Well, there is no doubt that the economy is in deep recession but as we know life will go on. Instead of worrying about the recession it is wiser to look for opportunities which could actually benefit from the money crunch. Here we list out 10 such technologies that would most likely survive the recession and possibly grow further.
Open Source – Gone are the days when corporate IT budget was fat and insanely expensive software’s like Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, SAP etc were a “no big deal” matters. Every company has stricter IT budget control that would help them not only survive the recession but also to reduce cost and be agile. Companies software budget is reduced more than 50% in some cases and FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and nearly free commercial Open Source Software are a boon for the companies software infrastructure. Thanks to software like Open Office (an alternative for MS Office), GIMP (an alternative for Adobe Photoshop), Pentaho (Commercial Open Source Business Intelligence), Vyatta (Commercial Open Source alternative to Cisco routers), Asterisk (Open source alternative to Avaya/Cisco PBX product line), Alfresco (Open Source alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint) etc the list goes on and on. Open Source really breaks vendor lock-in and for a fraction of price they bring the same advantage of proprietary commercial software along with 24/7 customer support. So, there is no way this business model will get affected by the recession. It is our top bet.
Software as a Service (SaaS) – Web based enterprise services are often been linked to Cloud Computing. SaaS model is something which will stay and grow in the coming days. Nine out of ten companies plan to grow their use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) in the next year, according to a survey by Gartner. Gartner also add, in the next 1 year alone 9 out of 10 companies will look for SaaS tools to reduce or make the enterprise software environment to be agile. Key benefits of SaaS are, its Subscription base payment model and browser based GUI (User Interface). SaaS also introduces collaborative way of working in a team. Software patches are not required as every time users get the latest applications over browser. Google released it browser Chrome with a strong support for browser based application. Microsoft is working on its next generation browser platform called gazelle which is a totally new way of looking at browsers. This all means that there is enough fuel and momentum for SaaS to grow in the coming days.
Virtualization – Cost of maintaining and upgrading the server infrastructure is the most time consuming and expensive deal. It also grabs a lot of floor space, staff bandwidth to have the back-end server infrastructure for a company. This is why virtualization has picked greatly in the last few years. Gartner Says “Virtualization Will Be the Highest-Impact Trend in Infrastructure and Operations Market Through 2012”. The best bet are Server Virtualization and PC Virtualization. Though there is Application Virtualization but it may not be as big as machine virtualization. Virtualization service providers like Amazon EC2, Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure Platform etc are going to change how the company maintains back-end servers. These can absolutely make things easier and back-end infrastructure maintenance may become history.
Telepresence – Recession means cut down on travel cost. Often business meetings require a lot of travelling and when the travel budget is being scrutinized for optimization, Telepresence products come into the focus. Telepresence infrastructure give the best face to face meeting experience. They can have the state of the art video conferencing and voice communication systems that can virtually transmit people from one location to another. In this case, the user’s position, movements, actions, voice, etc. may be sensed, transmitted and duplicated in the remote location to bring about this effect. There are players like Tandberg, Cisco etc who are investing a great deal of money and energy to develop the technology and provide a realistic platform so that no one need to travel anywhere. CEO can provide his/her briefings over Telepresence infrastructure that can project his/her live 2D (has potential to become 3D) image to the remote location at an instance. People at the other location will have the closest experience of having their CEO around them.
Social Networking and Collaborative Software tools – Web 2.0 has revolutionized the way web apps look and behave. It has impacted everyone who uses interne and given a new business model like Social Netowkring and Collaborative software tools. There are thousands and thousands of Collaborative tools listed on Web 2.0 directories like Listio and Go2Web20. Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn etc are thriving and their net worth is almost tripling every now and then. This will continue as recession has no effect on people seeking refuge in online communities. Specialized Social Networking sites like LinekedIn etc can even help you find a job if your laid off. So it is very powerful business which is here to stay.
Network Management – Network management tools are good at saving costs. These tools can scan through the big network and help administrators to reuse the existing network or hardware resources efficiently. They can also act as intrusion detection systems saving thousands of dollars.
Mobile Computing – More and More people prefer Mobile device over to desk phones, Laptops over Desktops. Younger generation use devices like Blackberry, iPhone and soon Android driven devices will hit the market. There are a lot of opportunity for mobile application and platform development work.
Content Security Appliances and Software – Infonetics reports that “Worldwide content security gateway revenue was up 25% from 2007 to 2008, hitting $1.9B, and will grow
another 10% in 2009, bucking the harsh economic climate. The short and long-term opportunity for content security is strong”. Reasons for security concerns are increased number of spammers, hacking tools etc. Websense reports that Every 8 out of 10 email messages are spam. Service providers are scaling their networks to handle more traffic and are investing big deal on security. However, growth of SaaS, cloud computing may limit the Security developments as small and medium businesses need not worry about Hardware and security infrastructure at all. However, there is enough steam for Security related technologies and will be safe during this recession.
Green Technology – Well, companies are more worried about saving energy and fuel costs rather than worrying about environment. Well this is not helping anyone make money directly but indirectly technologies like cloud computing, virtualization get benefited by the idea of green IT initiatives. Forrester reports that thin desktop clients over traditional desktops save around 25% of power consumption costs. So, As per the trend about 60% of the enterprise have green IT initiatives.
Unified Communications – At this time of cost cutting and streamlining business processes, Unified Communication has a lot of scope. Single identity and The arrival of unified communication means convergence of VoIP Telephony, email, instant messaging, mobile communication, web conferencing into a single platform is what is helping the companies achieve higher efficiency. This is a boon as when the productivity increases, there is a high chance of innovation and revenue growth for companies. Players like IBM, Microsoft, Cisco are bullish on Unified Communications and world looks forward to it.