Analysts from Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com), kicking off the company's Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2001, which is running in Florida this week, announced what they suspect will be the four key emerging technology trends for the next decade.
Here they are:
Customer Self Service
By 2005, more than 70 percent of customer service interaction for information and remote transactions will be automated, according to Gartner.
"A range of technologies are improving customers' ability to complete increasingly complex informational and service-based transactions without the need for human assistance," said Jackie Fenn, vice president and research fellow for Gartner. "The nontechnology factors driving this increased automation include strong return on investment, better customer reach and improved service quality. This will ultimately result in increased competitiveness, and in savings that can be passed on to the customer."
By packaging business processes as software components, Gartner feels Web services will drive much of the still-to-be-developed e-business landscape.
"Web services will facilitate much faster software development and integration. They will also enable businesses to become more agile, and help them focus on their core competencies while outsourcing other functions," said Alexander Linden, research director for Gartner. "Companies should enter the learning curve on Web services capabilities now, but because this technology is not yet mature or a proven success, they should not create mission-critical Web services projects until a clear case for revenue-generation opportunities can be made. Web Services are likely the hottest trend of 2001 and 2002, and are probably still an underestimated technology."
By 2007, Gartner says more than 60 percent of the U.S. population aged 15 to 50 will carry or wear a wireless computing and communications device at least six hours a day.
"Widespread adoption of wireless, wearable computing will provide constantly connected employees and consumers with access to communities, information and other services as they go about their business in the real world," said Fenn. "The prevalence of 'wearables' will lead to commerce and service opportunities as significant as those resulting from the wired Web."
Tagging the World
By 2008, at least $90 billion worth of business-to-consumer (B2C) purchase decisions -- and $350 billion worth of business-to-business (B2B) purchase decisions -- will be based on tags containing information and opinions about purchasable items.
"The flood of information, products and services available to today's consumers and businesses is spurring a focus on organizing and labeling choices in a way that supports a person's ability to find, prioritize and select items," said Linden. "The tagging industry will modify consumer buying behavior and drive new industries focused on advisory and market research services."