My second prediction is that big data will mature. This buzz word for analytics of large systems will need to be addressed by configuration managers. In this context, large systems are cities, countries, corporations, financial markets, or consumer markets. Any group that is so large and complex that its data cannot be analyzed by regular database tools or applications is becoming known as big data. Big data analytics look to detect business trends and risks such as “bubbles,” in which analysts can determine disease patterns, the subtleties of criminal activity, and more. Everyday we use some of the tools that will make the analytics of big data easier. These tools are search engines and social media platforms.
Some big companies’ databases house an enormous repository that is preconfigured for analysis. In 2013, we will hear and see the big IT firms like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and HP, offering big data analysis solutions. This will lay the ground work for medium and small IT firms to also offer big data solutions.
My third prediction is that Apple’s sharp growth will begin to flatten out and will continue to decelerate in 2013. Notice I said decelerate, not decline—that’s a big difference. This is not to say that Apple will not continue to grow. However, Apple’s growth will become more in line with its competitors. The reason for Apple’s deceleration is less related to the loss of Steve Jobs and more related to the increased number of suppliers of equal or better quality products in the market. Some wonder if Apple may be overtaken as a top innovator. We saw the iPhone 5 late in 2012, and in my opinion, there was not much new. The availability of the wireless technology LTE and its larger screen was the best it offered.
Since about mid-2007, the best phone on the market was the iPhone, which no competitor came close to matching. We do not think of it today, and we may even forget, but the iPhone was revolutionary in use and its ability to extend itself with “apps.” It was a great five-year run. However, the last few years saw the arrival of the Android operating system, improved hardware devices, and Apple competitors, such as Samsung, that are taking market share away from Apple.
We have also seen some examples of Apple “dropping the ball.” Apple changed its relationship with Google, and then removed Google Maps and YouTube from its base iOS 6 operating system. The company then released an inferior maps product with iOS 6 that resulted in an apology from Apple to its customers. This and other factors will all combine and result in Apple’s growth flattening out, and may also contribute to more missteps in 2013.
My fourth prediction is that Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other similar firms will learn more about us, not only by analyzing searches, but also by mining data from smart phone apps and other subtle sources. Google, Bing, Yahoo will not market big data solutions, but they have been and are analyzing the data. Search engines now have enough data on and about us that they can now predict our behavior. In 2013 we will begin to see the results of this data analysis. We will see better, more accurate IntelliSense text coming from popular search engines in the next year. This will lead the way for Google, Bing, and Yahoo to one day appear to read our minds.