Sure, people trust Google to come out with cool technology. But do they trust Google with their data and their privacy? Many don’t. Worse, many fear what Google does or could do with the data it aggregates.
I’ll let Google itself tell the story. If you do a Google search on “Google” and “big brother” you’ll get a whopping 58.9 million hits. Doing the same for “Microsoft” and “big brother” yields only 7.1 million. Even more surprising, a search on “government” and “big brother” results in just 13.4 million hits. Using search results as a rough proxy: people are more than 4 times more concerned that Google, rather than the government, is amassing too much information about us.
I see a lot of parallels between Google today and Microsoft circa 1999. What security was to Microsoft (but to Microsoft’s credit, isn’t any longer), privacy is to Google: a looming threat of customer dissatisfaction that could result in a mass migration of users and their eyeballs away from Google’s applications and search engine. And the friction for such a diaspora from Google’s web-based services and add-on applications is far lower than from Microsoft’s Windows or Office.
The big story in 2008 was the near melt-down of the Financial sector, and the wider economic recession that followed has been the tale of 2009. As a company we have been tracking the impact of the recession on the ICT sector (Information and Communications Technology) through a series of articles over the past 15 months, but what about the recovery. Will the recovery be the story of 2010?
Before we can consider this question, it is important ensure there is no misunderstanding on the recession. The communications sector has undoubtedly been hit by the economic downturn, but this cannot be compared to the crash experienced by the auto manufacturing, airline, construction, and retailing sectors to name a few. For communications the recession has been relatively mild, as the figures posted by major telcos have showed.For example, in Q3 2009 (July to Sept) Telefonica posted revenues down 5.7% yoy (year on year), and AT&T income was down 1.6% yoy. So the bounce back for the sector is, relative to others, quite small.
Everyone seems to understand that social computing is a hot technology these days, and at Forrester we get plenty of questions from companies trying to understand how they can access the power and benefits of social computing into their own companies.
But before companies consider which technology platforms they should use, they should be carefully considering for what business purpose they need social computing tools. In my view, technology is a powerful lever in solving business problems, but it is not a solution in itself. For example, I know a lot of people who spend a lot of time on Facebook, but I can’t see much business value in it (unless looking up former high school classmates counts as business development). The same is true for far too many (but not all) of the social technology tools hitting the market today. <
This is where innovation management tools come in. While many community platforms are great at providing technology for internal collaboration, the best innovation management companies are taking the power of technology one step further - they are using social technologies, to help companies generate a response to specific business problems.
At Cisco’s Collaboration Conference wrapping up in San Francisco today, Cisco doubled down on their bet on collaboration. Since acquiring WebEX in 2007, Cisco has not been shy in acquiring companies to rapidly fill out their Unified Communications and Collaboration Portfolio – 3 of the 4 acquisitions announced in the last month are directly beneficial to their collaboration portfolio – Starent enhances mobility, ScanSafe enhances security, and Tandberg enhances open video capabilities. Cisco has also tasked their development teams with improving and delivering new products enabling them to deliver a dizzying 61 distinct new products and product upgrades. A year after publicly proclaiming their intent to compete aggressively in the collaboration market, Cisco is leveraging their agility and speed to deliver a cacophony of capabilities to the market.
Cisco’s Collaboration Portfolio is keeping up with the Jones... and the Smiths and the Johnsons