The information tsunami is coming. Futurist Gerd Leonhard lists seven trends to expect and prepare for. 

We are entering an era of mind-boggling global data torrents, all-pervasive social-local-mobile (SoLoMo) connectivity, widespread ‘wikilikean’ transparency expectations, rapid changes in interface technologies, hyper-real-time speed of information and media, and abundant consumer choice in pretty much every sector of commerce and business. Get ready, because the information tsunami is coming for better or for worse. So you’re not caught off guard, here are seven trends to expect within the next five years:

always online1. The end of offline. We are a society of always-on, hyper-social, and always-findable humans. Being offline is the new luxury and becomes a highly cherished attainment. Digital detox remedies are widespread but sadly, for most of us, only bring occasional reprieve. We develop new habits for coping with information and connectivity overload—much like we did for television and telephone in the past. But SoLoMo technologies are so much more addictive.
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Shadow IT2. The global consumerization of IT means consumers lead (rather than follow) enterprises in the use of technology such as apps and tablets. ‘Shadow-IT’ is a big issue as professionals bring their own devices to work (BYOD), and expect their company’s technology and products to be as fast and as easy-to-use as whatever they use privately.[polldaddy rating=”7041537″]
Natural user interfaces3. A true revolution in data-input methods. We move from GUI (graphic user interfaces) to NUI (natural user interfaces), from mouse and keyboard to speech, gesture and, yes, even thought-controlled devices—what IBM calls cognitive computing. Smart-phones and tablets accelerate their take-over from desktop and laptop computers. Internet access becomes like air or water (i.e. taken for granted but still paid-for). Almost all content is consumed on mobile devices first, and multi-platform use of media becomes the global standard.
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data is new oil image4. Almost all business is socially-driven (especially those based on digital products). Peer to peer recommendations, ratings, endorsements and all kinds of Likeonomics essentially replace CRM; the same goes for hiring and general HR needs (note that the rise of LinkedIn as a global HR resource has already pretty much eliminated the need for traditional headhunters). Since most social business is essentially data-, sharing- and permission-driven, data is indeed becoming the new oil.
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5. data is everywhereWe see huge, gigantic, enormous Big Data everywhere! Data levels, depth, and sheer frequency reach unimaginable pace and proportions, and anyone/anything having to do with data-mining and management is in high demand. Curation, context, relevance, timeliness, and overall sense- and meaning-making (i.e. the human part of the data deluge), becomes infinitely more important than mere access to information: meaning trumps noise.
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bigdata6. We shift from downloads to flows and from stuff to bits, both in terms of technology as well as user behavior and consumption habits. Information is no longer just stored and kept for later, rather, it’s accessed and filtered and sifted when and where and how it’s needed, in real-time, real-place, real-life. Technology moves from relying on search, files, and pages to reading, understanding, and enabling streams (cloud, social, local, mobile).
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Internet of Things7. The Internet of Things and pervasive machine-to-machine connectivity become very real. Wireless networks, RFIDs, and NFC technologies seamlessly and ubiquitously connect people (if not their actual brains, then their devices) to things to machines and vice versa, and artificial intelligence and ultra-smart electronic agents glue all this together. Not sure what to think of that, but Ray Kurzweil is ready to tell you.
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