The Hottest Trends And The Toughest Setbacks In The Galaxy Of Technology

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The Great American Group puts out some of the best trend reports on the planet. Their Technology Monitor is, by that virtue, extremely valuable, and chock full of insight into how the tech sector has fared in 2011 and what’s on the horizon in 2012.

I wanted to take a little time to break down some of the more salient points in the newsletter, in case they’re helpful to your business. Without further ado, let’s jump in.

The State Of Technology

As GAG notes (great acronym!), the third quarter wasn’t necessarily a kind one to the industry, thanks to freak weather and an economy that continues to grow glacially:

The technology industry’s performance was mixed in the third quarter of 2011, with the best performers continuing to be relatively new, innovative devices such as tablet computers (“tablets”) and smartphones.

The technology industry experienced a major setback in recent months, however, due to the Thailand flooding that began in July 2011 and continued for months. Thailand is a major producer of the world’s hard drives and the disaster could have an impact on prices and supplies for computers and other technology products as a result.

Fortunately, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Cell phones in general and smartphones specifically are poised to finish the year with enormous growth, with the estimate for smartphones clocking in around 40-50 percent over a year ago. Setbacks or no setbacks, it’s the industry leading the charge for the technology sector as a whole.

In the year ahead, things look pretty bright, too:

A number of innovative new technologies have the potential to spur growth in the technology industry, including cloud computing, which allows companies to access programs and data via remote servers and thus save hardware and storage costs; 4G wireless technology, which enables cell phone and computer users to transmit and access data at very high speeds; solid-state drive computer technology, which features faster load times and durability; and 3D television sets.

In a big picture sense, 2012 looks like a great year to be in technology, particularly in computing and mobile. It also sounds like a great year to get technology, if you’re so inclined. Unfortunately, significant setbacks in the mold of the Thailand flooding could derail what has been to this point a fragile sort of recovery for technology. If things go reasonably well and the economy stays on track, all should be well.

The Trends

Let’s go through the hail of bullets here. I’ll share a thought or two on each potential growth trend and then open it up to you for reaction. Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the Monitor today to get the full report.

  • Cloud computing. We’ve been talking about the cloud for a while now. It’s a technology that can help you save on overhead and space at your company and it’s becoming exponentially more popular as time goes on. My prediction is that cloud computing will continue its rapid growth and move toward becoming the new standard for businesses of all stripes. It still has to gain traction, though.
  • 4G wireless. This is a no-brainer. If you’re someone with a smart phone, you know that the wireless data network’s speed is a huge deal. Given that 4G is blazing fast by our modern standards, it’s inevitably going to be popular with anybody who uses the service. Given the the number of smartphones in use seems to grow by leaps and bounds every year, this is likely to be another banner year for 4G.
  • 3D television sets. I’m actually most skeptical about this. 3D feels like a fad to me—the 3D revolution was supposed to land in the 80’s, then the 90’s, then the early 2000’s and never did—and the technology is wildly expensive at the moment. But with 3D films catching on, perhaps there’s something to this. I do not expect the same level of growth here.

So what say you? What are you seeing in the world of technology today?

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