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i-Technology Predictions for 2009

2009 Will Be The Year of Cloud Computing; Cassatt CEO warns: "But remember, it's only Cloud 1.0. There's still work to do."

Industry Leaders Discuss the Future of Cloud Computing - Click Here To Enjoy SYS-CON's Cloud-Specific Predictions Round-up

Every year SYS-CON polls selected members of the the Internet technologies (i-Technology) community and asks them to share their thoughts on what's around the corner in the world of i-Technology and Web-based enterprise. The main consensual themes this year were very clear. Cassatt Corporation's visionary CEO Bill Coleman, for example - famous in a former life for being the 'B' in BEA Systems - is adamant that 2009 is going to be The Year of Cloud. Belt-tightening by major IT-spenders not surprisingly was another recurring theme.

As early as 2004 Cassatt was outlining a roadmap to deliver on the promise of automating IT operations for on-demand computing and currently its angle, Cloud Computing-wise, is to focus not on public or external clouds but on 'Internal Clouds' so it's hardly surprising that The Cloud features in Coleman's set of predictions.

WILLIAM T. COLEMAN III, Chairman & CEO, Cassatt Corporation

Prediction #1: In 2009, it's all about "the cloud." Save money, move fast, and…ooops. Expect some problems. But remember, it's only Cloud 1.0. There's still work to do. Oh, and virtualization alone is not enough to make it all work.

Prediction #2: Google is the biggest and the best on the Net, but there is one problem: the whole world isn't just an ad. In 2009, Google meets the real world. Sorry, Google, but it's tough to have to compete when you are only the Yellow Pages.

Prediction #3: Social Networking. The world will discover in 2009 that "Wow, it really is a platform." It's my life, but on the network with my "friends." It really is who I am. Now we have to figure out if it can be monetized. Which, of course, means we'll see overinvestment in unproven business models in 2009, leading to another "bust" down the line.

Prediction #4: In 2009, identity becomes the fulcrum of security issues. It's an issue we finally realize that we have to solve, or we can expect a serious cyber-meltdown.

VIK CHAUDHARY, Vice President of Product Management and Corporate Development, Keynote Systems

Prediction: In 2009 millions of new programmers will enter the software industry.

Here's the basis for Chaudhary's prediction.

"In the 1980s, the software industry moved from mainframe computing to PC computing. Companies like Microsoft sprang up, creating software development tools that spawned a whole generation of programmers. Programmers didn't need to learn arcane programming languages like Cobol, or even have to master languages like C or C++ - they could program in 4GL languages like Visual Basic and SQLWindows. At this point, legions of programmers entered the workforce, as the bar to build applications was lowered.

In the 1990s, the same thing happened with programming languages like HTML and JavaScript, making it far easier for someone to build web sites and applications. In the 2000s, with cloud computing making it easy for programmers to build applications and allowing someone else deploy and manage them, there will be a new generation of programmers who focus on the application and less on the infrastructure. And it just gets easier and easier to be a programmer!"

The next set of speculations on the future come from industry veteran Jnan Dash.

JNAN DASH, Chief Strategy Officer, Curl

"Given the economic crisis and recession, there is belt-tightening by major IT-spenders," Dash says. "So what technologies will win? Anything that helps in cost savings. When the top line (a.k.a. revenue) stops growing, companies will attack the bottom line (a.k.a. cost)."

Here is his prediction for 2009:

"The much anticipated switch to web platform from client-server will start to take off in 2009. Call it enterprise RIA if you like. The question is not whether one should use Curl, or Flex or Silverlight. That's the wrong end of the argument - adopting technology for the sake of technology. The key question is - how do you justify such application modernization?

With over 400 enterprise class customers we have a lot of actual examples of Curl implementations providing real business savings. Unfortunately the details of these examples are mostly company confidential. Recently we have been detailing possible business savings based real customer cases but using example data. We find this helps in getting the discussion going on what the opportunity for savings could be. Here are three examples:

  • Better Performance -The current application takes 90 seconds to perform a complex data visualization. If 1,000 employees perform this operation 50 times per day this is 1250 hours of wait time per day. If the visualization time is reduced to 1 second this saves 300,000 hours per year and at $20/hour that is more than $6M/year!
  • Better Visualization - The current process to find error patterns in operational data takes 60 minutes and the department of 100 employees whose job it is to identify and fix these errors typically finds 600 errors a day. If good data visualization can reduce the time to find one error pattern to 10 minutes this would save 500 hours per day or 130,000 hours per year. At $20 per hour this is $2.6M in savings per year!
  • Support Cost - The current client-server application must be updated 6 times a year to 10,000 users. Each update costs $5 in distribution and material costs and 15 minutes of end user time. A Web application would eliminate this cost and save approximately $600,000 a year."

CHRIS FLECK, VP of Solutions Development and Community Evangelism, Citrix Systems

Prediction #1: The iPhone goes Enterprise - The iPhone will gain rapid adoption in the Enterprise driven by user demands including executives, road warriors, and knowledge workers asking for access to any app ( including windows apps ) from anywhere. IT will increasingly support the effort based on new improved security capabilities and productivity gains ( including for themselves ).

Prediction #2: Corporate issued laptop model will be challenged - Companies looking to provide access to day extenders without the full expense and maintenance of a company laptop will increasingly adopt application delivery infrastructure like XenApp that can provide safe IT hosted application access from un-trusted personal PC’s. In addition, companies will begin to pilot the BYOC ( Bring Your Own Computer ) model for knowledge workers seeking personal choice while reducing IT expense and support costs.

Prediction #3: Virtual Desktops grow beyond a niche - Improvements in user experience capabilities of VDI solutions combined with the reduced support cost model will drive increased adoption of VDI beyond the initial niche deployments.

Prediction #4: IaaS Cloud Providers are no longer just for web startups - The recent Windows offering by Amazon will validate the IaaS ( Infrastructure as a Service ) model as a viable platform for companies small and large looking to add test and targeted production capacity without capital and facility costs.

Prediction #5: Netbooks drive Servers, Clouds and Linux clients - The rapid adoption of Netbooks based on low cost and light weight convenience will increase the desire to run server hosted apps ( Web and Windows ). A significant number of the new mini laptops will be used for occasional use vs a primary PC which makes maintaining local apps and synchronizing data problematic. This in turn will help break the traditional model of running Windows apps installed on PCs and laptops.

Industry Leaders Discuss the Future of Cloud Computing - Click Here To Enjoy SYS-CON's Cloud-Specific Predictions Round-up

SCOTT LOWE, Blogger and Senior Engineer with ePlus

Prediction #1 - On virtualization: In 2009 we will see virtualization market leader VMware finally take the wraps off some very technologically advanced functionality, but growth will be much harder to come by than in previous years. Microsoft will gain market share at VMware's expense as the hypervisor increasingly becomes commoditized and moves closer and closer to being just a part of the server's firmware. I predict Citrix will continue to remain in 3rd place out of the three major virtualization vendors; their only bright spot will be VDI.

Prediction #2 - On cloud computing: Consumers will increasingly adopt cloud computing services, but enterprises will remain wary of moving applications into the cloud until some open standards around interoperability get finalized and adopted by the major vendors. Service providers will be forced to embrace multiple cloud computing platforms, like VMware vCloud and Citrix Cloud Center, in order to compete effectively, but the lack of management and interoperability standards will make it difficult, if not impossible, to fluidly move between the different platforms. Major cloud computing outages and/or security breaches will further spook the enterprise except in niche areas, such as those currently being served by SaaS vendors.

Prediction #3 - On enterprise IT: Organizations will adopt a private cloud architecture for internal IT operations, but will be much more wary about moving applications onto external clouds. There are too many questions around security, privacy, control, compatibility, and vendor lock-in. Virtualization will be the key building block of private enterprise cloud architectures, and "cloud storage" will start to see greater attention and coverage.

Prediction #4 - On server hardware: Both Intel and AMD will continue to push more and more virtualization support features into the hardware. One or both of them may even go so far as to introduce their own hypervisor, or perhaps license a small hypervisor to be embedded deeply in their chipsets. Eight core CPUs will be introduced. PCI Express-based I/O virtualization via MR-IOV will begin to see greater adoption.

Industry Leaders Discuss the Future of Cloud Computing - Click Here To Enjoy SYS-CON's Cloud-Specific Predictions Round-up


More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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