Red Herring magazine published its list of top technology trends for the coming year, noting:
“Laying out technology trends is a treacherous undertaking. Those predictions can end up haunting the luminaries who pronounced them after they’ve proven to be ridiculous.”
Well, we say sometimes you have to take a risk. So bully for you, Red Herring, for going out on a limb.
The list is highly technical (it is about technology, after all), so we’ll highlight only those most relevant to small business:
- The Death of Distance - “Telecommuters and remote workers are closing in. Recent improvements to enterprise voice-over-IP (VoIP) are promising to make the concept of location irrelevant.” The article points out that users of enterprise VoIP are finding out the cool things that can be done with it, not just the cost savings. Those cool things — such as integrating with Microsoft Outlook — will help make distance among workers irrelevant.
- Desktop Search Heats Up – The amount of data that users store on their desktop computers is exploding. A whole new industry has popped up to enable users to search their desktop files easily, including Google’s desktop search tool, and startup Blinkx.
- Rise in Web Services – The ability to transmit data on the Web and make it really useful, go the heart of Web services. By the end of 2005, 45% of companies will use Web services. Even bloggers: “Protocols like Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and Atom have caught on among bloggers, allowing them to make their content available to anyone to pour into their own web pages. By the end of 2006, most vendors of web publishing software will incorporate support for RSS in their products, according to Gartner.”
- Home Sweet Digital Home - Red Herring says that the digital home — with interconnected devices all around us — is finally becoming a reality. Computers and entertainment products are converging, to bring unprecendented amounts of entertainment and digital content to us in our living rooms. “The ultimate winners will be companies that adopt Internet-based platforms, open standards, and customer-friendly products, which could most likely mean startups with new ideas and innovative technologies.”
Read the full list to see where technology is headed in 2005.
Editor’s Note: Throughout the next week we will be reviewing trends predictions. We’ll keep a running list of all the trends posts in our series. We are comparing and contrasting trends predictions from different sources, to give you a well-rounded view of trends to anticipate and capitalize on, in the small business market. See our 2005 Trends index for more.