Tech Briefing

By John Zyskowski

Blog archive

Crazy prediction, or crazy serious?

IT has often been a transformative -- even revolutionary – force on government, business and society, yet the clues that can foreshadow these seismic shifts are often buried in the bland market reports that are the staples of the tech industry, like the surging sales of one type of microprocessor, or a certain software application becoming more popular at the expense of another.

But every so often industry analysts and observers lay out a vision of the future that absolutely grabs our attention. Below are six such predictions and estimations from the past year. They conjure a slice of reality that is significantly different from the one we live and work in today.

What’s your take on these bold prognostications? Are they the self-interested ruminations of somebody looking for some attention? Or do they portray a future that you and your colleagues are preparing for? And how so? Do these predictions even apply to government?

You can share your thoughts by using the “Comment” button below. Your comments will appear online and in a special year-end print issue that we will publish in December. Please include your e-mail address in the form so that we can follow up with you directly if we have any questions. We will not post your e-mail address publicly.

  1. One out of five businesses will own no IT assets at all by 2012, predict Gartner analysts. They say several interrelated trends are driving the movement toward decreased IT hardware assets, such as virtualization, cloud-enabled services, and employees running personal desktops and notebook systems on enterprise networks.
  2. Seventy-five percent or more of jobs in stand-alone IT departments will go away by 2015, according to the Corporate Executive Board. Some of the responsibilities of the lost jobs will have moved to external providers or have migrated to mission-focused roles in other departments.
  3. One trillion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2013, said Cisco Chief Technology Officer Padma Warrior during a conference keynote speech earlier this year. Added to the current base of about 35 billion devices will be an explosion in remote sensors and new mobile devices, creating huge opportunities for new applications.
  4. The government can save $1 trillion in 10 years by harnessing certain proven technologies, asserts the Technology CEO Council. The feds can achieve these savings by consolidating data centers and implementing other IT efficiency measures, using analytic software to root out fraud in spending and entitlement programs, and streamlining government procurement.
  5. One in four personal computing devices sold will be tablets by 2015, predicts Forrester analysts.
  6. Data will grow by 800 percent in the next 5 years, according to Gartner analysts. Eighty percent of that will be the unstructured variety, like text and media files, that can be the most challenging kind to manage and leverage.

Posted by John Zyskowski on Nov 02, 2010 at 7:27 PM

Reader Comments

Mon, Nov 29, 2010 Chris Stockner Gray Butte Flight Test Facility, CA

The individuality and self-sufficiency of an American will drive innovation to support these traits, and that may include less reliance on mid-tier IT infrastructures. Organization-driven cost cutting and 6Sigma programs will accelerate any changes that can unload expensive IT assets and related labor costs that must be passed on to their customers. Mobility afforded by not being tied down to organization facilities will permit workers to work from their own offices close to their homes which civil engineers and urban planners are envisioning as a must for future viable communities.

Mon, Nov 15, 2010

Where are the flying cars? They promised me flying cars!

Sat, Nov 13, 2010

These forecast are in the right direction, but maybe understated. Technology enables explosive growth and new opportunities to excel. As for individual forecasts, I have been buy tablet pc as gifts for family members.

Fri, Nov 12, 2010 oregon

"One out of five businesses will own no IT assets at all by 2012" Well, forget virtualization, and enterprise networks then, those require IT assets. Must be employees using personally owned equipment connecting directly to cloud services (4G?).
"Seventy-five percent or more of jobs in stand-alone IT departments will go away by 2015" Hm, in less than 5 years. All that restructuring. And employee training. And with huge growth predicted in tech. Call me skeptical.

Fri, Nov 12, 2010 M Reston

The first two may fall short due to security concerns. The one about government savings is about the potential. I think mindset will prvent us from reaping that potential savings. I believe that if it weren't for mindset the government would be doing more with much less today. I thought the Bush Administration would champion this in the name of more efficient government. They didn't. I thought the Obama Administration would champion this. They won't because of their union mindset.

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