This weekend, many of our readers will be mourning the final days of Google Reader. For those still scrambling to find a suitable replacement, be sure to check out our guide to Reader alternatives before the service disappears for good on July 1. Meanwhile, over on GigaOM Research, our analysts took a look at the future of retail and IT spending, and even weighed in with a long-term look at the Instagram/Vine war.
Note: GigaOM Research, previously known as GigaOM Pro, is a subscription-based research service offering in-depth, timely analysis of developing trends and technologies. Visit pro.gigaom.com to learn more about it.
Cloud: Second-quarter IT spending: analysis and outlook
Analyst Ralph Finos presents a mid-year checkup for IT spending, analyzing the first two quarters of 2013 to forecast global trends and spending for the remainder of the year, and into 2014. While overall IT spending remains slow or stagnant in most sectors, Finos dissects geographic and segment revenue growth to reveal which areas show promising growth, and investigates which market trends will influence future growth. He closes with key takeaways and areas to watch, focusing on cloud, mobility, and big data spending as important indicators of development and future spending.
Connected Consumer: Retail’s reinvention: technology’s impact on today’s supply chain
Analyst Bud Albers takes a look at how technology – especially the rise of mobile shopping and commerce – will inevitably affect all aspects of retail, including the supply chain. While online sales still only account for a fraction of global retail (just 5.5% of US sales in Q1 of 2013), that number is certain to rise in the coming years. Albers analyzes how the retail sector, which traditionally spends less than 1% of its gross revenues on information technology, is now investing in emerging technologies such as robotics, 3D printing, new allocation models, and in-house R&D engines. Noting that the retail model is “tectonically shifting from the traditional push model to one that is totally consumer- driven pull,” Albers also takes a look at what strategies traditional brick and mortar chains (such as Walmart and Nordstrom) and online giants like Amazon are currently employing, and what trends and technologies may be considered in the near-term future.
Social: Vine vs. Instagram: 4 things to watch for in social video land grab
Michael Wolf weighs in on the video sharing app wars. Rather than claiming that Instagram’s new video features spells the imminent death of Vine, Wolf maintains that the two social video sharing apps could actually develop a sort of symbiotic relationship, especially as video sharing continues to develop as a prime advertising and marketing vehicle.