Over the years, technological advances have increased the competitive nature of the world of business. In a 2011 article for The Huffington Post, Phil Simon, author of “The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business,” shared some technology and business trends that would affect both businessmen and consumers in 2012. Some of his predictions were:

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The continued rise of mobile payments. Because of their busy lifestyles, people turn to their phones as their own portable payment system. This also gives banks the easy-access advantage to customers and clients when collection time comes.
Continued dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Known as the ‘The Gang of Four,’ these big companies are not leaving the limelight just yet. Each of them will rule, but in different focus areas.
Big business gets more social. The big wigs in the business sector who have rejected the idea of going social are going to realize that they have to eventually adapt or else, they might be left behind.
A more prevalent semantic technology. Examples of semantic technologies are those computer applications that allow data to be widely understood across multiple languages.

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As the end of the year approaches, these predications have been realized in the business world:
• Buying and selling over the phone have become prevalent as online business has dominated the scene.
• ‘The Gang of Four’—a network of players entering the banking and payments environment—have affected the strengths and weaknesses of major financial institutions, payment networks, and wireless carriers.
• Many companies, including shipping, mining, and technological companies, have considered carrying out their operations online, in order to survive in the changing environment.
• Semantic applications have been widely acceptable since they are able to understand text like people do. Two main approaches to semantic applications are the bottom up and top down approaches. Examples are Freebase, Powerset, and Hakia.

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