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Hot Emerging Trends - Development + Mobility + Social Media

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Category: My Life
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

This article highlights the start of my new bi-weekly series of articles on IT, business and technical view points. The contents are based on my observations and findings after working in the IT industry in Malaysia for the past 12 years.

#1 - Programming languages and tools

Technology has changed profoundly over the last decade or so. From C++, RPG and BASIC programming to Java, PHP and .Net ... there has never been a lull in the various programming languages available.

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Programming fundamentals have changed over the years, with more focus recently on parallel and multi-core programming as well as mobile development. This is due to the introduction of newer, more advanced chips and also the adoption of mobile devices as the next big wave of technology. Already, people are gushing over new mobile gadgets such as the Iphone, Ipad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom.

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With the ever strenghtening iPhone and iPads, it has become imperative that development companies have to cater to multiple platforms from Microsoft to Apple to Google. Later in another article, I will touch on what are these emerging platforms and its impact to the entire software + app development.

#2 - Mobility

As highlighted above, devices that are mobile especially smartphone usage has increased dramatically over the years. There is even news that telco profit margin might be squeezed further since the the demand for such devices is high, which means device prices could be increased further thus increasing the subsidies telco have to pay.

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Tablets also have a big potential to explode exponentially due to the entertainment appeal it has. In Singapore last year, I observed a lot of people holding iPad 2 in the MRT and watching videos, listening to music etc. It is becoming a fact of life now that people crave mobility. This could be seen from the success of Blackberry in the US. From a simple phone with a QWERTY keypad, it has helped a lot of business people to respond to emails or SMSes rapidly.

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However, technology is catching up and new OSes such as Android, Samsung and iOS is begining to show similar functionalities with their keypads e.g. Swype inputs. Processor speed have also increased tremendously (800Mhz to 1.2 Ghz), graphics have also improved (SoC, Tegra) and device screens have also enlarged further (10.1" tablets and 4.3" phones). With such powerful components in mobile devices, even Business Intelligence has been touted as a feature to be supported in mobile devices.
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#3 - Social Media

The social hype has been going on for ages now with the advent of Facebook and more recently, the announcement of Google+ for beta testers. The term social media, as its name implies .. refers to the concept of using socializing features to act as a media of communication. The type of communication could be in the form of information or advertisements.
What's more important here, as social media has evolved over the years, is that it's becoming an important tool for people to keep in contact with friends and family as well as for businesses to engage potential customers. There has even been a preview of smartphones from HTC that features a single Facebook button on the phone that connects directly to FB and utilizes its features.

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However, the impact of social media is still confined within the internet-savvy commmunity although there has been some growth in the usage of social media in traditional advertising. Riding along the wave of social media is the emerging social business hype. This basically surfaces the infinite marketing opportunities for a business in the Internet world.

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If you are selling to the next generation, consider social media as your business networking with customers. Here are a few tips from TopRankBlog :

a) Social media are the tools to help you connect and engage
b) Social media is an earned privilege. It’s not a right, but a rite of passage. We have to compete for that Like or Follow every single day
c) It’s not just about engagement, it’s about being engaging
d) There are three types of customers on the social web: Traditional Consumer, Online Consumer, Social Customer

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