Everyone is making their predictions for 2009, so I thought I’d make mine for fun…
“Web 2.0” will lose traction – thank goodness! :
Executives and investors are tiring of “web 2.0” marketing initiatives and business models (please, nobody try to describe “web 3.0”!). Web 2.0 is a buzz-word that everyone struggles to define – Chris Bernard did the best job when I asked him to describe what it meant to him:
Basically, Web 1.0 is bad Photoshop and web 2.0 is good Photoshop ..
For the last 3 years, everything that was “new” was called “Web 2.0” – When the term that is used to describe something new… is several years old… guess what happens to the term.
Mobile, duh! :
I think it is obvious that the “next generation” mobile computing platform is upon us. Large platform providers like Apple, Palm, Intel, RIM and Microsoft are all focusing on more sophisticated platforms for mobile development and this will aid in the proliferation of very interesting software and hardware. Therefore, in 2009, we will see an even broader shift to mobile computing. An interesting trend in this market is emerging as families are tightening their belts – they are looking beyond desktop and laptop purchases and opting instead for lower priced iPhones. Additionally, software for mobile devices is much less expensive. Ironically, the “high-end” smart phone market is also turning into the low-end computing market.
Cloud Computing :
A few companies that you may have hear of like Amazon, Salesforce, Microsoft, and Google have all decided that enterprises will no longer want to maintain their own infrastructures. These cloud computing providers are betting huge capitol into the notion that companies will want to power their digital business on someone else’s servers. What is awesome about the power of cloud computing is nearly infinite scalability. This low cost computing power will als help power the next trend .. Small Business SaaS…
Small Business SaaS :
Look for the new breed of SaaS models to take over the web. Cloud computing is enabling nimble and innovative companies to create very compelling and low cost online software services. Larger enterprises like Adobe (acrobat.com) and Microsoft (officelive.com) have been heavily investing in this market. However, we are seeing much smaller companies innovating in this area as well (sliderocket.com, aviary.com, zoho.com, basecamphq.com). The most exciting trend for us is work we are involved in with Web-To-Print. With Adobe’s proliferation of PDF workflows, combined with momentous gains made in browser based technologies — companies like FedEx/Kinkos, Staples, and Office Max will provide new and interesting options for small businesses. These new services will bring the power of traditional desktop publishing, combined with the economies of scale of large retail printing facilities, to provide low-cost, high quality printed materials.
A Focus on the Digital Customer Experience :
Larger enterprises are having to focus their digital business across multiple channels (mobile, desktop, set-top, kiosk, browser, etc.) – which provide them with two major competitive advantages.
The first advantage: brand. If you look at the top 10 iPhone App Store applications, nine of them are known brands. As long as these brands continue to offer good products, their brand trust will elevate their services above others. The second advantage: resources. In 2009, look for enterprises to shift their resources to create consistent, engaging and useful software. Especially now, in a more challenging economic market, digital channels are a very cost effective way to do business. These enterprises are realizing that the way to differentiate will be through providing their customers great utility, usability, efficiency and engagement.