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5 Unstoppable Technology Trends

        posted by , May 29, 2011

Technology trends change like fashion — but these 5 technology trends have been in place since humans first invented the wheel.

1. Commoditization

New technology initially commands a high price. However, with time competition heats up. Tech companies need to constantly innovate if they want to maintain high prices. Eventually, consumers may loose interest in the innovation and prices drop.

Consider one of the most popular technologies of the twentieth century: the VCR.

tech trends

2. Layers

Technology gets more and more layered all the time. Consider solution architecture — applications used to look like this:

legacy application

Now they look more like this:

mashup architecture

3. Integration of Humans and Technology

Could you survive without technology?

For thousands of years humans have incorporated technology into survival strategies. Increasingly technology is intertwined with our productivity, entertainment, social lives — even our biology.

4. Job Specialization

In the 1940s AT&T alone had over 350,000 telephone operators engaged in manually connecting calls. This job has now been almost completely replaced with systems — architects, project managers, SMEs, database analysts, programmers, QA staff, infrastructure engineers etc....

Technology replaces low skilled jobs with high skilled jobs — driving job specialization. Technology jobs themselves are often replaced with systems — developed and supported by more specialized technicians.

5. Convergence

Convergence is the tendency for different technologies to evolve towards performing similar tasks.

Example: When the Magnavox Odyssey (the world's first video game console) was released in 1972 it had two games: pong and hockey. In 1972, Telecom companies never imagined a video game console would ever interfere with their business. However, by 2004 video game consoles were put into direct competition with phone services when Microsoft XBOX Live introduced VOIP services.

Today, software companies such as Microsoft, Google and Facebook represent a real threat to the telecom business.

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