In keeping with our new year’s tradition, we have compiled our list of the top technology trends for 2012. We scanned the available data, reviewed our previous predictions and made some leaps of faith. We are optimistic about the economy and expect many delayed IT expenditures to be completed this year. Advances in business technology continue their steady progression with many smaller businesses adopting leading edge technologies. This year will be interesting for consumer electronics. Maybe Steve Jobs left his next great invention in the Apple pensieve.
Local Data Centers – As Cloud Computing gains acceptance and market share, more business will move their equipment and applications to their own private cloud. Companies will look for neighborhood data centers that are accessible and provide boutique services. This provides an opportunity for IT service providers and managed service providers (MSPs) because smaller businesses will be looking for help in managing their collocated equipment and cloud applications. Many small businesses are accustomed to contracting IT services rather than maintaining in-house IT expertise and will look for service providers that can meet their changing IT model.
mCommerce – Mobile commerce is not only for impulsive buyers, but for smart, savvy shoppers looking for the best deal. The 2011 holiday season broke all records for mCommerce and this will continue as increasing numbers of merchants and consumers embrace mobile applications. Powerful processors will give handhelds a big boost in acceptance for those that have been reluctant to adopt the technology. Near field communication (NFC) will take off as applications are developed that use NFC for everything from sharing contact information to reading garment labels to purchasing anything with the swipe of your phone. In 2012, if you are in the consumer market – become an expert in NFC and mCommerce.
Speech Recognition – This could be a breakout year for speech and voice technologies. Speech recognition has been used by medical and legal for years and widespread acceptance is just around the corner for all types of businesses. As mobile device users embrace speech recognition for on-the-go computing, they will bring this technology into the office for a variety of efficiency improvements.
Handhelds Replace Laptops – With more powerful CPUs, handhelds can replace many of the features of laptops. The keyboard and screen size continue to be obstacle but projection and foldable technology will bridge the gap. One day we will think and our computer (probably won’t be called a computer) will translate our thoughts into input and output, but in the meantime virtual docking stations will be used to interface with our analog (hands and eyes) systems.
Another Social Media Surge – With Google+ claiming that it will have 400 million members by the end of 2012, we are expecting another surge as social media expands its audience. Online aficionados will continue to be plagued with spam and scams, but new strategies will emerge to catch and isolate the offenders. The number of users and the average time spent online will increase, but there are too many platforms for the market. Users will consolidate around the most beneficial and productive sites. Facebook may take over the world in 2012, but then again it may not.
Disclaimer: Like horoscopes, our predictions for the Top IT Trends of 2012 are general in nature and for entertainment purposes only.