Social Thunderstorms – Technology Predictions from Forrester Research

George Colony, Chairman and CEO of Forrester Research, gave a speech on Social Media Trends at the LeWeb 2011 event.  As technology doesn’t evolve in a constant manner, but rather “unexpectedly like a thunderstorm”, here are Mr. Colony’s “Three Social Thunderstorms” predictions: Web R.I.P., POSO, & Enterprise Social.

Get out your umbrella and enjoy!


Thunderstorm One –
Death of the web (The approach of App Internet)

Moore’s law is that processing power will double every 18 months. Storage doubles every 12 months (Hitachi’s law according to George Colony). The network curve falls below these however.

IEEE benchmarked the iPad 2, and reported that it is equivalent to a 1986 Cray 2 6-processor super computer – the preeminent computer in the world at the time. (Forrester CEO George Colony).

Forrester predicts that the emerging ‘App Internet’ will take over the out-moded server-located web executable. This means very powerful cloud services, connected to and interpolating with very powerful applications on local devices, and a migration away from web to apps.  This is a $2.2 b market that is currently growing at 85%.

“The App Internet architecture looks like gaming, you can’t play Call of Duty over the web; you need a powerful X-Box PS3 sharing power with the cloud” stated George Colony.

Companies emerging in the app internet ecosystem: Apple (challenge is that Apple is over-charging by about 30%), Google (Android), Amazon (look at Silk), and Microsoft.


Thunderstorm Two –
Social Penetration/Saturation (The post Social Era “POSO”)

Social is running out of hours and people.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor indicted that US consumers use social more than they volunteer, more than they prey, more than phone + email + snail mail, more than they exercise, and only a little less than shop.

At end of 2011 social adoption is almost complete: 86% of US consumers are social, 79% in Europe, and urban areas in China and India are penetrated in the high 90s.

This means that we are in a social bubble. As developers build more social platforms that require more time of users, be careful there are far less people or hours to penetrate.  Forrester believes that we are entering the post-social era, “POSO”. The POSO wave will be of new players who are more efficient, faster to use, higher value per time equation.


Thunderstorm Three –
Customer-oriented Enterprise Opportunities (Enterprise Social is the next big opportunity)

Nearly three quarters (72%) of large corporations are implementing social internally or very interested.  The reasons companies are interested are customer-centric:

•        Better customer interaction (31%)

•        Customer self-service (19%)

•        Fosters internal and external collaboration (18%)

Enterprise Social means going beyond Sharepoint to address the rich and growing professional service market. It will require a new collaboration between marketing and IT.

Some of the emerging leaders might be Sales Force with Chatter, IBM, or a drastically improved Sharepoint.

George Colony lobbies for a semantic shift in terminology. He finds that IT is dead, and now is the time for BT (business technology). Enterprise social opportunities require the collaboration of the IT (BT) and Marketing functions.


To read George Colony’s blog article on the speech he gave at LeWeb 2011, visit his blog.

You will be able to link to slides from his presentation and watch the video.