Tech industry to rebound in 2010?

Business news sites around the web are abuzz with the latest market forecasts provided in a report by Forrester Research, an independent research company that is predicting that the technology industry will see over an 8% increase in spending globally throughout 2010.  If this is to be the case, then it will be one of the primary sectors leading the world out of the financial crisis quagmire of the past few years.

Of course, futurists and technophiles such as ourselves would never think twice about saying that technology continues to permeate our lives at both a macro and micro level; but it’s great to see that this intuitive feeling (which often has more than a bit of wishful thinking mixed in!) seems to be stacking up with the economic figures and forecasts.

For those of us who have been paying closer attention to the stock-market over the past few years, it has definitely been the case that many of the multinational tech corporations such as IBM and Microsoft have completely overcome the fall in stock price that the financial crisis brought about.

IBM, in particular, has been soaring ahead in many different areas – see for example the latest report that the company received 4,914 patents in the US in 2009, which represents a 50% rise in the company’s received patents of 2004.  Of course, tech companies by their very nature are going to dominate the patent ‘charts’; but what it shows is a dedication to innovation and progress that indicates a very strong and lively sector.

So what does this rebound mean?  That is, if it does indeed eventuate (and we must keep reminding ourselves, it’s just a report).  One obvious indication is that it represents a shift into a new phase of technological innovation and production.  In order for revenues and spending to increase, particularly if they are to do so beyond just the upcoming year, this needs to be built upon either new products or new markets.  What we will likely see is that both will come about concurrently, which could lead to absolutely huge growth amongst those companies ready and able to meet the new demands.

For us little people down here, it means that we will hopefully be able to see come to fruition many of the new products and concepts that we’ve been waiting for.  Profit means investment, and investment usually ends up with innovation and new consumer products.

The great thing about the technology industry, is that many of these products have the capability to be truly game changing when it comes to the way that society functions and will operate going into the future.  Personally, I’m hoping to see a lot more work being done on the availability of information and knowledge; augmented reality type applications which have intellectual, social and even commercial viability.

The bulk of the great rebound being forecast will come from seemingly more mundane things – servers and storage, communication systems and business software – but hopefully this will mean a greater push for progress in the industry as a whole.  Who knows, maybe by 2020 we really will be wearing our augmented reality glasses and have the ability to be connected to all of human knowledge; all of the time.

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