Every year I forecast a number of predictions in the Digital Media/ Internet world, and at the end of the year I score those predictions to see whether they came true or not. Here are links to 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 predictions.
For the coming year, here are my predictions:
TV will change. In the next couple of years, television is going to change significantly in both content and technology terms. In the latter front, I reckon we’ll see 3D disappear altogether (bye-bye 3D channels), Ultra HD become production ready, Xbox One will become the central home entertainment device, and with television sets growing every year, we’ll see more transparent TV technologies for when the box is switched off. In content terms, Sky have lost the TV rights to the Champions League from the 2015/6 season. This will mean the next round of Premiership rights bidding will be huge, because Sky can’t afford to lose the Premier League. Unless they start significantly boosting the awareness of another sport, similar to what they’ve done with darts and cycling. The bad news for consumers is that TV is going to become fragmented – think multiple subscriptions from different providers to see all the TV content that your family wants to watch. The next two years of TV will see massive change.
Investment post-recession. Remember Facebook buying Instagram for a billion dollars? Or Google buying Waze for almost a billion dollars? As the world (minus Spain and Greece) dusts itself down and emerges from the recession, we’ll see the spending spree continue. I’d expect to see TV broadcasters and newspapers lead in this area.
We’ll see the pace of consumerisation speed up. Large companies will produce their own app stores, many more companies will move to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and finally improve the usability of their in-house apps. Across businesses, staff will demand more touch screens to work with Windows 8[.1]. All of this will mean that the business (i.e. non-IT departments) will be buying what we have always called ‘the technology’. And this will be challenging for established IT departments.
Security is going to move to the top of the agenda, specifically with Trust and Identity. This will become the big item agendas for IT departments. Historically we’ve seen hacking groups held up as revolutionaries and small time geeks who are bored. This public and media perception will change as more people’s identities are cloned and security costs for hacking intrusions are passed on to end customers.
From Mobile to Wearable. IT and marketing departments have focused on mobile devices for the last couple of years. We’ll see the focus shift to wearable devices as Google Glass, Samsung watches and Apple somethings all become mainstream. SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) will be replaced by SWAC (Social, Wearable, Analytics and Cloud).
2014 will be the year of the wallet. Visa released V.me at the end of 2013. PayPal already provides a wallet, and we’ll also see banks and payment systems releasing them. The good news is that it’s going to be easier to pay by card online – you’ll only need a username and password rather than your credit card number. The bad news is that we could end up with a number of wallets and many passwords. It will become a race for the first wallet.
Speech recognition to become more mainstream. I use speech recognition for Google searches on my phone and laptop. It gets my search correct most of the time, and for the other occasions, Google usually second guesses what I was trying to search for and gives those results instead. With Google’s speech API, almost any app can use speech recognition, and the more it’s used, it will become better quality.
Integration between services. When I received Google Glass in December I was impressed that as soon as you log in with your Google account, it shares phone numbers held on my Android phone together with my Google+ profile and so on. I saw a demo of Sharepoint 2013 recently with excellent integration between Yammer, Sharepoint, Lync, Exchange and Outlook. To date, social integration has been about finding Facebook friends on a new service or asking them to build new farms and vegetables. We’ll start seeing more clever implementations between applications – why does both Strava and my health insurance app need to follow me around when they can share data?
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I’ve had a couple of emails asking what I think of Google Drive.
Firstly I’m a bit disappointed with Google’s lack of innovation. I’d have expected a few bells and whistles because they are late entrants into the market and have the benefit of watching their competitors and market makers.
I’m growing sceptical of new Google services. If Google Drive doesn’t take off, yet a business has used it for all their file server needs, migrating all those files and links to them is going to be a nightmare for any organisation.
And this is the inherent problem with immature cloud services.
This blog uses Posterous which was bought by Twitter a month ago. If Posterous is discontinued, I need to migrate all the content (relatively straightforward but a hassle nonetheless).
I use Brinkster to host my websites and domain names. For the cost of using 500Gb on Google Drive, I get the same amount of FTP storage, thousands of email accounts and a Microsoft web server thrown in.
Cloud storage is the first step to consumer IT virtualisation. Soon we’ll all be using virtual PCs via a web browser. Google started this with Google Docs and Picasa Web Albums. Creating a generic file storage area is misaligned with their goal of eradicating the need for local files.
We now have a situation where the key players in the market all have competing file storage and online services – Apple, Microsoft and Google. It will be interesting to see how they compete.
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I originally started this blog because I was having similar discussions with a number of different clients, Endava staff and friends outside of work, and wanted to share these discussions to a wider community. Recently I’ve been discussing the difference between B2B and B2C with many people, so I wanted to share the discussion here.
I’ll start with my original position – that on the Internet there is no difference between B2B and B2C experiences. I argued with people there is no longer a difference between B2B and B2C on the Internet, because the same people who used B2B websites during the day, switched over to B2C (consumer) websites during their lunchtime and evening, and wanted that B2C experience after their lunchtime had finished.
I gave a speech last February to 100 Financial Services organisations explaining that they needed to upgrade their websites to include the usability features that social networks provided – such as search boxes which have type-ahead functionality (e.g. the search box on Facebook). I gave an example that the night before the speech I paid a bill using my online banking service, and it took 6 screens to make a payment, compared to just one screen to send a message to someone on Facebook.
The old transactional website paradigm of a page per step in a long process, was great in the 1990s, unwelcome in the 2010s.
My position on this has changed though. B2B sites haven’t all died and been replaced with B2C. There are still differences between the two of them, but the usability has become the same. B2B sites have adopted the same user experiences. Old green screens are being replaced with iPad implementations because CIOs and CTOs have bought an iPad for home and said “this is the future”, and demanded the green screens receive funding for the first time in 40 years and become reengineered for 2012.
There are still differences between B2B and B2C, but the grey line between the two of them hasn’t moved – it’s just become a lot greyer.
Why are Chromebooks so expensive? The specs of a Chromebook doesn’t need to be particularly high, and the Operating System and software is available for free on Windows laptops.
Google are trying to compete with Apple on a mobile phone (iPhone v Android) and tablet (iPad v Android) level, where the competing products are becoming ever closer aligned as both sets of products mature. However on a laptop basis, the products are completely different.
Google are purely cloud focussed, with all applications HTML/ browser based and Apple users are still more than happy using downloadable native applications (think iWork/ Office and photo/ video editing applications). Even Google’s answer to photo editing, Picasa, is still a downloadable application – which raises the question of whether it will work on a Chromebook.
It’s interesting how the likes of successful Internet retailers such as Amazon and ASOS have steered away from physical outlets, and whether they are watching technology consumer brands such as Apple and now Google (not sure they have ever been classed as that before) to see how long before whether they shut down their super trendy stores in the near future.
One of the major shifts in the last five years has been the “consumerisation” of technology. Consumerisation is a swanky word for technology moving outside of the office/professional life into personal lives, and then moving back into the office in a different guise.
The shift started with broadband Internet. Once staff had broadband installed at home, they checked their email from home. They stopped taking laptops home with them and used their home computer.
Smartphones have accelerated the amount of consumerisation. You definitely know some people who have been provided a mobile phone from their employer, and the same individuals also have a smartphone on a personal contract. They will then use their personal phone to check their work email because they prefer their personal device.
This grey area of using personally-paid-for devices is a real issue for IT departments at the moment because of lack of standardisation (having to support iPhones, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, etc.) and security risks.
Consumerisation isn’t limited to hardware either. I use Outlook 2010 at work, and mainly Google Mail for personal email. New features on Google Mail are appearing regularly. One of my favourites is if you type “I have attached the document” inside a GMail email and press send before attaching a file, Google gives you an alert to ask if you want to attach a document. Brilliant. I wish Microsoft had built the same functionality to prevent me forgetting to attach a file in Outlook.
In fact Google understands consumerisation on a new level. GMail and Google Docs started their lives as consumer tools and then became available as white labeled enterprise tools (a matter of opinion) for businesses. And there’s recently been a lot of commentary about Google refusing to let businesses on to their new social networks – they want end users on there first.