Here's a quick rundown of my take on key trends. Trends are different from fads since they're longer-lasting and more pervasive. I don't have a crystal ball or a magic 8-ball, but I have 20/20 hindsight with the customers I work with and an eye for patterns. Last year, I saw more virtualization, more agile/scrum adoption, and more distributed collaboration, as well as adoption of more social software practices in the Enterprise.
Here's a quick list of trends I'm paying attention to (some more pervasive than others) ...
- More information overload. More ways to get lost, more ways to find what you need, more info at your finger-tips.
- More focus on authority sites and authorities. Cut your info overload, by looking to people and sites you trust.
- More focus on accuracy, relevancy, and timeliness. A must for social software.
- More personalization / customization. One idea behind Guidance Explorer was to focus on personalization and customization.
- More slicing and dicing of information. Tree-views, tag-clouds, Mind Maps, visuals. My tags, your tags, everybody's tags.
- More engaging and conversational marketing over interrupt marketing. In-context, relevant, value add, and personal.
- More focus on user experience. With too many choices, user experience wins. The apps that make you feel good, make you personally effective and connect with others win.
- More globalization of software development. Any time, any place, anywhere, crowd sourcing, outsourcing, virtualization.
- More social software in the Enterprise. Wikis, blogs, ...etc. More online consumer experience slides over to the Enterprise.
- More Lean, Agile, and Scrum.
- More virtualization. Virtual worlds, virtualized workspaces, Virtualized labs, virtualized hosting, virtualized workshops.
- More distributed teams and remote collaboration.
- More consolidation.
- More specialization. When a market saturates, specialization happens. Lots more choices. Specialized devices and apps.
- More Visual Studio Team System. This is The year for VSTS. With The Team Foundation Server Guide available and a new version of VSTS ... it's the year.
- More Agile Security and Performance. I can help here. Most of the customers we worked with had flavors of agile practices, so we designed our techniques to be adaptable. For proven practices for security, see Security Engineering Explained.
- More focus on personal development. Maybe you get what you focus on, but I see a trend here.
- More principles, patterns, and practices.
Key Links for Predictions and Trends for 2008
Here's a few links I found useful:
- Software Development Predictions for 2008
- Predictions for 2008 (dailywireless.org)
- Predictions 2008 by John Battelle
- Make 2008 Your Year of Trend Watching
- New Media Predictions 2008: What Online Independent Publishers Should Expect From The Future - Part 1
- New Media Predictions 2008: What Online Independent Publishers Should Expect From The Future - Part 2
- 8 Important Consumer Trends for 2008
One quick tip for your trend studies -- knowing demographics helps and consumer trends tend to lead other markets so they're a good place to look. It also helps to understand the Four Stages of Market Maturity to help rationalize why you see what you see. The real value of trend watching though is anticipating and taking action, even if it just means being prepared versus surprised.