Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Early Year End Predictions

I was just reading an article from Scot Finnie from Computerworld on early technology predictions which usually comes out at the end of the year. It is interesting that he notes that the computer press does not engage in this activity. Really? Yet, he does just that like all tech rags do. are his topics and my thoughts.

1. Green IT - I think it will become more prevalent because consumer focused companies like Apple push green initiatives. The push being smaller electronic devices which are recyclable, long lived (using little power), aesthetically and morally pleasing. The advances in these technologies get pushed back to the data center in forms like flash drives, and ARM computing. It will probably not get the fanfare, but will grow like trees: slowly.

2. Cloud Computing - Look it is everywhere. See the paper on the fallacies of distributed computing. I am a big advocate for clouds, but I am not sure that public clouds are where you can reliably place your business interests. DoS attacks are a simple, but reliable way for hackers to cause immense damage to a business which is focused on cloud spaces. They may not break into your public cloud infrastructure, but simply causing your users to tire of slow, or no response is a business killer. Patience is not an American virtue. Private clouds I think are going to become more prevalent, along with businesses aggregating their cloud initiatives in shared "private" clouds in private data centers. Facilities like Immedion in Greenville, SC are positioned to provide data center services, and a semi-privatem or shared cloud offerings to customers within a data center.

3. Mobile Devices - Agreed with Scot..."Get ready, or get run over."

4. Unified Communications - I have heard this story over and over. I have been part of this pipe dream. Every new communication method needs to be considered, and they are growing without bounds. What do I mean? Social media is part of the communication spectrum. Twitter is just as valuable as email. Today's teens through 30 somethings like 140 character digestible bites of information. Earlier I noted that American's have a patience issue, I discovered the Europeans have SMS addictions. Lotus Notes and Outlook are currently not up to this task.

5. Business Intelligence - 5 years ago this was just a talking point for the future. Today it is here and growing like Kudzu. Be careful, there are so many offerings and vendors; a consolidation is coming.

6. Data De-duplication - This, in my judgement, goes along with Green IT. Reducing the amount of redundant data means less hardware, and energy.  There are so many silos at most companies, that this should be a priority. I can recommend this to AT&T for sure.

They had an epic FAIL at Southeast Linuxfest, and it took many calls to different people on different systems just to find out they could not tell us anything. The accounts had varying incorrect (and correct) information which was duplicated between systems. Can you say one-to-many relationship. Instead we had four separate accounts for one company. How many more companies are like that? That is just one example.

7. Enterprise 2.0 - Really? Why not call it Web 2.0 ... I am not really keen on the terms, but since we are looking a major release numbers instead of dot releases, I should be happy. This is a result of consumers having the same level of expectations from big businesses as they do from Google Mail. We will see more without a doubt. I think businesses should really think about what they are doing in the rich web experience though. A example of an application which is horrible on low bandwidth is Quickbooks Online. The AJAX calls make it nearly unusable on a heavily used network. Just because you can use auto-complete doesn't mean you need to use it.

8. Videoconferencing - Epic Fail. Cisco Telepresence is a nice concept, but I had a couple of less than favorable encounters, and they were supposedly good implementations. I love the idea of making a video call. It has been a dream from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It shows up on a number of sci-fiction films and is used really well for example Blade Runner. Corporate environments should avoid it as much as possible. I still like to shake hands with the people I am doing business with. Call me old fashioned, but I see a number of people back-lashing on video calls. Use it internally and not externally.

9. Identity Management - Funny, I just handed my wife a t-shirt last night from a vendor who was offering Identity Management solutions. It is a two year-old t-shirt from a conference I attended. I have not even worn the shirt. It has lasted longer than the vendor. All I have to say is SSO, and we know how successful Identity Management is at this point. I think companies should spend more time working on it, but have an understanding it is an ongoing process and not a project.

10. Security - Vendors should focus on making security easy and innate in their products. Do you use gpg, or can you generate and install client certificates? What is Camilla, or SHA? Exactly. If you can answer "Yes", or explain those terms, you are a small segment of the IT population. Security is complex and it is that complexity that makes implementing some basic security models difficult, for example SSL. This is just the tip of the ice berg. It is also a process which means by definition it is on-going. I hope to see more from vendors, regulators, and governments to make it easier to implement.


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