Welcome to the July 2020 edition of Top Conversations in Technology, where we break down which topics are leading, rising and falling each month to help technology marketers maximize relevance and adapt to changing market dynamics.
In this month’s analysis, we’ll focus on changes in news and blog citation volumes month-over-month (versus June 2020) and year-over-year (versus July 2019).
Let’s start with the top 10:
- Video conferencing slid from #1 to #3, after three consecutive months of declines following its April peak. It’s still a hot topic driving high conversation volume, but it’s no longer the “new” phenomenon that everyone’s figuring out how to manage. We’re just doing it every day.
- Layoffs/Furloughs and Contract Tracing moved into the top two spots, as citations grew for both over the prior month.
- E-commerce had a slight decline in volume, and supply chain had a slight increase, but both maintained their rankings to round out the top five.
- Educational Technology made a big move from #11 to #7, with 73% citation growth as back-to-school discussions kicked into high gear.
- Artificial Intelligence dropped out of the top 10 on flat citation volume, while 5G, drones and cybersecurity all had a strong month to stay in the top 10 with double-digit growth.
Beyond the top 10, our “biggest gains” chart indicates people are thinking about the network and how to secure it, how to smarten up homes (since we’ll be in them for a while), and how to manage money (with so much economic uncertainty).
This month’s shooting stars included Serverless Platform (No. 145, +247%) and Utility Computing (No. 150, +129%) with the biggest percentage gains, although both are relatively low volume topics. Both hit six month highs in July, so we’ll watch to see if it’s sustained growth or a blip.
Other topics with month-to-month gains in the 50+ percent range included #63 Infrastructure Security (89%), #31 Smart Home (+70%), #148 Compute Service (+67%), #138 SecOps (59%),#121 Financial Applications (56%), #107 Network Operations (52%), #147 Voice Interface (51%) and #55 Storage Attached Network (50%).
“Biggest losses” were markedly smaller, with only five topics losing 35% or more of their volume. Three of those topics had spiked previously as potential solutions to mitigate COVID-19’s impact in business and social environments: #149 Thermal Monitoring (-69%), #136 Location Tracking/Privacy (-45%), and #34 Facial Recognition (-36%). Thermal Monitoring spiked in May and June, so its July level is closer to typical than the past two months. Similarly, Facial Recognition spiked in June and returned to normal in July. Location Tracking/Privacy had a big spike March through May but has trended down the past two months.
Looking at the other big decliners: #152 Business Services Management (-60%) is the last-place topic, so small declines in volume can show as a big change, while #134 Application Integration (-59%) returned to normal after a spike in June.
Overall, we are seeing that top conversations have mostly held their respective rankings, after COVID-19 reset the agenda in first half 2020. Outside the top 30-40 topics, lower conversation volumes can lead to more pronounced shifts month to month (both gains and losses). By looking at percent change patterns and tracking back to volume trends, we can get a sense of the discussions moving to the forefront.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we aren’t tracking? Please share below, and we’ll address in future installments.