2011: IT's year of consolidation

Many of 2011's themes in IT were remarkably similar to those of 2010. It was a year of consolidation rather than breakthrough.

Many of 2011's themes in IT were remarkably similar to those of 2010. It was a year of consolidation rather than breakthrough.

Last year, the Patch Monday podcast's end-of-year wrap noted that the National Broadband Network (NBN) and Wikileaks featured in frequent news stories, Facebook dominated social media, the iPad was the cool device, everybody was talking cloud, and bricks-and-mortar retailers complained that the internet is ruining their business.

On this week's episode, the final for 2011, we note that all of these issues are still with us, but with subtle variations.

The NBN is facing much the same political arguments, but at least the mainland trial sites started coming online and retail pricing was announced. Google+ joined the social network market. Gamification became the fashionable buzzword rather than crowdsourcing.

There are some new themes, though, including social influence measurement services such as Klout and Kred.

Discussing the technology themes for 2011 — apart from information security issues, which we covered last week — are:

  • Paul Wallbank, broadcaster, columnist and author of seven books, the latest being eBusiness, Seven Steps To Online Success
  • Jeff Waugh (@jdub on Twitter), open-source developer, strategist and advocate

Looking ahead to 2012, Wallbank predicted that Nokia would cease to exist in the way we've known it. It'll either go broke or be bought by Microsoft or a similar player.

Waugh was reluctant to make a prediction. Instead, he suggested that despite increased online surveillance our world is less the Big-Brother future from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and more the endless distraction of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, as described in Stuart McMillen's cartoon Amusing ourselves to death.

Patch Monday also includes my usual look at some of last week's news headlines.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian or phone (02) 8011 3733.

The next episode of Patch Monday will be on Monday, 9 January 2012.

Running time: 38 minutes, 05 seconds

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