SWOT Analysis: Technology Trends - dummies

By Erica Olsen

Failure to monitor and address advances in technology may negatively impact your financial position in the market. Areas to watch include government spending on technology, big new discoveries or products, speed of technology transfer, and changes in business processes as a result of technology.

Many people believe that the revolutionary impact technology has had on products, processes, and communication systems has just begun — think Twitter, Facebook, and video calls. New technologies and processes continue to change the way organizations operate daily. The problem for most companies is evaluating which advances are truly opportunities and which are simply distractions.

Here are some trends to look for that may be opportunities or threats to your business:

  • Acceleration: Change occurs at startling rates due to the access of information today. Individuals change jobs, relationships, homes, ideas, and interests at a faster rate than ever before. The pace at which products go to market occurs faster, which increases demands on companies to accelerate innovation, development and product introduction to stay competitive and in the forefront of the competition.

  • Growth of robots: Robots are taking on increasingly more complex jobs and assignments and aren’t isolated in the simple repetitive tasks.

  • Nanotechnology: This technology is designed and developed to maintain special electrical properties, extremely low friction, and high strength levels. Nanotechnology may, in the future, replace microelectronics and ultimately be the technology that drives microscopic robots used in diagnostic healthcare.

  • Mobile everything: Certainly, the early 2010s will be remembered for how mobile applications transformed the way consumers interface with companies and content. Expect more and more innovation to come around mobile functionality, such as payment processing, cloud computing, and gaming.

With more than 239 million Americans hooked up to broadband in 2010, companies large and small are making serious money by doing everything from working virtually, to offering online services, to distributing anything digital.

Skype, the world’s fastest growing Internet telephony provider, was sold to eBay for $2.6 billion in 2005 and then sold again to Microsoft for $8.5 billion in 2011. Why the large price tag? It boasted more than 107 million customers worldwide using its service, virtually free.

More importantly, the communication platform will be integrated into Microsoft products, such as Xbox and Kinect, Lync (web conferencing service), Windows Phone, and Windows Live, to enhance its Real Time Communication business.