Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top Technology Predictions (that affect us all) for 2013

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Here they are: My predictions for 2013
If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you know I am not opposed to expressing my opinion. My opinion is usually based on early signs that something is going right or wrong for the subject, but I do not take these things lightly. I truly believe what I am about to predict is going to happen. Feel free to express your own thoughts as they relate to these recruitment and technology predictions for 2013:

1.      Apple will begin its decline.
It’s been a good run at the top. But since the innovator and product marketing genius has left us in the form of one Steve Jobs, I see troubled waters ahead for this giant of the computing/device world. As Jobs’ pipeline starts to be reduced, the iPhone is no longer the revolutionary product it once was and Windows Phone 8, while no one is buying it, gets great overall reviews and Microsoft will stay with it. It is only a matter of time, I am afraid, that the Apple is reduced to but a core of its former self.

2.      ‘Bye. Bye.’ BestBuy
As with other big box stores that failed to remain relevant, I feel that BestBuy will shutter most of its large stores. The proof is in the pudding. When an electronic giant attempts to remain relevant by offering home goods such as mattresses and loveseats in its own stores rather than expanding into the home goods stores, I am pretty sure things are not going according to plan. I think the chain will keep the kiosks going and Geek Squad will become more independent of the stores.  Unfortunately and ultimately, in the end, they will go the route of Circuit City.

3.      Microsoft Resurgence
I know this is related to number one, but it is worthy to address again. Microsoft Surface and Phone will gain market share. Bing will not. (Google is doing it’s magic to make SEO challenging, yet even more intuitive for users and purveyors of goods and services online.) While the best product doesn’t always win, especially when the best product is from a smaller company; in search, smart phones, and tablets; it’s a battle of the titans, and I believe the best product will win.  There is simply nothing better than Google for search. However, Windows Phone and tablets with their tight integration into social networks and Microsoft office, along with PC integration, will do well.  After all, it took Xbox a while but, it attained heights that no one ever thought possible; leaving PlayStation and Nintendo to catch up.

4.      Requiem for RIM
This is a ‘gimme.’ Blackberry and RIM will die. They will likely be acquired for patents and the talent within. You just can’t come up with innovations like this and it be all for nothing. It’s a sad story of just how harsh business can be: A great idea thought up by some forward thinking entrepreneurs; only to be reverse engineered and squashed, without the time or resources to fight the battle.

5.      Job Boards Head ‘South’
Job boards will begin their decline; only they will hide it well. I’ve talked about how Monster was going to die. It is a former shell of itself. Even the great CareerBuilder, with incredibly valuable data may have seen its final curtain call.  They will use their partnerships with Facebook and the like to inflate numbers of browsers, but companies will be using less job boards as employee referrals, social media, and old fashioned relationships take hold as the primary way to hire. The market is turning from employer driven to candidate driven (more passive candidates) and with it so to will go the relevance of job boards.

6.      Contingent Workforce Growth
As has been the trend in the IT industry and IT staffing, overall, I feel 1099 usage will decline and contingent labor through agencies will increase.  With crackdowns on 1099 contractors, it’s not worth the risk for many small businesses anymore.  Also with the unemployment rates being on the decline, people are becoming are harder commodity to find; skilled people; and they will want flexibility and security.  For the most part that is not synonymous with 1099’s. (Although, with healthcare being a major issue, it could be that more companies go with contract labor but, if they do, the price will rise as fast as the premiums.)

So there you have it: My predictions for 2013. I’ve been wrong before; but keep an eye out for news regarding all of these topics, and those we’ve touched upon in 2012, in the coming year. I wish the best to you and yours this season.

Josh Kaplan writes on various subjects including management, information technology breakthroughs, healthcare IT recruitment and innovations, big data, IT staffing and recruitment, and technical news and trends.