7 Predictions For 2011

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With 2011 just around the corner, what’s in store for businesses in 2011.

1. Cloud Computing

It may seem like a buzz word to some, but it is one of the largest fundamental shifts in computing. Cloud computing essentially means using services on the Internet and not having to install something on your own infrastructure. You probably use many things in the “cloud” already without even realizing it is actually cloud computing.

So what is going to happen in 2011 with cloud computing. Well the shift is gaining momentum to a stage where applications you use on your desktop are now being replaced by applications in the cloud. This includes things such as Microsoft Office, Chrome OS and even rumoured, Window 8 will be heavily cloud based.

Everything you hold dear on your desktop will soon be cloud based and the shift between buying software outright and paying a subscription model will become the norm. It’s already happening, you are just probably going to notice it more in 2011.

A world predominately as software as a service (SaaS).

2. Mobile Dominance

The mobile market has already leapt forward in a huge way in 2010 and it has now come to a point that if you don’t have a mobile strategy for 2011, such as your website or products or payment available by mobile devices, you are going to be left behind. 2010 was the year of getting ready for mobile. 2011 is where businesses will suffer if they don’t have it.

The world of mobile computing is here. Expect a VERY rapid growth in 2011.

3. Outsourcing

Think of just services as Crowd Flower or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Think of services such as PA’s, VA’s or book keepers. Now think of our increasingly mobile world. Outsourcing is going to become the norm and now companies are starting up around the world in virtual offices.

Expect businesses that provide outsourcing capabilities to receive a sharp rise in jobs and those that hire lots of staff look to outsourcing where applicable. Businesses should be systemized to account for outsourcing. If they are not, then start creating your systems and start outsourcing. Anyone who thinks they need lots of employee’s and they can’t outsource many things in their business are in for a wake up call in 2011.

4. Social Media Connecting The Real World

Social media has connected us online in the last few years and not it is heading outside the domain of the Internet and into the real world. Things such as QR Codes and location-based services such as Facebook and Foursquare with our increasing mobile devices such as tablets, iPads and smartphones will mean the Internet is coming to us and there is no escape.

Businesses with a retail presence really need to start using the above mentioned technologies.

5. eBooks Go Nutty

Take a look at these stats. eBooks in the US in 2010 reach 9% of total book sales, up from 3% the year before. It tripled!  Actually it has almost tripled year after year from the year 2000. So what is in store for 2011, considering we now have a wider variety of eReaders, iPads, tablet PC’s and smartphones and a combination of ebooks in large variety being sold at places such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore and more? A huge explosion of ebooks being bought. The 3rd quarter (only a quarter) of ebooks sold in 2010 equalled $119.7 million. Look at the revenue growth over the last 10 years.

Expect 2011 to be the best ever year for eBooks. Has your business got eBooks ready for sale?

Also I wanted to point out that the standard PDF eBook is coming to an end. More creative ways of delivering electronic books are coming and be prepared for some great new interactive formats. We live in the information age.

6. Apps On Mobile Devices Go Insane

Well maybe when someone buys an app on the iPhone for nearly $10,000 and only displays text you can see the world of mobile apps has become a little scary. Now with the Windows 7 Phone, Android and iPhone and their respective application stores the world of mobile applications is going to get huge, the rise of mobile devices will ensure that.

Can your business have a mobile application? At least your website should be easily read on mobile devices. e.g www.binkd.mobi

7. Alternative Payments

Payment systems have traditionally been credit cards, eftpos or cash. Coming into 2011 we now have more options.  Some alternative payments that will make themselves very widely known in 2011 are:

  1. Mobile Payments
  2. Watch out for Facebook virtual currency. It’s coming.

It’s an exciting year ahead and with the rebound of the economy and investing occuring once again, some great unexpected things should also rise from 2011.

Looking Further: Predictions for 2012

Social consciousness rises (no not the AI kind). More on that later.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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