The 6 List: Technology Trends for 2011

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So its the end of 2010 – known in South Africa as the World-cup year. Where we introduced the (annoying ?) Vuvuzella to the world and just like River-Dance, will have to apologies to the world for a long time for releasing this…but I digress…

At the end of the year various experts like to come up with various “10 Lists” for the next year so expect to see these popping up all over Twitter and the Web soon.

What I would like to focus on is some very specific Technology Trends that I envisage will play part in our lives in 2011.

So if you would allow me – here is my “6 list” for 2011:

1. Everything is connected – all the time

We are already seeing this. The Nay-sayers said: Netbooks will never take off, Tablets are dead and who would want Email on a tiny screen on a mobile phone ?….hmmm…think we pretty much clubbed that one to death.

More and more smartphones are seen everywhere, iPad launched to the world and very closely is being followed by Samsung (Galaxy) and Blackberry (PlayBook) amongst others, Blackberry Phones seem to have an ability to make little Blackberry babies as these devices are with everyone including school kids and Grandma too. Even backpacking through Europe isn’t what is used to be. No more 1 month old postcards from the Eifel-Tower back to Mom and Dad – every traveller has at least a Netbook or an iPod Touch so that they can Tweet their up-to-the-second status of finding themselves ontop of mount Fuji.

In 2011, Everyone is connecting. From Anywhere. At Anytime. Even vehicles will be coming out with built in technology that allows vehicles to “talk” to each other !

2. Go into the Office ? Why ?

More and more companies are realising the power of having mobile employees. More companies are realising that having massive office space just for staff to come in, fire up their laptop, check their email and go out to see clients – whats the point ? The Hot-desk system is well entrenched in the business world (where you come in and simply plug in anywhere there is a network point and a phone).

In 2011 – the facilities of ad-hoc meeting in public/ semi public spots will be more common. More restaurants offer WiFi and even more importantly is POWER. We can connect via cellular 3G/ 4G but what is becoming hard to find is a place where you can not only connect, but also charge the laptop/ Netbook/ device. This is changing and restaurants and coffee shop who opted to offer more power plugs and WiFi can attest to the fact that their revenue has increased.

3. Location-Based it All

Being informed about a special promotion in another part of the town is like soooo 2010…

In 2011 more and more services, marketing and information will go the way of Location Based. This means that you will receive information that is relevant to your physical location and therefore more immediate and relevant to you. STOP harassing your customers with a “free fries with your hamburger” for a restaurant that is over 2 hours away from where they are now. You are the reason that Mobile Marketing gets a bad reputation ! its called SPAM – there are laws against that sort of thing. Stop it or you will go blind (you know what I mean)

4. Mobile Data

Back in the days of Mobile, all the service providers cared about was Voice and the Churn (ie losing customer to a rival Cellular Network). All you spoke about was the Coverage and how much standby time your handset had. Some even had a colour screen !

All this is a thing of the past. Now cellular networks care about Data and selling “data bundles”. Pay X and get Y amount of data. There are packages that offer “unlimited internet” (by the way, this is strictly NOT true and there are things that fall out of this offer that you get nailed for…eh… I mean billed for).

In 2011, we can expect to see more of these Mobile Internet. With the introduction of Tablet devices such as the iPad, Galaxy, Playbook etc. all requiring a SIM card, the cellular networks will offer bundled deals and instead of subsidising new handsets, they will subsidise these mobile devices.

5. Too much Tech

With all the above Technology in its current state and the new trends coming up, its gets to a point that its unbearable.

We can see now at intimidate dinner parties at least one or two people chatting away on their Blackberry Messenger. This is getting all too much and when the boss emails you at 23:45 wanting an answer ASAP, we have to say “enough is enough”.

In 2011, I would see people taking a Technology break. Don’t panic, it will be a temporary break. (did you read my post titled “All devices off – including cell phones – are you kidding lady ?”).

People are starting to realise that this multi-tasking isn’t all its cracked up to be. Our brains are not wired to work that way – yes, that includes the female brain too. Can we do multiple task simultaneously ? Yes. But can we do all tasks to at the best level possible ? hmmm…I think not ! (did you happen to see how many car accident there are whilst people are texting, reading email and talking to their client and did I mention driving ????).

in 2011, people will realise that its OK to have an unread email on their phone whilst having dinner with friends. Its ok to change the status of the Blackberry Messenger to “Not Available” whilst finishing a client proposal. Even the Boss will understand that a happy client is preferable over a half-backed answers from a sleepy employee answering mails at 23:46.

6. Social Mobility

Social Mobility is a term I coined to describe the convergence of Social Media (Twitter, Facebook etc.) and the Mobile world (Web Apps, Native Apps etc.). We have seen a trend by various Advertising Agencies offering Social Media services – most doing it wrong. You can not stick a square peg in a round hole. you can not take traditional Advertising and splash it onto the Web and expect it to work.

In 2011, this will be the year where the true power of Social Media and Mobile will be married correctly. Barriers such as interoperability between devices/ browsers and cellular network speeds are a thing of the past. More importantly people are no longer afraid to use their mobile device to make more than just phone calls. Brands already realise they have an online reputation and want to keep their loyal customers happy and even attract new customers.  Why open a shop on 5th Avenue, New York and trade with the local passers by when you can open up a shop online and trade with the world ?

The question of how to use Social Mobility to drive customers to you is the question… (did I mention I coined that Term ?)

So there is everything to look forward to in 2011 – even a technology break every once in a while.

Why only 6 Trends ?  just because everyone else is offering 10 WIDE predictions. I wanted to focus and be specific.

Changes are happening all the time and we are evolving technologically at some ridiculous rate.

To end, I like this quote that summarises it all for me: “The highest sought after jobs in 2010 were not even around in 2009”.

Who ever heard of “Social Mobility Specialist” ?? – but if you haven’t had  a strategy session yet with one, how will your company compete with those that had ?

🙂

What do you think will make it in 2011 ? Please feel free to share  !

2 Comments

  1. Respectable analysis. If you ask yourself – what would be good and bad, I think that the only item 2 is really good for man. Thanks for the interesting post – read it with pleasure.

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