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Trend spotting is a common behaviour for most of us:

  • Which applications could offer new opportunities for my career in the future?
  • Which requirements would arise from the upcoming trends in my industry in the next years?
  • What areas will be hot for my company in the next years and should be considered in the enterprise architecture I am working on at the moment?

In order to answer these questions you do not need to read expensive studies of futurists or try to get in contact with the strategy department of your company. Instead you could use the new Google Insights for search in order to get some hints to answer the questions above. This tool provides information how many searches have been entered for a term and compare it with the absolute number of searches. You can filter the results by location, time periods and you can also compare different terms. Although I do not pretend that these search applications answer all the questions above – you will need the canteen as well as I will show at the end of my blog – you can gather here a lot of useful information.

  • Let´s assume that you are looking for information which HR applications are promising to enter them as a new area. Here you can search for the use of talent management in the US in the last twelve months.
  • Another example could be a search for customers in your area of expertise. If you are an identity management expert and you think of entering a new market in Germany you could compare the interest there with the results for the market you know in the US.
  • Even if you write a blog for the SDN you can use the application. Let´s assume you write about Security in a public sector environment and you are not sure whether eGovernment is still a trend. You can evaluate the popularity of this term in different locations since 2004.

But if we come back to the beginning: Despite all this analysis you will gather a lot of valuable insights at the canteen of your own company or if your are onsite working with your customers. If you listen to the discussions of the experts during lunch carefully and frequently and evaluate whether the buzzwords for some trends have been mentioned you will get a very good trend indicator as well.

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