2011 Predictions: Klint Finley

Editor’s note: Every December the ReadWriteWeb team looks into the murky depths of the coming year and tries to predict the future. How did we do last year? Well, Facebook didn’t go public, Google Wave didn’t make a comeback, and Spotify didn’t make it to the U.S. But our forecasts for Google Chrome, cloud computing, Facebook and something we called the “iTablet” were spot on. What’s in store for 2011? All this week we’ll be posting our predictions. Let us know your prognostications in the comments.

1. Predictive analytics will be applied to more business processes, regardless of whether it helps.Netuitive is applying predictive analytics to IT system monitoring. This is an ideal use for predictive analytics. But Theresa Doyon has written about how survival analysis can be applied to customer attrition and employee turn-over.

We’ve also covered how one company is trying to use predictive analytics to match customers with customer service representatives with similar personalities. In some cases, companies may be able to put these sorts of analytics to good use. Other times, it will actually lead to worse decisions. None the less, analytics will be rapidly adopted in the coming year for many purposes regardless of the outcome.

ReadWriteWeb’s 2011 Predictions:

2. The U.S. will add new provisions to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to include leaked classified information. Alternately, new international agreements will surface that attempt curb leaking and punish leakers.

3. Despite this and other measures taken by governments and corporations, leaking will continue. Governments and companies will continue to try to do better at keeping secrets and intimidating would-be whistle blowers rather than curbing the sorts of actions that make whistle blowers feel the need to leak documents in the first place. This will lead to far more leaks, despite crack downs. Completely above board organizations may still have disgruntled employees that leak sensitive information, but will have far less to worry about. I don’t mean to suggest that “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” or any such nonsense. Many organizations have legitimate reasons for keeping information secret. But as long as organizations give employees reasons to become disillusioned, leaking will not only continue but increase.

4. Cybersecurity hype of 2011 will dwarf that of 2010. Emboldened by the likes of Anonymous, Jester and Gnosis we’ll see more aggressive “hacktivism” in 2011 from the left, right and non-Euclidean. Meanwhile, we’ll see more of the high-profile cyber-espionage started by Project Aurora and Stuxnet. The result will be far more hype than what we heard this year – which was a lot.

5. We’ll see more CouchApp clients for popular web services. And CouchOne will do a better job of making these easy for non-technical users to adopt. If users and developers actually do start using them, we’ll have the foundation for a more resilient Web. The best case scenario is that an existing client like HootSuite, Seesmic or TweetDeck will integrate CouchDB, but I’m not sure how likely that is.

6. Almost all the big social enterprise players will have some sort of “app store” offering. By the end of 2011, every social enterprise vendor will have a store like the one promised by Jive. The most successful will be the ones that make it easiest for both customers and developers to integrate apps deeply with the host platform’s offerings.

7. Adobe will try to acquire Joyent. This year, Adobe announced that it will acquire the content management system vendor Day Software, which just happens to be one of the biggest contributors to the popular open source Apache web server. Joyent is the sponsor company of Node.js, a popular framework for building lightweight web servers and other server-side applications.

It makes sense that Adobe would want to be close to Node.js, but the acquisition would be about more than just acquiring the flavor-of-week development framework. I’ve written about how Adobe is building its own stack. Both Node.js and Joyent’s core Infrastructure-as-a-Service business would fit into this strategy. Acquiring Joyent would put Adobe in the cloud computing game, which is something every big vendor wants to be in on.

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