Trend: Software as a service, AJAX, and time-shifting will alter the technology and media landscape.
International Data Corp. predicts 2006 to be a year of dynamic change in technology, fueled mainly by broadband communications and Internet advancements.
The research firm sees big opportunities for tech firms next year. New advances will also bring big risks. Companies will have to adapt quickly if they don't want to lose ground, IDC says.
"The major new ingredient for 2006 is the acceleration we will see toward disruptive new business models," said Frank Gens, IDC research vice president. "These disruptive shifts will force most tech vendors to perform a gut check as they enter the year."
Tying Everything Together
This ongoing shift to services will be one of the big disruptions next year, Gens says. Technology is now more about the distribution of data — manipulating information in the form of numbers, words, pictures, video or voice.
Google, more than anything else, is a database management firm. Everything it offers up is provided by other people or companies. In just seven years, it has grown to a company with a market capitalization of $83 billion.
EBay, (EBAY) which also doesn't sell any products directly, is another example of this shift. In eight years, it's reached a market value of $63 billion.
Open innovation will be a big trend in 2006, Gens says. To stay on the cutting edge of technology, tech firms must reach out and embrace ideas developed by people outside their company. "Vendors that insist on going it alone won't be able to keep up," he said.
One example: the mapping services offered by Google and its rival Yahoo. (YHOO) Neither company created or owns the mapping technology it offers to users. Each uses the mapping services of Navteq. (NVT)
These disruptions aren't just impacting the tech industry. Media companies also are caught up in the changes. TiVo and other digital video recorders make it easier for viewers to watch television whenever they want — so-called time shifting. And new cellular services are bringing TV to mobile devices.