internet. Indeed, many of the teams in the Netflix competition, including BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos, depended on such far-flung collaboration as teams came from different countries.

According to Wikipedia, “Crowdsourcing refers to the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people or community in the form of an open call. The term has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.

A recent Business Week article argues that crowdsourcing will expand and that its impact on traditional businesses marketing, design and advertising needs to be clearly understood.  Some analysts, meanwhile, have predicted this practice of opening up a task to the public instead of keeping it in-house or using a contractor will be the demise of those businesses because of the downward pressure on prices. If LG crowdsources a new cell phone design on CrowdSpring for $20,000, as it did recently, what happens to the old model of paying a design firm millions of dollars for the same project?

The author expects communities and marketplaces to evolve further, supplying a more efficient and creative way for companies to engage with and harness the crowd for help. The increasing complexity of problems has also caused a rise in mass collaboration. Customers, of course, are increasingly demanding participation. They expect the ability to co-create and lead innovation, and their volubility has forced companies to devise creative solutions to be competitive in a new bottom-up age.  Challenges include managing submissions in line with business objectives and compensating people fairly for their ideas and how it will affect businesses such as design, marketing and advertising.

Stockholm: 2009 Intelligent Community of the Year

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) recently named Stockholm, Sweden the Intelligent Community of the Year for 2009.  The Scandanavian community, known for its prowess in innovative technologies and its quality of life won the 2009 award.  A detailed profile of Stockholm and why it was selected for the award can be found at this ICF website.

It’s nice to see Stockholm get this award, especially since IBM has been deeply involved in the city’s Intelligent Transportation initiatives.

Since 1999, ICF has presented awards to honor the achievements of communities tackling the complex task of building and maintaining competitive and inclusive local economies in the global Broadband Economy.   The ICF is a think tank that “focuses on the creation of prosperous local economies and robust societies in the broadband economy of the 21st Century”.  The goal of the yearly awards is to increase awareness of the role that broadband and information communications technology (ICT) play in economic and social development at the community level worldwide.

Earlier this year, the ICF had announced their annual list of The Top Seven Intelligent Cities of 2009.  These seven finalists were selected based on analysis of their nominations by a team of independent academic experts.  The academic team  conducts a thorough review of the nominations and generate quantitative scores during the selection process.   These cities have proactively re-engineered their economies and social networks to make them more flexible and adaptable, which gives them a powerful competitive advantage.  The top seven communities are chosen, not because they excel in all areas of ICF's Intellligent Community Indicators, but because each demonstrates excellence in at least one. 

image

The Top Seven cities of 2009 were:

  • Bristol, Virginia, USA. Bristol has made an impact after taking on incumbent telcos in court and the state legislature to win the right to deploy a fiber network called OptiNet.  OptiNet will become a fiber-to-the-premises network for business and residents in Bristol and four neighboring counties.  It has attracted more than $50 million in private investment, including the region's first technology employers, and improved rural education and healthcare by connecting local providers to leading institutions.   
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands.  Established a public-private collaboration called Brainport. Among more than 40 public-private projects are an award-winning coop that has brought FTTP and a broadband culture of use to the suburb of Neunen, and the SKOOL outsourced IT management system for public schools.
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.  When it could not get broadband from the private sector, Fredericton founded the e-Novations co-op, which deployed a fiber ring that spurred competition, giving the city a 70% penetration rate at speeds of up to 18 Mbps.  The next step was the Fred-eZone wireless network, which provides free WiFi service across 65% of the city.  The combination of broadband, entrepreneurship and Fredericton's universities has powered the creation of over 12,000 jobs.
  • Issy-les-Moulineaux, France.  Beginning in 1980, a visionary mayor focused policy on creating an innovative, IT-based knowledge economy, implementing e-government, outsourcing IT needs, and taking advantage of liberalization to attract competitive fiber carriers deploying cost-effective broadband.  Public-private innovation includes a cyber-kindergarten for children, cyber tearooms for older citizens, citizen e-participation in decision-making, a successful business incubator and ICT-based real estate projects.
  • Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. This bilingual community has become a major Canadian customer contact and back office center, and built a "near-shore" IT outsourcing industry.   Private-sector carriers have collaborated in the city's growth as a telecom-centric economy, and helped power the addition of 20,000 new jobs since the early 1990s.  
  • Stockholm, Sweden. In the mid-90s, Stockholm, the economic and political capital of Sweden, established a company called Stokab to build an open-access fiber network.  Today, the 4,500 km network connects more than 90 competing service providers to government and business customers.  Though the city already has a 98% broadband penetration rate, Stokab will also provide FTTP access to over 95,000 low-income households in public housing by the end of 2009.  Stockholm also manages KISTA Science City, housing more than 1,400 companies, plus a support program for start-up and early-stage companies.  
  • Tallinn, Estonia.   Making creative use of people and funding, Tallinn computerized its schools and deployed widespread WiFi as well as nearly 700 public access kiosks.  The city also developed a large-scale digital skills training program, extensive e-government, and an award-winning smart ID card.  Through partnerships, it developed high-tech parks including Ulemiste City, Tallinn Technology Park and Cooperative Cyber Defense Center. 

For more see this ICF website.  Also check out the videos here View Top7 Video

For those of you working on projects related to Smart Cities, you might also want to spend time reading the 49 page white paper “The Top Seven Intelligent Communities of 2009”

Netpop: Consumer Use of Social Networks Exploding

Are you finding you are spending more time after work hours on the Internet instead of seeking other forms of entertainment?   More time on the Internet instead of watching TV or renting a DVD? 

In my household, we are all spending more time online and less time watching TV shows and DVDs.  Less time playing board games and more time playing online games.  My two teenage daughters are texting, ‘Facebooking’ (is facebooking a verb?), and visiting all other sorts of social sites.  I have dramtically increased my time with Linked In, Facebook ,and Twitter more the last 6 months.  My wife has not made the transition to social media yet, but I do see her on her laptop using email to communicate, instead of watching her favorite TV shows.  As our family spends more and more time on the computer, I am thinking more and more about stripping the digital TV cable services down to bare minimum.  We can always access TV shows from sites like NBC direct, Hulu, and YouTube.

Curious, I did some research to find if there were any research studies on this. 

Netpop Research recently released a study, "Netpop | Connect: Media Shifts to Social", that shows that the amount of time U.S. broadband users spend online has risen significantly in the last couple of years.   Netpop's study found that time spent social networking has grown 93% since 2006.  This rise means that around a third (32%) of U.S. Internet users' online time is spent communicating. 

So what are consumers spending less time doing if they're tied up in virtual conversation?  According to the study, communication has increased at the cost of time spent on traditional forms of online entertainment, which has fallen 29% over the last two years to just 19% of total online time.  

In an another report “Connect:  Social Networkers 2008” from Netpop published in late 2008, findings indicated that 76% of all U.S. broadband users actively contribute to social media sites in one form or another, and 29% contribute regularly to social

It seems the definition of entertainment online is changing from an "entertain me" standpoint to include hanging out with friends online and sharing opinions and information – socializing.    You could surmise that the boundaries between entertainment and communication are blurring.

This is a disruptive force to those companies that relied totally on traditional broadcast advertising.  Companies must now rethink how they reach consumers.   They must commit more of their online "space" to user-generated content and social media that enables direct communication with consumers.   If companies don't provide these spaces, they will find it harder to track and engage consumers because, suggests Netpop, they will simply go off and create their own elsewhere.  

So companies must figure out how to engage with users on social media sites, give consumers/customers a voice, spend time learning how to listen and learn on these sites, and figure out how to enable their 'fans' to influence others.  With over 40 million Americans now contributing to social networking sites in one form or another, this is clearly a lucrative market for advertisers, but also one that is very different from more traditional online and offline media sources. 

The other question in all of this is how is this transition of family time to social sites impacting the family structure?  How will the families of the future bond if they are all off on their computers socializing with others, instead socializing with family members (playing board games, watching TV shows, etc.).  The burden will be on parents to force family time into everyone’s schedule….and it will be a tough task at that!!

For more information…

CIOL: Top Trends in India for 2009

India is a big part of the future of the IT industry.  I think we all realize that.

I was looking for 2009 trends lists that were specific to India and came upon the CIOL website.  CIOL is short for Cybermedia India Online LImited.  The CIO website http://www.ciol.com focuses on the Information Technology industry within India.  It appears that CIOL has become a popular Internet destination for IT professionals, vendors, solution providers, CIOs and CEOs of Indian enterprises.

The website had a Special Report that provided 2009 outlooks on a number of IT segments.  In many cases, CIOL invited executives from Indian IT vendors to provide their own views of what the important trends will be in the India IT industry during 2009. 

Below you'll find that I've summarized the relevant trends posts on CIOL by by major IT trend category. 

CIO Challenges

Mobility

Security

Outsourcing

Enterprise Technologies

Networking Trends 

Storage Trends 

So those are a bunch of trends posts that CIOL published.  After reading them you can get a good feel for what is important in India during 2009.   If anyone reading this has other good sources of 2009 trends in India, please provide them in the comment section below.  Thanks!

Springboard: India IT Market To Grow At 14% in 2009

Springboard research recently published a list of top trends expected to impact IT spending in India in 2009.  In their press release, Springboard predicts that India’s IT spending is expected to grow at an annual rate of 14.1% in 2009, down from 18.1% growth in 2008.  Springboard says that IT spending in verticals like retail and real estate will be hardest hit, while the advent of 3G and a largely protected financial system will help sustain growth in the telecom and banking/finance verticals respectively.  In addition, government stimulus initiatives to spur economic growth and increase spending on public security and national defense, coupled with rural sector initiatives should include outlays for new technology in the years to come.

India's Top Ten IT Trends

Here is Springboard's list of the top 10 trends in IT spending for India in 2009

  1. Arrival of 3G unlocks enormous opportunities for IT vendors
  2. Cost concerns will drive a key focus on IT infrastructure consolidation
  3. Economic pressures to drive SMBs towards outsourcing and SaaS
  4. Start-ups and smaller firms become more important accounts for IT vendors
  5. Virtualization will gain traction in medium and large sized enterprises
  6. IT outsourcing will be seen as a catalyst to HR retention and cost reductions during the economic squeeze
  7. Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry to transform further with new technologies
  8. Online advertising markets to gain momentum with the emergence of niche social networking sites and regional portals
  9. The Public Sector will buoy IT spending
  10. Green IT will be fueled by cost efficiency benefits

Springboard’s executive brief, “India IT Market Predictions 2009,” is available for free download at Springboard's Research Central (registration required)

India's Top IT Services Vendors

Springboard also recently released a report on the IT Services market in India.  Springboard says that the US$4.8 billion Indian IT Services Market is a highly fragmented and competitive marketplaces.  The top three players, IBM (market share 10.8%), Wipro (market share (8.7%) and TCS (market share 6.1%), took up a quarter share of the market.  According to Springboard’s research, the market in 2008 saw an overall increase in the average deal size of contracts where buyer enterprises are not only using IT vendors as technology providers but as business partners, providing them with means of competitive differentiation.   More information can be found at Top 10 Vendors Grabbed 39% of India’s IT Services Market in 2008, Says Springboard Research