Gartner Consultants have identified the ten top tech trends for 2008. Here are four of them which when joined together perhaps points the way for mobile computing and communication. (my comments are in brackets)
Metadata Management. Through 2010, organizations implementing both customer data integration and product integration and product information management will link these master data management initiatives as part of an overall enterprise information management (EIM) strategy. Metadata management is a critical part of a company’s information infrastructure. It enables optimization, abstraction and semantic reconciliation of metadata to support reuse, consistency, integrity and shareability. Metadata management also extends into SOA projects with service registries and application development repositories. Metadata also plays a role in operations management with CMDB initiatives.
(Think about tags on Flikr and combine that with purchase records from Amazon and the history of search queries that builds up as you use Google. Is this the way that computers will learn about people? Can a users metadata history be transferred from one source to another? )
Mashup & Composite Apps. By 2010, Web mashups will be the dominant model (80 percent) for the creation of composite enterprise applications. Mashup technologies will evolve significantly over the next five years, and application leaders must take this evolution into account when evaluating the impact of mashups and in formulating an enterprise mashup strategy.
(This is particularly the case in the world of mobile applications. Most apps require services that are provided from online (often open source) locations. It’s a very interdependent model of the web.)
Real World Web. The term “real world Web” is informal, referring to places where information from the Web is applied to the particular location, activity or context in the real world. It is intended to augment the reality that a user faces, not to replace it as in virtual worlds. It is used in real-time based on the real world situation, not prepared in advance for consumption at specific times or researched after the events have occurred. For example in navigation, a printed list of directions from the Web do not react to changes, but a GPS navigation unit provides real-time directions that react to events and movements; the latter case is akin to the real-world Web of augmented reality. Now is the time to seek out new applications, new revenue streams and improvements to business process that can come from augmenting the world at the right time, place or situation.
(Positional context driven apps have for a long time been discussed, but have never really been deployed – there are important ethical issues realting to right to privacy etc. If those problems could be squared away mobile computing will become an extremely powerful concept
At a simple level this could be a watch that tells the right time no matter what time zone you are in. But a more useful app would enable the mobile search query “when is the bus due” to give you the right answer based on detection location mashed up with a record of the nearby bus stop.)
Social Software. Through 2010, the enterprise Web 2.0 product environment will experience considerable flux with continued product innovation and new entrants, including start-ups, large vendors and traditional collaboration vendors. Expect significant consolidation as competitors strive to deliver robust Web 2.0 offerings to the enterprise. Nevertheless social software technologies will increasingly be brought into the enterprise to augment traditional collaboration.
(I think this has already happened.)