In the business arena social media will continue to enable the agile enterprise. Social media provides businesses with the ability to build relationships. This will continue, with many organisations using social media to assist in the area of new product development – crowdsourcing new features as with recent examples by Dell, Asus, and Pepsi.
Businesses need to take the time to understand how technology can benefit their organisation and to partner with genuine experts rather than seeking out generalist agencies that often do not have a broad understand of the technology milieu. 2009 will see business continue to blur the distinction between online and offline marketing as they focus more on customer segmentation, saliency and laser focused delivery.
There has been no significant improvement in how we interact with devices since the mouse or touch screen. Over the next few years we will see a move away from textual interfaces and towards newer kinds of interfaces, such as Microsoft Surface. We could see the replacement of the traditional keyboard and mouse to innovative designs that allow for greater freedom and flexibility.
A key enabler of this innovation includes increased use of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), which offer cross platform interoperability across PC, TV and mobile devices. This includes traditional AJAX approaches to development, but also increasingly use of products like Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, and Sun JavaFX. The focus will be on increased ease of use and cross platform operability. An important challenge that will need to be addressed is data portability, and several industry initiatives are already under way.
Social media does have a future, and it is moving us towards shared experiences online via many different devices. It is going to change the way we watch television or shop. We live in a connected society now and we are moving towards a hyperconnected society enabled by social computing.