The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
Issue No. 15 - 4 January 2010
Happy New Year!
In This Issue
Summing up the Decade...
...and Predicting the Next One
Seen Recently
CB photo
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Summing Up the Decade...
In the last issue, we asked you to send your summary of "the Decade in IT." You obviously don't like holiday homework much! Jimmie Keddie and Nigel Cooke sent contributions, Claude Baudoin edited them and contributed his own:
  • [NC] The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly? Social Networking, Social Networking, Social Networking. Too many online personas, too much cross-linking, too much risk of my details slipping out into the wrong hands. Perhaps it's time to step away from the keyboard and go see what's outside. What's that, fresh air? Wow!
  • [JK] Process as Intellectual Property. It may have seemed preposterous to grant Amazon a patent for "one-click buying" but as a result, those of us in the knowledge business got the opportunity to accumulate intellectual property.
  • [JK] Old Telecom Model Dies. Huge fortunes were sunk into excess fiber capacity, and the number of land lines started decreasing. But like new trees sprouting after a forest fire clears the overgrown underbrush, new models and enterprises are thriving in a mobile world.
  • [JK] Space-Age Contributions to IT. Geotagging and satellite photos have become commonplace aids to tasks as diverse as managing natural resources and getting turn-by-turn driving directions. Space exploration was always a big user of IT, but started returning significant IT value to the common mortal.
  • [JK] The Internet and Politics. From the role of MoveOn.Org in the last US election to a viral YouTube video of the death of a protester on a Tehran street, to SMS-convened "flash mobs," Internet and mobile devices have resulted in the unprecedented empowerment of common citizens.
  • [CB] Supercomputing used to be purely a hardware game. Grid computing and now cloud computing have added an architecture dimension with massively parallel and multicore systems. We've blazed through gigascale and petascale computing in just a few years, "exascale" is the new buzz.
  • [CB] Enterprise Architecture may be the worst-chosen term of the IT decade ("enterprise information architecture" would at least be better), but it has meant a key change of focus from just piling on monolithic and siloed applications. SOA, BPM and Master Data Management went from 0 to 100 in just a few years.
  • [CB] In 2000, the Web was essentially a one-way publishing mechanism. Today, it is a full-fledged application platform. But do you even know where your data is anymore?
  • [CB] Many have adopted Agile Software Development and Agile Project Management, but "Agile IT" is still too much of an oxymoron. We need infrastructures and business systems that don't require year-long waterfall processes before the end user sees a deliverable.
...and Predicting the Next One
My colleagues and I at the Cutter Consortium went tout on a limb and recorded our predictions for 2010 and beyond. I contributed five headlines:
  • We are now at the real beginning of socially-mediated KM.
  • Collaboration in the Cloud will make it possible for employees to share documents, host their e-mail, conduct their teleconferences, manage customer communications, etc., without installing Outlook, SharePoint or Lotus, giving companies leverage against the software giants.
  • Expect contractors and consultants to be in demand, and many of them will be ex-employees who will now be more interested in being their own boss than in rejoining full-time.
  • "Security is atomic": more sophisticated authorization and access control systems will be vital in the 2010s.
  • By 2012, compelling user features -- the kinds of things that make people camp out overnight in the rain in front of an Apple Store -- will come from companies that understood how to maintain during the recession, then quickly ramp up, an investment in IT innovation and in the people capable of it.
You can see the full text here, then scroll up or down to see what others read in their crystal balls.
Seen Recently...
"As the web has grown we have migrated from searching for a 'needle in a haystack' to looking for a 'needle in a needlestack'."
-- Peter Cochrane, in a blog post about search inefficiency