Technology predictions 2010


Edit: Now includes predictions from: IDC, Gartner, Screen Digest, Elemental Links, Freeform Dynamics, Quocirca, Interpret, CCS Insight, RedMonk, Juniper Research, Interpret, IDEAS International

Predicting what will be big is a fun game that all the analysts like to play each year. The technology industry, often so full of hype, frequently drinks its own Kool-Aid and genuinely believes that they have the next big thing. Obviously I am a cynic, but I often doff my cap to the analyst world who makes their living (as IDC say) analysing the future.

Consequently I have listed below some of the predictions that our analysts have come out with in the hope of looking back at this post in a years time to see how accurate their prophetic skills are.

IDC’s two big guesses are an “Apple iPad” and “Battles in the Cloud.” They have an excellent download detailing their full views here which i would recommend everyone to get. Their summary is as follows:

  1. Growth will return to the IT industry in 2010. We predict 3.2% growth for the year, returning the industry to 2008 spending levels of about $1.5 trillion.
  2. 2010 will also see improved growth and stability in the worldwide
    telecommunications market, with worldwide spending predicted to increase 3%.
  3. Emerging markets will lead the IT recovery, with BRIC countries growing 8–13%.
  4. Cloud computing will expand and mature as we see a strategic battle for cloud
    platform leadership, new public cloud hot spots, private cloud offerings, cloud
    appliances, and offerings that bridge public and private clouds.
  5. It will be a watershed year in the ascension of mobile devices as strategic
    for commercial and enterprise developers as over 1 billion access the
    Internet, iPhone apps triple, Android apps quintuple, and Apple’s "iPad" arrives.
  6. Public networks — more important than ever — will continue their aggressive
    evolution to fiber and 3G and 4G wireless. 4G will be overhyped, more wireless
    networks will become "invisible," and the FCC will regulate over-the-top VoIP.
  7. Business applications will undergo a fundamental transformation — fusing
    business applications with social/collaboration software and analytics into a new generation of "socialytic" apps, challenging current market leaders.
  8. Rising energy costs and pressure from the Copenhagen Climate Change
    Conference will make sustainability a source of renewed opportunity for the IT
    industry in 2010.
  9. Other industries will come out of the recession with a transformation agenda and look to IT as an increasingly important lever for these initiatives. Smart meters and electronic medical records will hit important adoption levels.
  10. The IT industry’s transformations will drive a frenetic pace of M&A activity.

Gartner always one to beat the rush tend to name their strategic technologies in October for the next year. In fairness, they do have many bespoke reports on Predict 2010, they are behind their firewall so I cannot share the full content with you. However, below is their list of strategic technologies for 2010 which is in the public domain. I have fully copied below the below extract from the aforementioned release.

  1. Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterizes a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. Cloud-based services can be exploited in a variety of ways to develop an application or a solution. Using cloud resources does not eliminate the costs of IT solutions, but does re-arrange some and reduce others. In addition, consuming cloud services enterprises will increasingly act as cloud providers and deliver application, information or business process services to customers and business partners.
  2. Advanced Analytics. Optimization and simulation is using analytical tools and models to maximize business process and decision effectiveness by examining alternative outcomes and scenarios, before, during and after process implementation and execution. This can be viewed as a third step in supporting operational business decisions. Fixed rules and prepared policies gave way to more informed decisions powered by the right information delivered at the right time, whether through customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other applications. The new step is to provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, not simply information, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action. The new step looks into the future, predicting what can or will happen.
  3. Client Computing. Virtualization is bringing new ways of packaging client computing applications and capabilities. As a result, the choice of a particular PC hardware platform, and eventually the OS platform, becomes less critical. Enterprises should proactively build a five to eight year strategic client computing roadmap outlining an approach to device standards, ownership and support; operating system and application selection, deployment and update; and management and security plans to manage diversity.
  4. IT for Green. IT can enable many green initiatives. The use of IT, particularly among the white collar staff, can greatly enhance an enterprise’s green credentials. Common green initiatives include the use of e-documents, reducing travel and teleworking. IT can also provide the analytic tools that others in the enterprise may use to reduce energy consumption in the transportation of goods or other carbon management activities.
  5. Reshaping the Data Center. In the past, design principles for data centers were simple: Figure out what you have, estimate growth for 15 to 20 years, then build to suit. Newly-built data centers often opened with huge areas of white floor space, fully powered and backed by a uninterruptible power supply (UPS), water-and air-cooled and mostly empty. However, costs are actually lower if enterprises adopt a pod-based approach to data center construction and expansion. If 9,000 square feet is expected to be needed during the life of a data center, then design the site to support it, but only build what’s needed for five to seven years. Cutting operating expenses, which are a nontrivial part of the overall IT spend for most clients, frees up money to apply to other projects or investments either in IT or in the business itself.
  6. Social Computing. Workers do not want two distinct environments to support their work – one for their own work products (whether personal or group) and another for accessing “external” information. Enterprises must focus both on use of social software and social media in the enterprise and participation and integration with externally facing enterprise-sponsored and public communities. Do not ignore the role of the social profile to bring communities together.
  7. Security – Activity Monitoring. Traditionally, security has focused on putting up a perimeter fence to keep others out, but it has evolved to monitoring activities and identifying patterns that would have been missed before. Information security professionals face the challenge of detecting malicious activity in a constant stream of discrete events that are usually associated with an authorized user and are generated from multiple network, system and application sources. At the same time, security departments are facing increasing demands for ever-greater log analysis and reporting to support audit requirements. A variety of complimentary (and sometimes overlapping) monitoring and analysis tools help enterprises better detect and investigate suspicious activity – often with real-time alerting or transaction intervention. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these tools, enterprises can better understand how to use them to defend the enterprise and meet audit requirements.
  8. Flash Memory. Flash memory is not new, but it is moving up to a new tier in the storage echelon. Flash memory is a semiconductor memory device, familiar from its use in USB memory sticks and digital camera cards. It is much faster than rotating disk, but considerably more expensive, however this differential is shrinking. At the rate of price declines, the technology will enjoy more than a 100 percent compound annual growth rate during the new few years and become strategic in many IT areas including consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, it offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages including space, heat, performance and ruggedness.
  9. Virtualization for Availability. Virtualization has been on the list of top strategic technologies in previous years. It is on the list this year because Gartner emphases new elements such as live migration for availability that have longer term implications. Live migration is the movement of a running virtual machine (VM), while its operating system and other software continue to execute as if they remained on the original physical server. This takes place by replicating the state of physical memory between the source and destination VMs, then, at some instant in time, one instruction finishes execution on the source machine and the next instruction begins on the destination machine.
    However, if replication of memory continues indefinitely, but execution of instructions remains on the source VM, and then the source VM fails the next instruction would now place on the destination machine. If the destination VM were to fail, just pick a new destination to start the indefinite migration, thus making very high availability possible.
    The key value proposition is to displace a variety of separate mechanisms with a single “dial” that can be set to any level of availability from baseline to fault tolerance, all using a common mechanism and permitting the settings to be changed rapidly as needed. Expensive high-reliability hardware, with fail-over cluster software and perhaps even fault-tolerant hardware could be dispensed with, but still meet availability needs. This is key to cutting costs, lowering complexity, as well as increasing agility as needs shift.
  10. Mobile Applications. By year-end 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing a rich environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web. There are already many thousands of applications for platforms such as the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market and need for unique coding. It may take a newer version that is designed to flexibly operate on both full PC and miniature systems, but if the operating system interface and processor architecture were identical, that enabling factor would create a huge turn upwards in mobile application availability.

Edit now with mobile predictions from Julien Theys at Screen Digest (his view not the companies)

  1. Facebook’s careful and progressive foray into Location-Based services will deal a deadly blow to many mobile LBS startups
  2. SonyEricsson and Motorola’s handset businesses will face very serious existential crisis and possibly split up.
  3. Sony is very likely to take another solo shot at mobile (especially if it wants to leverage the Playstation branding)
  4. Palm will be acquired by a bigger fish
  5. Sync services, Address Book/Social Network consolidation and cloud backups are going to be ubiquitous
  6. Apple’s app store will remain an outlier in terms of success. Developers of crappy apps will blame everyone but themselves for not making any money.
    App rejection horror stories will keep tech pundits busy yet customers won’t care.
  7. Open source mobile software will keep tech pundits busy yet customers won’t care
  8. A very bad year for Windows Mobile, Microsoft to (try to) unify all its scattered efforts in portable media (WinMo, Zune, Sidekick…)
  9. A surprisingly high number of people will keep buying simple phones and not care about mobile web
  10. Wholesale B2B mobile data deals (like Kindle content delivery) to bring in extra cash for operators (big for eBook readers, navigation and automotive industries)
  11. Don’t hold your breath: Google hardware, iPhone nano, Android-based Nokias, decent mobile broadband speed & coverage.
  12. Tempted to say no Apple Tablet in 2010 because, really, where’s the rush?

: Now with Clive Longbottom from Quocirca

  1. Process needs come to the fore (again). BPM players need to go to the cloud, feel the FaaS
  2. Budgets do improve, but only for point projects.
  3. Few platform projects outside of virtualisation…
  4. Licence management issues force more vendors to subscription agreements – but small print still problematic

Edit: Now with CCS Insight

  1. Motorola will be acquired by Google. Although this is an unlikely scenario, it would deliver Google a portfolio of Android-powered devices. We would expect Motorola’s Devices headquarters to shift to Mountain View in California.
  2. Apple will make major moves into mapping, location and augmented reality. Such moves would pitch Apple into direct competition with Google and Nokia. They would also end Apple’s reliance on Google for mapping services.
  3. Amazon will make a larger play in mobile in 2010. It already sells phones, accessories, netbooks and music, and has a well-established and trusted payment system. The Kindle device and its connectivity agreement with AT&T are expanding worldwide. Amazon will exploit its strength in cloud services, either by offering recommendations as a cloud service to software stores, or by setting up a world-scale application store.
  4. Most application stores will not be profitable during 2010. Like store owners, developers will be frustrated by the gap between the promise of easy income and the reality of needing careful marketing to make consumers aware of applications.
  5. At least one European country will introduce a mobile telecom tax in 2010. Governments are looking to bridge national budget gaps, and mobile network operators’ substantial revenues will be an attractive target.
  6. Some countries will see a fall in subscriber numbers. As prepaid users switch to contracts they will discard their two or three old prepaid SIMs. In high-penetration markets such as Italy we expect leading operators to report a decline in customers.
  7. At least two major European operators will stop subsidising phones in 2010. They will switch to a SIM-only strategy, and offer nothing but SIM-only contracts to new customers and to people renewing or upgrading contracts.
  8. Microsoft will port Windows 7 to the ARM architecture. The move will be a hedge against burgeoning growth in sub-netbook mobile computing, but Microsoft will not acknowledge the port before the end of 2010. Any ARM products running Windows 7 would not be available until 2011.

Edit: Now with Governor, Coté and SOG from the RedMonk massive. My apologies to RedMonk for combining and editing your predictions together to form a top 20

  1. Cloud API proliferation will become a serious problem
  2. Data as revenue – we’re going to see datasets increasingly recognized as a serious, balance sheet-worthy asset
  3. Developer target fragmentation will accelerate
  4. It’s all about the analytics – metrics can be immensely important in maximizing returns, and to an extent, profits. In 2010 business intelligence will become less about the power user, and more about democratised access to the ad hoc query. In memory databases will underpin the trend.
  5. Marketplaces will be table stakes (Jonny edit: my first client was Commerce One)
  6. New languages to watch: Clojure and Go
  7. NoSQL will bid for mainstream acceptance
  8. Location, location, location: the new frontier in app dev is location-aware applications and services
  9. Augmented Reality will begin to make a mark in the mobile space.
  10. Greener business processes through deeper instrumentation, more effective automation and orchestration
  11. Google will significantly ramp up enterprise efforts
  12. Hybrid Cloud and On Premise models for the enterprise – the Big Cloud Backlash will be in full effect in 2010, after all the hype in 2009.
  13. SOA without the SOA
  14. A big upswing in enterprise demerger activity
  15. New devices: Smart phones, tablets, toys, TVs, and other devices are now on the Internet. Software goes here.
  16. Users no longer tolerate slow and dumb computers.
  17. Technology every where and at all times changes how people go about their daily work and lives.
  18. New technology actually seems to work; but it’s not as open as we’re used to.
  19. Identity management standards
  20. The consumerization of IT, or whatever you like: the core difference with these new platforms is that end-users expect more out of their “computers” and the related software.

image Edit: Now with Juniper Research

  1. Mobile Data Traffic Explosion to strain 3G Networks, spur data pricing overhaul
  2. Mobile Ecosystem starts to go green
  3. Mobile Heads for the Cloud
  4. New category of Smartbooks to Emerge
  5. Apps Stores All Round
  6. Mobile Social Networking to Integrate with other Applications including M-Commerce
  7. NFC phones appear in the shops
  8. At least 10 LTE networks to be launched into service
  9. Smartphones to Get Augmented Reality Makeover
  10. Christmas Kindle sales expected to herald the rise of the connected embedded consumer devices

Edit: Now with CMS Watch

  1. Enterprise Content Management and Document Management will go their separate ways
  2. Faceted search will pervade enterprise applications
  3. Digital Asset Management vendors will focus on SharePoint integration over geographic expansion
  4. Mobile will come of age for Document Management and Enterprise Search
  5. WCM vendors will give more love to Intranets
  6. Enterprises will lead thick client backlash
  7. Cloud alternatives will become pervasive
  8. Document Services will become an integrated part of ECM
  9. Gadgets and Widgets will sweep the Portal world
  10. Records Managers face renewed resistance
  11. Internal and external social and collaboration technologies will diverge
  12. Multi-lingual requirements will rise to the fore

image Edit: Now with Hurwitz Group about the SMB market

  1. Pent Up SMB Demand Will Be There—But Wont Be Easy to Capture
  2. SMBs Accelerate Their Shift to Digital Marketing Media
  3. The Collaboration Battle Heats Up
  4. The New Face of Small Business
  5. Savvy SMB Vendors Get Strategic About Social Media Analysis
  6. SMBs Drive the Mobile Internet Tsunami
  7. Virtualization Boosts Cloud Computing Adoption
  8. SMBs Appetite for Managed Services Grows
  9. Beyond ExcelTargeted Workflow and Analytic Tools Takes Flight
  10. 2009 Acquisitions Drive New Value for SMB customers in 2010
  11. Time to Get Paid for Selling a Free Lunch
  12. Vendors Scramble for SMB Developer Loyaltyand New Integration Needs Arise
  13. SaaS Computing Lifts Off in New Areas

image Edit: Now with Interpret, LLC

  1. Mobile services will gain importance over applications
  2. The smartphone market will fragment
  3. Mobile platforms will consolidate
  4. We will hit the intersection of mobile and social networks
  5. Microsoft will not retreat from the mobile market

tmp1E4Edit: Now with IDEAS International

  1. More mergers, acquisitions and alliances will occur. IDEAS expects to see some surprising moves, many of which will be opportunistic, but others due to strategic shifts in response to competitive realignments in the industry. Acquisitions could include hardware companies buying large system software companies, and more high-profile software companies buying hardware companies.
  2. Demand for server systems will rebound. Server deployment will pick up in 2010 due to pent-up demand, and as customers take advantage of new technology to streamline their infrastructure. Companies that do not make their IT more efficient will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. As the economy recovers, companies that optimize their business processes to maximize use of IT will gain an advantage over those that have concentrated only on cutting costs.
  3. Green marketing hype will subside as the issue matures. Corporate executives will remain highly focused on environmental goals for the overall corporation, but for departmental-level IT managers, "efficient IT" will gradually replace "green computing" as a priority.
  4. x86 servers will continue their drive into the datacenter. The sharp increase in performance of Intel’s Nehalem processor will accelerate the use of x86 servers for hosting enterprise-level workloads, but x86 servers will not take on the same characteristics as the "big-iron" systems that traditionally made up the heart of datacenters. Instead, servers and storage systems will employ various forms of clustering software on inexpensive hardware to achieve scalability and reliability.
  5. Server form factors will progress from towers and racks to integrated appliance-like systems. Integrated solutions that combine multiple layers of IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, networking, and software, will become increasingly appealing to organizations that have the need for next-generation datacenter capabilities, but lack the depth of personnel to manage complex new technology such as virtual infrastructure.
  6. Server virtualization will converge with storage and network virtualization. I/O infrastructure virtualization, which applies virtualization functions to storage and networking infrastructure, will continue to evolve very rapidly throughout 2010, with high stakes for vendors to chart out positions in next-generation datacenter infrastructures.
  7. System software will fragment, and heterogeneous virtualization management will become a requirement. As virtualization takes hold across the industry, the operating system will begin to lose its grip on IT as the center of the software universe. Users will apply virtualization to workloads that span multiple departments or business units, and as a result, virtualization management tools will have to support multiple virtualization platforms.
  8. Organizations will build their own "secure" clouds. Despite continued fascination with the prospect of tapping into third-party computing infrastructures, the most pressing concern for the majority of users will be to virtualize as much as possible of their internal infrastructure into "secure" or "private" clouds.
  9. Public clouds will draw startups, and some experimental use by larger organizations. Startups will use cloud-based services to minimize costs and accelerate time to market, and some small companies will move routine workloads to Software as a Service (SaaS) for cost savings. Mid-sized and large enterprise companies will experiment with third-party cloud services by temporarily deploying some production workloads on them.
  10. IT administrator roles will take on a broader scope. With the rise of virtual infrastructure in next-generation datacenters, skill sets that traditionally fell into separate silos for servers, storage, software, and networking, will have to converge. Few people have such converged skills today, and those that do have them will become more valuable.

Edit: single predictions from analysts:

  1. The biggest thing in IT in 2010 will be datacentres. but thanks to virtualisation they will be a tad lighter.
    Martin Atherton from Freeform Dynamics (< well I found this very funny)
  2. 2010: Event Processing transcends niche status, to well-recognized & adopted business technique for real-time visibility & responsiveness.
    Brenda Michelson from Elemental Links
  3. The real hot mobile topic in 2010 will shift from mobile apps to mobile services.
    Michael Gartenberg from Interpret

I will update this post with additional content as it becomes available from other analyst houses in the hope of having a one-place summary.

Additional note: Edelman have had their own stab at gazing into the crystal ball looking at what 2010 and beyond may hold for the Economy, Business, Government and the Media. You can read the full content here.


24 Responses to “Technology predictions 2010”

  1. 1 lauriemccabe

    Thanks for posting ours, and its interesting to see in which areas all of us are seeing similar trends!

  2. 2 Neo

    Here’s another great list for top 10 tech predictions

    Check it out.

  3. Yeah, mobile services will rocks 2010. I hope that will bring more jobs into the industry.

    Great list anyway.

  4. I would like to know your vision or prediction about the GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) Top 10 Strategic and Information Technologies for 2010.


  5. Motorola will be acquired by Google.That would be an interesting phenomenon. A gadget that has a search engine will create the world in our grasp.

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