‘Convergence is King’ in the new information industry

In the new information industry, neither content nor technology is king.  It is the unique combination of both which is driving the sector.

With the start of a new year comes a flurry of reports and posts predicting emerging trends for the year ahead.One of the most interesting to emerge so far is Outsell's Information Industry Outlook 2014 report.  Last year, Outsell explored the theme ‘the new normal' (which was the key theme for Internet Librarian International in 2011).  This year's report, ‘Convergence Now!' explores new partnerships and the creation of new information products that bring together community and commerce.The report explores an information industry that includes both the ‘traditional' (e.g. news and yellow pages, both of which are declining) and new players.  Growth information sectors include educational technology, health IT and marketing services.Convergence - key trends
  • New partners, new competition - industry leaders such as Thomson Reuters and Reed Elsevier are partnering and competing with for example IBM, Deloitte, Oracle
  • No more ‘mobile' or ‘digital' - a new focus on cross-media approaches mean these words will gradually disappear and we will be offering simply ‘services' or ‘strategy'
  • New solutions - combining content, software, community and commerce to create platforms that support workflow
  • Face-to-face - at the same time in-person events which offer ‘extended engagement' are a strong market
  • EdTech - the move to digital will not be rapid but will continue.  A hybrid model market will continue for years
  •  STM - Open Science is ‘here to stay' - bringing threats and opportunities to the industry
As usual, the report concludes with a list of companies to watch over the next year.  These include big established players, such as Amazon and Elsevier, but a number of new players working in the content market.  Examples include Hypothes.is, a non-profit offering ‘open annotation'.The report is free to download from Outsell.