For the last 5 years I've created a blog entry of my predictions for the coming year. Last year I was pretty conservative because of the economic downturn. 2010 will be a bit brighter, so I'll be a bit more adventurous as well.
2010 is also the start of a new decade. A decade that will be even more tumultuous from an IT perspective than the last one (and that included the end of the .com bubble, a significant financial downturn and numerous political struggles & events). I say that because we are on the cusp of a new wave of technology -- the last decade was the end of the previous wave. The move forward has been pent up by financial issues. Once the money starts to flow again, it will be on a whole different kind of IT - one that is based more on computers and information being everywhere. There will be new lessons to be learned and value to be generated.
Areas coming into their own in 2010:
Augmented reality - The merger between reality and computer displays is becoming more prevalent and transparent. There were a few good entries on this topic in 2009, and I expect it to increase radically in the mobile computing space. This is one significant way of overcoming information overload issues with the massive amount of data being collected.
Social computing will continue its mobility path. Although the static desktop will still access it the vast majority of social computing will be via the mobile platform. It will also continue to use the location information of the mobile device in totally new ways, supplementing our experience and likely utilize augmented reality techniques as well.
Another type of augmented reality is through the use of 3D techniques & standards. Now that 3D movies are becoming commonplace and 3D TV is possible, the use of 3D visualization for all kinds of applications will become apparent in 2010. Our minds are set up to take in 3D information so we'll find numerous ways to take advantage of it in business as well. 3D visualization of other emerging technologies (like Nano) will become common as well.
Besides just how we look at data, the way we manipulate it will change in 2010 as well. The venerable SQL database will begin to succumb to the increased pressure by highly parallel techniques like mapreduce and other noSQL techniques. New SQL approaches will need to be developed. We are going to hear much more about them in 2010.
There will be a significant focus on data de-duplication -- a way for organizations to overcome some of the cost related to the age of abundance of data. The amount of information created by mankind doubles every 18 months. For organizations who are deploying sensors and gathering unstructured data in a big way, it can be twice that fast. Much of business data is redundant, like e-mail attachments and backup sets. Organizations will be inundated with hardware and software solutions to address data storage exponential growth in 2010 with a whole new set of products and services.
In 2009 Cloud Computing was at the Peak of Inflated Expectations in Gartner's Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. We've started to hear some early stumbles as the market understands how the current implementations of cloud work. 2010 will likely see a continued dip and the start of further refinements to move onto the slope of enlightenment. Most organizations will develop deeper understanding of cloud techniques and we should see some significant capabilities to take advantage of its parallel nature in the business analytics space. 2010 will also see more commercial application of Web 3.0 techniques (that will use cloud techniques). The cloud space will continue its bifurcation into public cloud for SMB and private cloud for the enterprise clients, until some killer application unifies the two. I am still holding out for a new dimension of business analytics to do that, but I doubt we'll see that in 2010.
IT's focus on overall enterprise efficiency and sustainability will come back when spending increases. The market's expectations in this space will continue and increase in 2010. The focus will move from Green IT to "IT for Green".
In the security space, organizations are going to turn their security perspective inside out in 2010. In response to the deluge of ever more intelligent malware, old security models using signatures for detection are running out of steam. Whitelisting software for servers and other security concerns that take a snapshot of a known good system to create whitelisting rules, monitor systems for unapproved applications and even prevent unapproved programs from running will become more common. Security will continue to be a huge issue.
The infrastructure space should see the widespread use of Solid state storage, in addition to traditional storage. USB 3.0 will come into its own and we'll see quite different applications of data transfer and storage because of its significantly higher speeds.
Robots will also be applied to a wider range of tasks in 2010 - like medical and automotive applications (moving beyond parking and braking). Although we will still not reach the Robot in every home by 2010 target. IT organizations that are focused on more back office tasks should begin to understand the possible overlap with their roles.
As I finish up this post I realize that there are way too many items for an IT organization to address them all. On the other hand I do think they should watch them all and use their investment dollars wisely to try out the ones that will have the most impact. They should also work on weeding out the IT deadwood, so that more funds are available to accelerate these and other high value techniques and maximize the value of their enterprise.