Gartner has made top predictions for the next 5 years. As expected cloud is going to become mainstream and usage of mobile devices is on the rise. The quantification of these is something which Gartner can provide. There are other trends also mentioned. Some interesting ones for me are:
Reduction in investment on "social" endeavors (apps/sites) is expected. With so many new networks coming up, which also includes big players (Google+ and Microsoft Socl) as well as enterprise players (SalesForce chatter etc.) and feature set getting more common (lot of people think that the latest twitter changes make it look like facebook!) this is expected. These developments indicate that the consolidation of the market is imminent. Hence unless a new player in the market brings something very different to the table, something which brings in a different dimension of interaction and help the consumer (may be to get work done etc.), there is hardly any chance of that player getting any investment.
Mobile application development will rise significantly as per Gartner. This I think is very evident. I personally think there are going to be lot of mobile applications which use cloud based services to help consumers do different things (we see this a lot more of this now it self). Gartner's prediction though is much more specific where they say that the mobile applications development will outpace desktop application development 4 to 1. That number is the crucial part.
As cloud adoption increases, the security requirements on the cloud will become more and more important. Gartner predicts this is going to be super important to enterprises and there might be a rise of cloud security brokers who will independently assess cloud provider's security.
Asia's current status as outsourcing destination for manufacturing of finished goods and assembly line goods (I think that this refers mainly to China) is expected to change to some extent. Does this mean that Asia's growth is going to get affected? May not be given that the local growth will itself lead to local consumption of these goods. But it something which I can't predict now.
Security risks increase is predicted. With recent news on so many hacker incidents this is another thing which you expect. The actual values again are something which may not be obvious to people like us. The specific thing that Gartner mentions is the financial impact will rise i.e. more and more attacks would try to be finance-driven than just hacking for fun/social cause etc. That is much more worrying to me and folks like us.
Another interesting prediction is that lot of the big organizations won't be able to use big data analytics properly for their growth. I somehow felt this is expected at least in the near term, given that this is a relatively new field. The technology is still evolving, the business is figuring out how it can use this huge amount of data. So things are in a flux. And also lot of people are trying to get into this band-wagon. So they will do things which they don't understand fully. Gartner predicts that this will be case till 2015. I am reminded of SOA and its movement and trending in the industry in this context. Seems like there are parallels, but we will have to wait and watch.