According to the Gartner Hype Cycle, they have identified 27 emerging technologies to keep an eye on. They have also predicted that 8 of them will have a major transformational business impact. For that reason, those 8 should be strongly considered for adoption by technology planners in the next 10 years. Of these 8, there are 4 that have caught my eye and thus have a particular interest to me.
The first of the 4 is Web 2.0. Although if you look at the below diagram, Web 2.0 is currently in Gartners “Trough of Disillusionment”. Though it almost sounds like some type of business purgatory, it will emerge within two years to have a transformational impact, as companies steadily gain more experience and success with both the technologies and the cultural implications-according to Gartner. If you cannot get excited about how Web 2.0 is transforming the web and the way we utilize it, then you just might not be geeky enough. That’s ok though, there are enough of us out there that truly are “giddy” about the direction we’re heading.
The next area that Gartner feels is about to explode is Social computing platforms — you’d have to be living in a cave on the island of Fiji to not suspect that consumer-oriented social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, are causing companies of all sizes to evaluate the role that these sites, or various components of these sites, including their enterprise sized brethren, might do to transform and elevate the way that they currently communicate and do business. What’s more, the individual components and their ilk are forcing people to re-think what it means to be social, to re-evaluate what communities are all about, and how all of this can change the way we might interact with each other in the future.
If it hasn’t been obvious to this point what would be on Gartner list, its Microblogging— Thanks to Twitter specifically, and Plurk and Friendfeed to a lesser degree, microblogging is the new kid on the block in the world of social networking. But if microblogging is the new kid, it’s the new kid who can hit the ball out of the ballpark the first time he picks up a bat. The potential has already been leveraged by some pockets of the online community such as social media marketers and PR people, but it is also slowly being adopted by some forward thinking leading-edge companies who are using it to communicate with its customers, and employees. It’s becoming and will become another viable tool in a companies quest to engage it’s customer, communicate with the customer and brand their products more effectively.
Lastly, I’m going to lump 2 together. Corporate Blogging and Social Network Analysis I think that corporations, because of the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and the emergence of social networks and their niches, are starting to realize the importance of communicating like they never have before. We throw around the word transparency and I think it has never been more self evident what the upside can be to these organizations. As soon as Corporations can get a handle on the how’s and the why’s of blogging, they will be well served to incorporate it into their marketing mix. My suggestion would be to start with the book Naked Conversations.
Social Network Analysis is a natural extension of Web 2.0, social computing platforms and microblogging. Because we are in the realtive infancy of these aformentioned technologies, the measurement of these is still as well, in it’s early stages. Analyzing the impact, the ROI, the level of engagement, the depth, the reach, the frequency, the conversations, the numbers- of social networks is something we talk about every day. An example of a company that does monitors social media would be Radian 6. As social networks continue to mature, look for this aspect as well to become robust and very vertical and very in demand.
So take a look at the diagram below, which ones get you excited to be in this space?