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Where's i-Technology Headed in 2007?

Annual Poll of Industry Prognosticators


SaaS . Open Source . Mobile . Enterprise IM Social Networks . China . Virtualization . RFID . Internet Video . Prediction Networks . Intelligent Wikis

The Z Generation CIO & IT Professional
By Bob Zurek
Director of Advanced Technologies with IBM Information Integration Solutions

The Z Generation is typically described as those who are born sometime during the early 2000s and continue to the 2017 time frame. So what will these Generation Z IT Professionals be experienced with. Here's my prediction for the Top Ten characteristics (and this is just the tip of the iceberg):

  1. Grew up in the world of SaaS and open source and wonders why you would ever license and install software. If you still needed to install software, then it should be available in the form of open source. Expects all internal projects to be developed using the open source model.
  2. Grew up with a mobile technology and wonders how anyone could run a business without it. Insists everything be available on a highly portable digital device and everyone in the organization have a device. No exceptions.
  3. Grew up knowing how to leverage the power of social networks for the benefit of the corporation. This includes the ability to build out these networks and use them to help build new products and technologies. Generation Z CIOs will have a huge advantage as they have grown up as participants in many social networks. China will be a big source of these networks. Websites will be built by the Z Generation CIO to invite outsiders in to help build new and innovative products that have yet to be thought of by the enterprises internal employees.
  4. Grew up using Instant Messaging and will insist that the enterprise use IM as a priority over email and that email will only be used if the communications can't be done using the features of the future enterprise IM platform.
  5. Will tap into offerings such as TopCoder.com to supplement project teams. There will be a world of competing Topcoder.com like sites where the best coders in the world will be found to solve very complex algorithms and other challenging software projects facing the IT department. China will be a major provider of these teams.
  6. Grew up with a complete understanding of the value of virtualization and therefore, their datacenter will be virtualized and the IT operating fabric will be grid-based, tapping the power of external grids of CPU.
  7. RFID Everywhere. The Z Generation will be the ones that take RFID to new heights. Everything that is taggable will be tagged and tracked.
  8. CIO and Z Generation IT Professionals will leverage the power of Internet video by taking advantage of companies like BrightCove Networks which will bring knowledge workers engaging channels like "The Customer Service Channel", "The Corporate Strategy Channel", "The M&A Channel" and others. I can see companies like Harvard Business Review and others producing content for these channels. Imagine the "The DataCenter Channel." The topics are endless and will be as easy to find as bringing up your favorite search engine. New content will be generated targeted for companies like "The IBM Channel" or the "GE Channel." I would love to see "The Institute of The Future Channel"
  9. Intelligent Wikis will be the primary source of knowledge in an enterprise and will eventually do what data warehousing did for business intelligence. Furthermore, new internal employee-generated communities will spin up to voluntarily invent new projects during their off-hours to showcase their creativity that is typically not known by the employer.
  10. CIOs will aggressively adopt Prediction Networks as part of the core business strategy to better help the enterprise gauge where everything from sales to new product development will be successful.

Open Source Java . General Public License v2 . GPL v3

Consequences of Open-Sourcing Java
by Tony Wasserman
Professor of Software Engineering Practice at Carnegie Mellon West and Executive Director of the Center for Open Source Investigation (COSI) The open-sourcing of Java under the GPL 2 license will have a ripple effect on various technical and business issues in 2007:

  • First, people will closely study the Java source code and find one or more serious bugs, at least one of which has been there since the earliest days of Java.
  • Second, a real-time systems vendor will fork the source code, as permitted by the GPL, and create a variant that is "tuned" for real-time applications. This step will be the focus of a major debate within the Java community.
  • Third, the open-sourcing of Java will have a positive impact on the adoption and use of open source software in general.
  • Fourth, the use of the GPL 2 for open-sourcing Java will inhibit the completion and acceptance of the GPL 3 proposal.

Open Sun . iPod Uno . IT2 . Microsoft VAPOR

...And in Other 2007 News
by Richard Monson-Haefel
Award-Winning Author & Senior Analyst, Burton Group

1.  Jonathan Schwartz open-sources Sun Microsystems.
In a move that will surprise everyone Sun Microsystems will announce that it will open source its entire company. Sales, marketing, finance, and even operations will be open to the community for anyone to contribute.

2.  Apple computer announces the iPod Uno.
The size of a match stick with no screen or controls, the iPod Uno plays one song in a constant loop. Despite its limited capabilities, the tiny device becomes an instant hit and a cultural icon.

3.  In what is heralded as the seminal article on the subject, Tim Berners-Lee mentions "IT2"
Overnight the term morphs into "IT 2.0," spawning thousands of blog entries and press articles, a dozen books, five conferences, and millions of dollars in venture capital. It turns out that the original article, incomprehensible to most readers, was actually another attempt to explain the Semantic Web and the IT2 reference was just a typo.

4.  Microsoft will create the first CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) position.
The new CMO will immediately change his own title to Chief Command & Control of Packaging Officer (C3PO) and then announce that Vista will be delayed and renamed Microsoft Virtualization Application Program Operating system Reloaded (Microsoft VAPOR).

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