To understand how the future is let us start with current trends in hardware:
- Multi-Core and parallel computing technologies: Bringing the power of multi processors and parallel computing to the masses (which was only seen possible with high end mini/main/supercomputers in the past).
- Improvements to virtualization: Go full throtttle with multi-cores by using virtualization, systems are pushed to the maximum capacity by running more than one Operating Systems at a time.
- Improvements to network infrastructure: Gigabyte networks, perhaps pave ways to terabyte networks soon.
- Convergence of devices (phone, camera, gaming consoles, audio/video players, computer): Pushing electronics to do more than expected.
- Lower hardware costs (memory, processor and everything)
Followed by trends in software:
- Cloud/Grid: Do I really need to buy, install and manager operating systems or applications locally, when I can run them on a resourse somewhere?
- On Demand/Software as Service: I’ll pay only for the service I’ll use and depending on how often I’ll use.
- Social Networking: Focusing on collaborative applications.
- In memory content: Shrinking hardware costs and higher bandwidth will let softwares forget about memory or resource availability concerns.
The above two trends helps to drive the following business needs:
- Shrink costs (IT, Software, hardware, maintenance)
- Bring value (win customers loyalty with great services, technology is not a niche anymore)
- Synergy (one place is good for everything; too many stuff depreciates the value of the system. I personally like the Google and Microsoft’s approach on collaborative tools)
- Speed (Be flexible and agile to add new services in demand)
While organizations push technologies to a space where software application will no longer run on a physical box, the limitations of current technologies will be forgotten soon. Perhaps one can imagine a future where everything is on the network. The Operating system is your browser on a net book; the applications will be served to you based on your subscriptions, and you will pay fees based on your usage. All this seems cool and the solutions are coming up slowly, if not now, this could be the case 3-4 years from now.
What could be in demand (to name a few)?
- Cyber security and policing
- Information centric web (Windows Mesh, Google docs, Salesforce and alike)
- Collaborative Tools (Google wave)
- Parallel programming skills (we’re not using the 100% effectiveness of the resources one has today, not all applications are developed with this in mind)
Factors to consider:
- Bring end users to adopt this trend
- Make end users feel secure (don’t let Sky Net take over)
- Turn business monopoly to multi-organizational teams
Solutions can be found for the challenges with new technologies invented. For all this to happen, we need people to make them happen, without the right people, all these are just dreams.
Change with the wind and catch up with the technology, think business cloud, innovate and move forward. What matters is what you contribute to the change and how you will be the change.