How O’Reilly Radar spots the next big thing

Roger Magoulas explains how O’Reilly’s Radar methodology identifies emerging tech trends businesses need to know.

By Roger Magoulas
June 27, 2019
Radar Radar (source: ramboldheiner via Pixabay)

In this presentation, Roger Magoulas talks about how O’Reilly applies its Radar approach to spot and explore important emerging technologies. Along the way, he also identifies current trends business and tech leaders should watch.

Highlights from Magoulas’ talk include:

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O’Reilly takes its mission to “spread the knowledge of innovators” seriously, employing its Radar methodology to help spot, explore, and explain important emerging technologies. Over the last 30 years, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques, O’Reilly’s Radar function has played an important role in the development of the open source movement, Web 2.0, the rise of big data topics, and other influential technology trends. One of the quantitative tools the Radar team uses is analysis of anonymized data from the company’s online learning platform, which has more than 2 million users (00:46)

The Radar group looks for emergent trends getting traction from small and engaged bases of people on the platform. For example, the recent rise in usage around the Go, Kotlin, and Rust programming languages is worth paying attention to because it suggests changes in software development patterns. (6:18)

Looking at usage data on the platform can reveal shifts across topic areas. Over the last year, “business” topics usage has grown quickly, evidence of the increasing integration of business and technology processes in many organizations. Security-related content also shows an increasing share of platform usage—a welcome and positive trend as security and trust topics have often been given short shrift by the tech community. (7:21)

Analysis of data from O’Reilly’s online learning platform helps Magoulas and his team synthesize broader technology adoption patterns from disparate sectors. For example, the growth in interest on the platform for cloud topics, containers (Docker), orchestration (Kubernetes), and microservices (decomposition) signals a large shift to a “Next Architecture” approach to software development—an example of the Radar process in action; the team takes signals from one sector and then expands the scope to figure out what else is going on. (10:25)

You can see Magoulas’ full talk in the video above.

Post topics: Innovation & Disruption, Next Architecture, O'Reilly Insights
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