My humble predictions for 2010, in the area of technology for small business are as follows:
- use of iPhones and other Smart Phones for browsing the internet, collecting mail, etc will increase at a steady pace (I took up an excellent mobile offer that included an iPhone just before the end of December, so give me a call if you want to hear about my experience). This doesn’t mean that you have to rush out and change your website for very small screens because the smart phones handle full size websites fairly well, but having an alternative version of important data access areas of your site could be worthwhile e.g. for data searches / operational data entry / ordering functions and the like.
- larger businesses, who to a large degree have held back from embracing the internet and electronic channels for marketing, will employ email and sms marketing to a greater degree, integrating traditional media and web-based campaigns to reach out in a meaningful way to their target market and existing clientele. This will take away some of the competitive advantage that smaller, more agile businesses have had over their larger competitors. It will also mean that your marketing campaigns have to be even more focused on delivering value and unique messages, not just selling.
- more and more people will use Google to find things on the web, and generally use the internet as a research tool.
- social networking sites will gather more momentum in the business arena, primarily through LinkedIn, Plaxo and Xing (rather than Facebook and Twitter), but I think there is still a long way to go before their use in this realm becomes imperative, and level of use will vary dramatically between industries.
- cloud computing / software-as-a-service where you utilise internet-based servers to run shared software applications and store your operational information will continue to grow at a slow-moderate pace, as businesses still prefer the bricks and mortar approach of having control of their data and applications within their own environment.
- Finally, it’s fairly clear that Broadband speeds and computer processor speeds will continue to get faster and cheaper and hard disk capacity will increase while the physical size of the disks will reduce and become cheaper per gigabyte. Will we use all this extra cheaper speed and capacity? I expect to see the improvement in technology infrastructure paving the way for a myriad of innovative gadgets and software applications to make it easier to do common tasks, from anywhere. Perhaps one of these will be the next “killer app”.
What’s your thoughts? Found a killer app lately? Add your comments below.by