The Top 10 Tech Trends for 2011 (And How It Affects You)

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This picture is fitting – technology covering the eyes.  What could this signify? (Photo via Master New Media)


Socrates once said that the unexamined life is one not worth living.  What about examining the future of your life 2011?


Things keep changing fast because of changes in technology.  The impact is huge:  it affects how people socialize (social media), do business (online banking, PayPal), learn and find, do or keep their jobs.

As a shinobi job seeker you should be watching your landscape and keeping an eye on all kinds of trends which affect your future or the future of your employers.  Move as the wind moves.

Here are the top 10 trends of 2011 that will matter to everyone because of what it means for everyday living and for jobs.

  1. Jobs Will Continue to Be Off Shored (Thanks Technology!)
  2. Cloud is Going Mainstream
  3. Mobile is the New Frontier
  4. Social Media is Growing Fast
  5. People Want New Ways to Get and Manage Information
  6. Daily Printed Newspapers To Die Soon
  7. Everyone Wants To Be Their Own Editor
  8. Tablets Are an Emerging Power
  9. Information Overload
  10. Cyber Security Becoming an Issue


1.  Jobs Will Continue to Be Off Shored (Thanks Technology!)

Before getting all other trends, this is the biggest one of all.  It’s directly linked to the increasing use of technology to easily move money all over the world allowing big business and banks to shift operations if a certain “place” doesn’t provide cheap enough labour.  It’s also part of globalization and the “race for the bottom”.


Jobs that can be done by a high school student in front of a computer can be sent to countries like Mexico, India and China for a lot less.  Only jobs of a personal nature or important to national security stand a chance of avoiding off shoring (and even then technology may get rid of them in North America in the future).  This is discussed in detail in Part 2 of The Shinobi Guide to Job Search – Know Your Landscape.

And here are some of the reasons why…


2.  Cloud is Going Mainstream

Cloud computing is a really messy sounding term.  What it really means is that businesses and people will start moving more of their information online and work directly through their web browser using things like Google Docs or Zoho.  You could theoretically never have to own a computer as long as you can access the web.


More and more businesses (from small to large) and even governments are trying to save money on buying brand new shiny computers, upgrading costs and hiring IT people by renting out computer power from companies like Google or using customer relationship management (CRM) services like Salesforce (those 2 are the big names in cloud computing in my world anyway).

For example:

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced that its “moving 17,000 employees and contractors to Google Apps for Government.” GSA oversees the business of the U.S. federal government, providing real estate and building management services as well as acquisition and procurement assistance to other federal agencies.” (Via D’Technology)

Another big example of this trend is the City of Los Angeles switching to Google for email.

Bottom Line for Job Seekers:  Trend #2 relates right back to #1 – businesses are switching to cloud services to cut down IT costs.  This means you’d better be on top of these technologies if you’re going into that field or it could be tough.  You can also use cloud technology to help you organize your job search.

Of course this is already happening and soon you’ll see that…


3.  Mobile is the New Frontier

According to Gartner’s research, there’ll be 55% more new mobile cell phone gadgets that shipped by the end of 2010.  At the same time, 1,200,000,000 (1.2 billion) people will be using mobile cell phones all over the world with web access.  In addition, all those Facebook Places, FourSquare, Sparkle, Neer, Geonotes and other location check in’s through GPS will be used to send special targeting marketing right to you.  (Via Gartner and Tamar)


What does this all mean in a spiffy? It means that mobile is where all the new messaging and marketing is going.  Facebook Messages was built on the idea that teens spend more time texting on their cell phones than using email for example.  And everyone knows about Apple’s success with their AppStore – with everyone from Google to Blackberry trying to play follow the leader.


Who else is trying to follow the trend?

  • RetailOnline sales have been insane this December 2010 even with the economic hell that people keep feeling (see the figure below).  You can bet that a part of that was through selling applications like eBay Mobile.
  • Financial – Have you seen those banking “apps” that they keep advertising on the commercials?  From TD Canada Trust to Scotia Bank, they’re all trying to get you to do banking from the convenience of your smart phone.
  • Cars – One of the cars Ford or GM put out with OnStar has a mobile app that lets you check your car’s power and systems from your cell phone.
  • Health – The word on the street is that in 2011, 14% of all adult Americans are going to be using some sort of health app to manage their blood sugar or some other disease.  (Via Rediff Business)


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(Via Mashable)


Bottom Line for Job Seekers:  If you’re going into marketing, sales, retail, finance, the auto industry or even the health industry you’d look smart if you knew how to get your target company into the mobile world.  Start networking with general programmers and learning how you can use these apps to benefit your future employers.

And if you’re job seeking you should realize that…


4.  Social Media is Growing Fast

You only exist if your company, organization and even YOU have some kind of online presence.  It’s that or you’re really, really, really good at traditional networking and PR.  The very minimum to have is a Facebook profile and a LinkedIn profile.  Where are you?  Can I find you?


According to Rediff Business, social media is only going to become more important in 2011.  In fact several companies are going public like Jive while big names like Oracle, SAP and Microsoft will also be buying up social networks to somehow compete with almighty Facebook.

That might give you the illusion that social networks are getting smaller however the reality is that the numbers just keep on going up if networks like Facebook, Tencent or YouTube have anything to say.


Bottom Line for Job Seekers:  If you’re a serious shinobi start understanding that the fastest way to find the people who will hire you is often through a social network.  At the very least having a good profile will make it easier for recruiters to find you if you’ve got hot skills and accomplishments.


Which is all related to that fact that…


5.  People Want New Ways to Get and Manage Information

In 2011, you won’t be able to turn around without bumping into a device that supports apps. What started out as a perceived iPhone ‘gimmick’ will soon revolutionize the way we all perform online tasks. More and more smart phones, eReaders, TVs, Blu-ray players and other products are now utilising apps.  (Via Tamar)


The word on the street according to Tamar is that Blu-ray will actually become more popular for home entertainment and will likely replace DVDs completely in 2011 – get ready to buy new machines (groan).  At the same time, 3D television will be flat since there really isn’t that much demand for it right now.

In addition, there’s a growing popularity around television that’s hooked up to the Internet or web.

According to Rediff Business, over 50% of televisions over 40 inches will have it.  And like the cell phone market wars, the big players are Amazon, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Apple – they’re probably gunning to kill Rogers Cable (thank goodness!).

Oh and expect mobile cell phone advertising to continue to double.  Rediff states that Google will crush everyone else (they’ve got 60% of the market).


Bottom Line for Job Seeking Shinobi:  This is one trend you’re like not going to think about too much (except marketing or sales for mobile ads).  You could use mobile advertising to help you with your job search.


Which caused…


6.  Daily Printed Newspapers To Die Soon

Everyone knows the newspaper industry on paper is dying out slowly.  The only way for them to survive is by moving online in 2011.  According to Tamar, only the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal managed to get more people to buy their paper version.  So far the move online hasn’t been easy for newspapers because…


7.  Everyone Wants To Be Their Own Editor

People want their news reading “thing” to show them only what they like instantly.  And there’s no way any person knows you better than you do (unless they happen to follow all of your online web habits using computers).  I’ve tried out the latest way of reading the news you want and that’s Flipboard for iPad (there’s an iPhone version).

Flipboard pretty much works like a computer version of a magazine except it uses Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds to setup the magazine’s sections.  You can even reply to tweets on your favourite news.  Flipboard automatically finds any pictures related to the articles your reading to make it a true magazine experience.

Bottom Line for Shinobi Job Seekers:  If you’re still looking for jobs in the newspaper you’re in the Stone Ages.  You want to use things like Twitter and Flipboard and Google Reader to learn everything you can about companies you want to work for.  Stay up to date with the best and latest technology and you’ll make your job easier.


8.  Tablets Are an Emerging Power

Everyone thought the iPad was kind of a useless toy at first.  So far I’ve seen businesses and people take it up with a passion using it for things like being a sales terminal you can take anywhere to making music to planning and directing films.  Looks like Apple was right with their tea leaf reading and now they’re ahead of the pack.


According to Tamar and even if you look at all the latest news, every major company is coming out with some kind of “tablet”.  In fact, Apple is already coming out with a new and improved iPad 2 after selling over 60,000,000 (60 million) units worldwide and more.  It seems that everything is moving more and more to small (trend #3) and cloud (trend #2)

In fact, some of my latest clients know that I use my iPad to mind map, prepare for coaching sessions and to record notes during coaching sessions.  There’s definitely creative uses for the iPad even in the professional service and coaching industries – you just have to find the right apps (an upcoming ebook in the future).


Bottom Line for Shinobi Job Seekers:  If you thought the computer was the most important thing for surviving in the modern world, the tablet computer will soon be replacing it over the next few years (maybe 10).  You may want to get familiar with the technology and how it can be used to help future or potential employers for your particular industry (i.e. know the apps or build the apps).


So as you can start to tell there’s going to be a major…


9.  Information Overload

There are 3 main issues with too much information these days:

  1. You’re going to get and share information real time which changes how you do business.  
  2. Everyone’s going to rush to count and measure the success of using social media for business.  
  3. There’s now so much information that trying to keep it all will be expensive to store.

Point 1:

You may have heard about being a Crackberry addict – well getting a lot of information instantly may be good for business though it’s bad for your mind and possibly your productivity.

Point 2:

This is going to happen and if you don’t have it now, Tamar says it’ll be in your hands in 3 years.  The reality is that it’s still pretty hard to measure because sales may not tie right to your social media efforts until a lot later (when you may no longer be looking).

Point 3:

The problem is that people think computer information doesn’t take up any space.  The reality is that it does and that people are creating so much information that the amount of hard drives can’t keep up.  More data centres are being created and the energy (and money) costs will rise – companies will be desperate to find ways to save money in this area.

Bottom Line for Shinobi Job Seekers:  Avoid getting hung up on online job boards and sites.  You should be targeting a small number of companies you want to work for instead of “everyone” – it’ll make your online research easier.  And if you work in the energy or IT sector you’ll want to figure out how to cut energy costs or information overload.

Which leads to…


10.  Cyber Security Becoming an Issue

This is actually a huge issue thanks to the previous trends above like:

  • Cloud Trend #2
  • Mobile Trend #3
  • Social Media Trend #4
  • Information Overload Trend #5


Cloud Trend #2

The more information you put online the better the chance that one good security failure at the company could spill your information into the hands of a criminal.  Then again how good are you at protecting your own information on your much weaker computer system?  If you’re a business it’s possible for an attacker to cut you off from your information even if they can’t get it – even a short delay of a day could cost you in sales or business.

Mobile Trend #3

Right now mobile advertising is growing though it’s not big enough for government to notice.  As soon as it does get big enough, they’re going to have to better protect your information using encryption.  Only Blackberry offers fairly safe protection of your information.


Social Media Trend #4

The biggest problem here is that a hacker or criminal could learn your passwords (if they’re weak) by knowing about your birth dates, background and history on a social profile.  It also makes it easier for them to perhaps trick you into giving them information that they could use.  The problem for businesses is making sure they AND their employees don’t put information that could hurt the company on social networks.


Information Overload Trend #5

The issue here is that the more information you have the harder it is to safely store it all and keep it safe.  How do you manage information if it’s stored all over the world?  Or on someone else’s computer network?  Would you even know it was there?


And in most cases, as any new technology becomes popular and common, hackers and criminals will find ways to steal personal and financial information from them at some point.

Bottom Line for Shinobi Job Seekers:  Be careful about what kind of information you give to people who say they’re recruiters or employers.  Do your research.  And never put personal information online that could lead to identity theft.

Oh and the cyber and online security sector could be a hot job market in the future.  In fact I have a contact who works in Telus’ cyber security division…


So you’ve seen 10 major technology trends that will start or continue from 2010 into 2011 that could affect certain industries that you may want to work in or your job search methods.

Are there any other trends that you feel should be mentioned?  Are these the biggest or are there other trends that will have a major impact on industries and jobs?

PS. Leave your comments and suggestions below and you could see a follow up post to this one!

PPS.  If you’re looking for new ways to use technology for job searching then pre-order The Shinobi Guide to Job Search:  How to Find Your Job in 3 Powerful Ways.


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