I hope you had a good year. Now thoughts naturally turn to the future. I used to think that being a futurist would be quite a good gig; you know: fly in to somewhere nice, speculate a little about what might happen, pocket the fee, then fly out and keep a low profile elsewhere while none of it came true…?

I’ve realised though, that to do this you’ve really got to keep running (see George Clooney’s character in the excellent Up In The Air). In reality, one is inevitably going to meet some of the same people again (if only in social media) and risk looking stupid…

So maybe it’s better to look at least 10 years ahead. For Technology and Digital Marketing, this is quite tempting/ easy (loads of touchscreens, perfect Voice Recognition/ “say a command” so not worth taking typing lessons after all, Phew), Search Engines that know what we’re looking for, all TV web-enabled, chips in our bodies, electric cars that work, organ replacement for everyone, domestic robots, climate control, manned Mars Mission etc.).

But the lure of predicting things that actually might happen in the next 12 months is strong, and I’ve been wrong before so here goes anyway.

I think we’ll see major developments in 2012 in the areas of:
• The Cloud (further growth and consequent security concerns; not least from the trend to ‘Bring Your Own Toy’ to work. IT departments will survive as a result)
• Devices: new Android phones and Tablets, especially from HTC and Samsung using Android 4.0 (‘Ice-Cream-Sandwich’). Amazon Kindle secures the lower end of the tablet market. iPad 3 and iPhone 5 (at last) amaze us as promised. NFC (Near Field Communications) will be standard on new smartphones which are rapidly becoming ‘the remote control for our lives’
• Microsoft (and Windows) is back; RIM is broken up and sold
• Social Media backlash – social networking is here to stay but the hype of recent years has not been justified; CFOs will be robustly challenging the effort/cost employed in attracting and maintaining fans and followers… which leads us to:
• The Facebook IPO is the biggest of the year, but at well below the rumoured valuation levels. Timing is everything, as Mark Zuckerberg is well aware.

So there you have it. Hostage to fortune. Comments welcome. Happy New Year!