Like my 2010’s predictions, here is my list for 2011. sorry for the delay. Three business visits to India in three months gave me less time to key this in earlier.
1. A Year of Tech IPOs: I had expected that Facebook and LinkedIn would go IPO last year. That did not happen. But definitely LinkedIn going IPO this year and followed by Facebook. After rejecting Google’s acquisition attempt, Groupon is also positioning to go IPO.
2. A Year of Merger and Acquisitions too: Big companies are sitting on a pile of cash would like to acquire small companies this year before the valuations goes up. There is a micro-bubble in in area. Just this week Huffington post got acquired by AOL at a huge premium. AOL earlier bought TechCrunch too. After digesting Sun, Oracle’s exec team now be free to look around for new acquisitions. However, Salesforce is a very priced up to get acquired by Oracle. There can be a potential in Cloud computing like VMWare / EMC. On enterprise Apps space, SAP may be an interesting acquisition target (may be HP?). There are rumors about Twitter acquisition by Google or Facebook.
3. Gadgets : Smartphones and Tablets: Both would continue their rapid ascent to new heights. The usage of smartphones would increase in the emerging markets too. Though iPhone would lead the innovation and elegance in giving rich user experience, Android already crossing iPhone with a potential of having the largest share of smartphone OS. Windows7 would have better momentum too. HP’s acquired Palm technology Pre / WebOS would pave its entry in devices. Its tablet would wait for Apps developers mindshare . Due to various mobile OS, cross devices platforms for mobile Apps development would have more momentum. On Apple side, it would continue to innovate both iPad (not only iPad 2.0 but iPad 3.0 may come out too). Tablets would eat market shares of notebooks as well as of eReaders.
4. Personalized Content: Tablets would give much-needed momentum to online digital content. With the information overload, the importance of personalized content would become a necessity..
5. Cloud Computing: Cloud computing would start becoming a reality in the enterprises with their own private clouds. May Cloud computing infrastructure startup companies would have a good momentum . After ridiculing Cloud Computing last year, Larry Ellison would share Oracle’s big push in the space.
6. Social Apps: What started as a social networking phenomenon for consumers, would become an active area of interest for enterprises. Enterprise Apps and vertical applications as well as consumer portals would pour huge investment in enabling their apps to social media. Social CRM, Social Analytics, Social commerce, and Context based computing would start becoming buzz words and in next few years this would be one of the major area of investments.