We dusted off an old piece of tech -- the crystal ball -- to see what the New Year has in store for small and midsize business. 2011 will without a doubt be the year when "trend" becomes "normal" in a variety of business areas, from mobility to virtualization to social marketing. And while certain industry lingo might simply become part of the everyday vocabulary, the term "SMB" itself is likely to be thrown around even more loosely than it was in 2010, by vendors, politicians, and a host of oth
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The coming year will be the year that tablets go from niche to normal in small and midsize business environments, as the improving functionality and uber-portability of the devices make them a viable, reliable computing option for business users. With Microsoft joining Apple (and its rumored second-generation iPad), Samsung, Dell, and other key players in the market, the tablet wars will likely get vicious and put downward pressure on prices -- music to the ears of cost-conscious SMBs.
The popularity of SMB as a buzzword in its own right will grow with a certain amount of irony, too, as its definition blurs and the market becomes increasingly segmented. As owners and IT managers gear up for what many feel will be a better overall year for businesses of all sizes, here are 10 forecasts for the next 12 months.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.