Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 Consumer Smarter Tech Trends That Will Have a Big Effect on Business in 2010 - Technology For Change

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10 Consumer Smarter Tech Trends That Will Have a Big Effect on Business in 2010 By: Eric Lundquist  |  2009-12-14  |  Share This Article

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There are 10 consumer trends—ranging from app stores and location-based apps to social networks and multiplayer games—that your IT department will need to adapt to next year.

Consumer technology has been driving enterprise computing the last several years. From netbooks and desktop virtualization to the iPhone and Google Android and beyond, 2010 looks like another year where consumers and consumer technology will continue to reshape the way employees in the enterprise get their work done.

Is your IT department ready for the continued growth of this macrotrend? Below are the 10 consumer technology trends your IT department will need to adapt to next year.

1. The Last Season of the Office? Not exactly, but the mobile worker is becoming the norm. The economic downturn (and upturn?) has accelerated work at home. It's a big challenge for businesses to meld technology and business structure to get the best use of a mobilized work force.

2. BYOC. Bring your own computer will bring a big change to how companies supply technology to their work force. How to reimburse, maintain corporately secure applications and re-evaluate the help desk will all become hot issues as workers want to use laptops that are corporate-tough but customer-styled.

3. The App Store. In the past, companies in their wisdom decided on which applications were required to do their business and then went about developing and deploying those apps. What if that reasoning is totally wrong? Why shouldn't employees pick the apps they want powered by the data your company supplies? That would be a mighty big change in the way companies run their software operations.

4. Mobilized Locals. How do you view your business? Location-based applications are the big new thing in consumer applications, but they really haven't made much headway in the business world. But wouldn't you like to know how many of your CRM-based prospects are currently nearby for a quick call? Making that happen would change the sales business.

5. Online Credit and Banking. One of the great obstacles to the rapid flow of business are finance operations that require lengthy credit approvals and cumbersome (and in many cases still paper-based) approval processes. But you can buy an app on demand, and social lending businesses are loaning money to third-world entrepreneurs and achieving enviable repayment rates. Make a sale, get paid and move on would be the hallmarks of B3B finance change.

6. The Social Nets. I didn't want to lead off with this because I get weary of too many pundits pushing Twitter as the service that will change the world. Social nets in the business world can act as an accelerator to the business cycle, but not too many of those pundits have figured out how and when to push the accelerator pedal.

7. Knowing (a Lot) About Your Friends. Facebook, Twitter and social network sites allow users to reveal a lot more about themselves than they realize. In the business world, the ability to identify and monetize the lead management process still remains woefully outdated.  Finding, nurturing and capitalizing on lead management needs to catch up with the consumer world.

8. The Energy Show. Neighbors can now compare their energy usage versus the guy next door via their energy bills. Can companies do that? No, not at all. If you want to make energy consumption a winning race, you need to get everyone on the same racetrack.

9. The Energy Menu. Increasingly, consumers will be able to pick their energy supplies from a menu of suppliers ranging from their own rooftop solar cells to off-peak utility pricing. Businesses that really want to go green will need to show not only that they are conserving their energy use, but that they are getting their power from the "greenest" sources.

10. "World of Warcraft," "Call of Duty" and All Those Other Multiplayer Games. Do you doubt cloud computing? How about a cloud that allows millions of players to interact in a media-rich landscape and pay for their activity? Right, the online game companies are paving the way in the development of cloud-based computing capabilities.

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