5 Big Tech Predictions for 2012http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/12/17/5-big-tech-predictions-for-2012.aspx Alex Planes
December 17, 2011
With 2011 nearly in the rearview mirror, it seems like a good time to peer into next year's cloudy crystal ball. The technology of 2012 is likely to look fairly similar to what's popular now, but with several notable improvements. There are a number of companies poised to ride a wave of big data to big gains, including several lesser-known players driving this revolution from the inside.
The Internet is (almost) everywhere
A number of appliances now come with an Internet connection as part of their functionality, and city planning has taken on an increasingly digital tint. While we're not yet at the point where pervasive connectivity follows everyone beyond their cell phones, 2012 should be a major tipping point past which a cell phone and tablet alone no longer cut it. The companies that supply the processing and connectivity hardware should see major growth in this area as traditional computing growth tapers off.
Targeted social advertising booms at the expense of privacy
Constant connectivity combined with consumers' willing acceptance of tracking offers major opportunities for companies that have the most options for keeping tabs. Google is embedded in so much of its users' lives that it seems optimally poised to control this increasingly precise flow of information. Its greatest threat comes from Facebook, which could be valued at $100 billion when it goes public next year, but Amazon.com, Microsoft, and Apple also have access to extremely specific user data.
Data analytics becomes pervasive
Analytics will be necessary to understand the data flowing out of an ever more connected populace. While some companies now succeed by telling people what they want (think Apple), the majority of future business successes should be highly data-driven, with a deeply statistical and highly granular understanding of their target market