2011 was a fast and furious year in technology. Here are the most important trends that I observed and personally experienced…
Flash Fallout was a huge pain in the neck
The iPad’s original “lack of Flash support” messaging was turned on its head to the point where Adobe announced the end of future development of mobile Flash. It seems Flash moving forward will be optimized as a desktop browser-based technology with innovations around high end 3D graphics processing, video, etc…
Enterprise Mobility was all about iOS
Regardless how many Android devices were activated this year, the iPad was king. I have talked to few customers with corporate supplied devices that were not iPad. Vendors like MeLLmo who went after iOS were spot-on as RIM shares tumbled, Microsoft still can’t get off the ground and Google nips at the heels of Apple. I will have a separate article just on mobility next week to review my 2010 predictions and where I think things are going in 2012.
Location Intelligence gained a lot of steam
An area that I am heavily vested in, both personally and professionally, gained a ton of steam in the enterprise. In 2009-2010, it was a lot of work to convince enterprise customers that Google Maps was capable as an enterprise location intelligence technology; today, it is assumed. Announcements from vendors like Microstrategy, SAP, and others of Google Maps integration instantly validated what I have believed for a long time:
1 . Traditional GIS tools are overkill in many business intelligence requirements.
2. Google Maps is more than suitable as a cloud framework and user experience for presenting location based data
As a result, our GMaps Plugin solution was a smashing success among Xcelsius customers. At the same time, I spent most of my 2010 executing on my mobile location intelligence vision, which you will get to see the results very soon! (http://gmapsmobile.com).
Social Media is everywhere
Linked-In and Pandora were two high profile IPOs, who’s value is primarily derived by activity of large user bases. Facebook reached 800M users and withstood Google + which was once dubbed a “Facebook” killer. Social media this year helped change the world, from overthrowing governments, to organizing on Wall Street. From my perspective, people who are avoiding social media all together are equivalent to those people who held onto rotary phones when touch-tone was introduced.
Enterprise organizations in 2011 took social media and customer activities seriously. For example, when I griped about how much I hate my bank on twitter, I had a customer service person direct messaging me within an hour…impressive. The demand for social media tracking and integration, along with adoption of social media principles behind the firewall are two emerging trends that will continue to heat up going into 2012.
Big Data generated a lot of buzz
Organizations are storing an increasing volume of data at an increasing rate, so the demand for processing and serving this data is a real challenge that enterprise vendors are taking head on. There is tremendous opportunity in this space for hardware and software makers; SAP is all in on their in-memory HANA solution to Big Data.
“The Cloud” went main stream
The “Cloud” also seemed to pick up steam as all of the major enterprise software vendors bolstered “software as a service” offerings. A cautionary event also occurred in 2011 when Amazon’s cloud had a temporary outage paralyzing some vendors. Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Apple to name a few are vested in cloud technology as a critical part of their product portfolio.
Steve Jobs Passing
You cannot talk about major technology happenings of 2011 without mentioning Steve Jobs unfortunate death. My second personal computer was a Mac Plus, and I can say that from the day I put a mouse in my hand, I knew it was my future. Steve Jobs was one person and he obviously had an amazing team around him to execute and support his vision. With that said, his passing is a terrible tragedy, because no single figure in recent memory has had such a positive and unique impact on the world as he did. He will certainly be missed…
Stay tuned for 2012
Now that 2012 is upon us, I am excited to see how things progress on all of these fronts. I see continued growth, intense competition, and some bubbles brewing next year. I personally will get to work in all of these areas next year with my own company so I will be reporting back on my real world experiences, disappointments, and victories!!
Happy New Year!