Future Trends in Information Systems

This chapter gives an overview of the trends in information systems. As you read, think about which of these trends may affect you the most. Are you excited for or apprehensive of any of these trends?


Perhaps the most impactful trend in digital technologies in the last decade has been the advent of mobile technologies. Beginning with the simple cellphone in the 1990s and evolving into the smartphones of today, the growth of mobile has been overwhelming. Here are some key indicators of this trend:

  • Mobile vs. Desktop. Minutes spent each day on a mobile device are 2.5 times the number of minutes spent on a desktop computer.
  • Daytime vs. Evening. Desktop use dominates in the daytime hours, but mobile devices are dominant in the evening, with peak usage around 8:00 pm.
  • Device usage. Smartphones are used more than any other technology. Laptops are in second place, followed by tablets holding a slight edge over desktops.
  • Smartphone sales decline. According to Gartner Group, world wide smartphone sales declined in the fourth quarter of 2017 by 4.7% compared with the fourth quarter of 2016. This is the first decline in global smartphone sales since Gartner began tracking mobile phone sales in 2004.
  • The rise and fall of tablets. In 2012 the iPad sold more than three times as many units in its first twelve months as the iPhone did in its first twelve months. However, tablet sales dropped 20% from the fourth quarter 2015 to fourth quarter 2016.
    The decline in tablet sales continued into 2017 when first quarter sales dropped 8.5% to their lowest total since the third quarter of 2012, the year they were introduced. In comparison, PC sales dropped only 1.7% in 2017 compared with tablet sales being down 10%.

As discussed in chapter 5, the advent of 5G connection technologies will accelerate an "always-connected" state for a majority of people around the world.