A few technology megatrends:

1. The cloud. Transition from a PC-centric world to a mobile/cloud-centric world. Microsoft is the new IBM. Google is the new Microsoft. Apple is the new Apple – innovative, iconoclastic, beloved by early adopters, but not necessarily the mass market solution because they are expensive, closed, loathed by carriers/OEMs. But smartphones are still a niche market, when everyone needs a smartphone, and they have a choice of an almost free Android vs. an iPhone, I wouldn’t bet on the iPhone, especially internationally.

Subtrends

– infrastructure as a service (go to Amazon or Rackspace and order 100 virtual servers in their data center in a public or private cloud for you to set up and administer as you wish)

– platform as a service ; get a full stack for a Web application, Linux, Apache, Mysql or a NoSQL database, PHP or Ruby on Rails, roll out 100 web servers with your application

– software as a service – buy an application delivered over the Web, like Salesforce.com, or Google Office

– anything as a service

– migrate anything to mobile (social, location-based) devices and apps

– 4G networks

2. Social knowledge / Digital culture. All knowledge is becoming universally available, interactive, and social. When I was a kid, a book was a treasure… now you go on your iPad or Kindle and every book you could want is at your fingertips. The medium is the message, and knowledge is now collaborative, everything is a conversation. You comment in the online PHP manual and it is updated, or you comment on a news story, your comment is upvoted, and the author revises with a correction or clarification. All information is social, shared and discussed via Facebook and Twitter, and social news aggregators like Reddit. The mobile/cloud might be the more tangible and investable transition, but digital culture is pretty earth-shattering, really a second Gutenberg revolution.

– social apps; location-based apps

– decline of traditional media, rise of blogs, news aggregators

3. The Internet of objects.. Everything online, tracked, and controlled over the Internet. Google just paid a ton of money for a flight tracking company. Package tracking is mainstream, ADT advertises that they let you see and control your home over the Internet. 1m mainframes -> 10m minicomputers -> few hundred million PCs -> few billion mobile phones -> 10s of billions of devices. Still very early.

– RFID, mobile phone readable bar codes

– IPv6

4. Privacy/security. As everything goes digital, we have to reinvent privacy and security technologies and social conventions. I loathe Facebook because they act completely oblivious to the privacy implications of their actions, every day they make public information that harms their users, and they take the miraculously open and anonymous Internet, and turn it into a private platform where everyone is tracked, and your personal information is turned into their private property. The law and technology will need to evolve, unlike the early days of the Internet the security and political complex is not going to be behind the curve, and the trends don’t look good.

– Facebook

– Google/China

– Integrating security in hardware – Intel/McAfee

Sub trends that fit into multiple/all categories

– Big data – making sense of the ridiculous large amounts of ‘data exhaust’ of all our daily activities

– Database marketing, online marketing

Further reading/mostly stolen from:

Ray Ozzie’s outgoing Halloween Memo

Discussion by Don Dodge of Google

McKinsey’s top trends.