Apple’s Medusa touch will continue through 2010 – although it should expect much fiercer competition as 2010 will be the year that smartphones rule the world of mobile computing. Laptops and netbooks will suffer at the hands of ever more functional smartphones from vendors of every hue, courtesy of increasing take up of cloud-based applications. (Desktops will not benefit though, people will just have laptops that rarely leave the house or office.)
Which brings us to the cloud. It will be a huge year for the cloud. The vendors will talk of little else, the analysts will track it, organisations large and small will try it, consumers will take more and more from the cloud and iTWire will write about it.
And let’s not forget the downside of that cloud, because in 2010 there will be a serious cloud failure. It may be a failure due to natural causes (an earthquake, a bushfire) or because of an extortion attempt that a cloud vendor tries to tough out. But there will be a significant outage of a cloud.
That said, even a highly visible failure is unlikely to dampen overall enthusiasm – but it will force enterprises and consumers to be more careful about the service level agreements they sign and further improve the security of commercial clouds. It might also prompt large enterprises to successfully pressure cloud service vendors to open data centres locally so their data does not have to be sent and stored offshore.
More and more content will move into the cloud – including news content with traditional news and magazine publishers scrambling to reform in order to survive the new market paradigm. Rupert Murdoch will be watched like a hawk.
In enterprises chief executives, having turned off the IT spending taps at the beginning of the global financial crisis are only going to slowly release the purse strings. CIOs will need an extremely tight rein on costs for at least the next 12 months.
However many will use arguments about cost savings to encourage spending on more green IT initiatives (including moves to the cloud), consolidation of data centres and virtualisation. The savvy will secure extra IT budget by stealth.
Apart from budgets the two biggest challenges that enterprise CI0s will face in 2010 are escalating power bills and managing an unstoppable torrent of data collected from sensors, audio and video input and social networks as well as conventional computer generated data. In government and university circles especially expect to see more data centre sharing take place, with data centre operators trumpeting their green credentials along with their ability to store applications and data securely and flexibly.
Even with this rising tide of internet connected sensors and meters, and the looming shortage of IPv4 addresses the take up of IPv6, the next internet protocol, will continue to lag. But a rising demand for more addresses, so that sensors or meters can be connected over the internet will keep the pressure on.
CIOs will have to be mindful that with these networks comes risk – and need to assess the chance of their sensor or metering networks failing due to either a technical glitch, or a co-ordinated security attack.
Cyberattacks generally will continue to rise; new approaches will be developed and uncovered, security vendors will generate a tsunami of scary threat analyses, and identity theft will accelerate as a global problem, encouraging more companies to at least consider biometric security measures.
And finally in 2010 Justice Cowdroy of the Federal Court will hand down his decision in the AFACT versus iiNet case, leaving only one party delighted and the other party feeling as though it’s been mauled by the technology tiger.