Demographic shifts are important to understand. They impact buying behavior, social viewpoints and define market needs. The Baby Boom generation was huge in America – Nearly 72 million. That generation is now retiring and getting older. As they do, they are driving much of the debate around health care in the USA. The next generation, Generation X was one of the smallest in US History. They gave us grunge music and the early internet. The Millenials are currently the largest generation in American History; with approximately 78 million members. They’re in workforce now and will continue to do so for another 7-10 years.
But what comes next? And not just in America, but in the world?
2012 is gone and there are plenty of entertaining and profound retrospectives from Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 to your very own Facebook year in review. But it is much more interesting to look ahead and anticipate where the market will go based on the trajectory established in late 2012. Therefore we have performed some deep textual analytics, data mining and business intelligence operations on forward looking data sets to arrive at the following conclusions.
2013 is the year business adoption of social media starts in earnest. For many years, technology and innovation have far outpaced business adoption. As niche players grew into success over the last 2 years, big business interest in the revenue of thos spaces grew as well. 2012 was a year of many notable social acquisitions by big firms. Facebook bought Instagram, Microsoft bought Yammer, LinkedIn bought SlideShare, Salesforce bought BuddyMedia, Google bought Wildfire, Oracle bought Vitrue, and IBM bought tealeaf to name a few. Undoubtedly you could name others. Such acquisitions are leading, rather than trailing, market indicators. As the big companies buy innovation, expect them to monetize their purchases by driving those social technologies deeper into their customer lists and solution stacks.
2013 is the year organizations move from infants to juveniles along the maturity spectrum. While social technologies enjoyed the limelight among marketers and consultants, the rest of the organization yawned and continued with business as usual. That meant email. Despite pockets of enlightenment, most businesses are just now dipping their toes into the ocean of social business. Like toddlers at the beach running towards then away from the surf, they are curious about what is out there and convinced that it is amazing. Yet, as the 2012 IBM Tech Trend Report demonstrates, they are cautious and fearful as well. Combine a maturing business user with available technology and 2012 – the year of introduction – completed and the stage is set for businesses to do some growing up.
2013 is the year big data meets big social content and has a social intelligence baby. The match has already been made. The sheer power of distributed compute systems like Hadoop when brought to bear on the sheer magnitude of social data produce amazing insights. But outside of some basic ERP optimization or network bandwidth allocation, most businesses have largely been left scratching their heads with what to do with all this new information. Big data has yet to regularly produce actionable insight from all that information. 2013 is the year that unstructured content is brought into the mix. The combination will produce a small but promising technology trend – social intelligence. It will undoubtedly be named something else. And what we mean by “social intelligence” is not the best time to post your tweets. Rather it is the synthesis of big data intelligence, social CRM, CXM, enterprise knowledge and unstructured data that produces the contextual lens through which business decisions are made. The burgeoning cloud backup market is getting a handle on all the unstructured content in the business. As they add indexing, search and sharing to their offerings – as pioneers such as Digitiliti have already done – the availability of enterprise knowledge will become independent from the snags and barriers known today as “check in pages”. As APIs and integrations become productized the combination of these centralized knowledgebases with big data warehouses will be tapped by enterprising reporting engines and genius data scientists. There will be many small niche players in this area in 2013. But those will be snapped up in 2014 and we’ll see a growth in maturity in social intelligence – or whatever it is called – in 2015.
In closing, the image above is a word cloud that highlights terms from forward looking technology queries posed by journalists looking for help writing their stories. It covers December, 2012 and more than 7600 words. If the news is to be believed, 2013 will be a year where business has a deep need for expertise, data, security, people who can execute (make) and information is at the heart of it all. There is also a proliferation of smaller topics that form a milieu rather than remain on the periphery. Taken all together, 2013 will be a year of learning to use what we have to drive insight we have always suspected was there. Cheers!
It goes without saying that mobile and other non-pc devices are fueling the most rapid increase in web content and traffic ever. But did you know just how much? A new report by Mashable and Cisco reveal the scope of this growth and it is simply massive. More people (aprox 40% of the population of Earth) will be online – connected through multiple devices (more than 5 per person in North America!)
“By 2015, there will be an average of 5.8 devices per person in North America… On average, there will be more than two Internet connections for each person on Earth, driven by the proliferation of web-enabled mobile devices.”
I wrote back in February on CMSWire that mobility trends are driving user engagement with online information. The data back up those findings but at a scope that was much bigger than previously realized. All this means that your business must have a strategy for creating, curating and orchestrating your online content, social presence and audience engagement. That’s where BloomThink can help.
The research goes on to point out that those devices are more than just smartphones and tablets (though those count strongly). It also includes e-readers and internet-enabled television sets that include their own app-store like capabilities. Wondering what to watch tonight? Simply browse to your INVENI app on your TV and get the latest targeted recommendations from your network. These trends point to exciting times for us.