Gartner recently published their predictions for 2002, and some of those predictions are already coming true (at least as far as the technical publications industry is concerned).

Outsourcing will increase

Gartner is predicting that commodity and utility services will be outsourced increasingly over 2002 in an effort to transfer assets, forego capital expenditures, and reduce costs.

The technical publications industry is already beginning to experience an increase in outsourcing initiatives. It seems that every time I turn around, another large corporation is announcing its intent to outsource its technical documentation. Although it is devastating to a technical publications organization, it is important to realize that moves like this are always cyclical, and we find that after two years, organizations move to bring technical documentation back into the organization as result of a refocus on quality rather than costs.

Obsolescence of Mobile Applications

By the end of 2002, 50% of mobile applications developed in 2002 will be obsolete. Due mostly to a void of mobile and wireless standards, companies are rapidly developing applications in the hopes they will hit on the winner. Be prepared though when those applications that your department spent many sleepless nights documenting go the way of the T Rex.

Web Services become More Important

Companies will increasingly offer applications or application components through the Web so that any Internet client can access an application. Gartner feels that by 2003, 40% of interactions through the Web will involve Web services from distributed enterprise-wide applications.

Integrated Applications

Gartner feels that integrated business applications within and without the enterprise will dominate in 2002; this integration is the basis for its other predictions.

The technical publications industry has increasingly felt this pressure, which is one of the reasons single sourcing and content management have taken center stage of late. Without a systematic way of creating and storing information within the context of content management, information cannot be used enterprise wide or fed into other enterprise-wide applications. Integration of business applications throughout the company will increasingly put pressure on technical publications departments to follow suit with more aggressive content-management solutions.

To see the complete list of predictions and Gartner’s analysis, please visit their Web site.