It’s 2009 (Happy New Year, everyone!) and that means it’s time for predictions for the new year. I’ve read articles here and there listing what’s “in” and what’s “out,” what kind of changes we can expect, and what kind of technology we will all be using later this year. This is my list of what I see:
Telecommuting and Outsourcing. As the economy drifts from bad to worse, and eventually back again, many businesses will be looking at ways to minimize costs as well as keep the best workers happy when they can’t afford to give them big raises. Telecommuting has been growing over the years, and I expect it to continue to grow. But what I also see is that companies will be looking for contracted outsourcing that takes advantage of telecommuting. A contracted worker could provide their own equipment, office space, software, and connection to the Internet, reducing costs overall for the employer to provide these things.
Energy Use Reduction through Virtualization. We all know how IT and our enormous server farms are drains on public power sources. They are also a huge chunk of what is paid in operating expenses at any business. Reducing the amount of servers needed, and desktops needed, through virtualization, could save considerable dollars through the course of a year. I work with two desktops and a laptop on my desk every day, but I’m busily converting my workhorse desktop machine into a multi-functioning, multi-layered computer that runs everything I need in virtualized environments. Many of our training dollars right now are pushed towards virtualization.
More Interns, Fewer New Hires. We have already seen this growing here on our campus. We never utilized interns before, now we have four to six of them on staff at any given time. Empty positions are not being filled due to hiring freezes, and the interns provide a valuable labor pool that costs us nothing but a little training time. It is a win-win situation for both the intern and our institution.
Continued Non-Deployment of Vista. Despite that fact that I use Vista machines (two of them, in fact) and that it’s been out for nearly two years, companies and institutions are not buying into it. All are waiting for Windows 7. I am used to it and can navigate through it, even though it annoys me, but I still prefer XP, even after using Vista for better than a year in my daily work. Vista is not for the faint of heart, or for the non-techie market, sad to say. My hopes are pinned on Windows 7, I hope I’m not disappointed.
Smart Phone Deployment. Smart phones are yesterday’s PDA’s. For some in the workforce, a smart phone may be plenty for what they do. For the techies out there, the smart phone will never replace a computer. I’ve resisted the smart phone invasion because to me it is just a toy, something to pass time while I’m waiting to get back to my keyboard. Tech workers will need to be able to help clients integrate smart phones into their technology pools.
Decentralization of Technologists’ Skill Sets. That’s a mouthful. What I mean is that technologists will need to know more than technology. The push is to have more technologists understanding management structures and methods, budget considerations, non-technological solutions to technical problems, and long-term goal setting and forecasting. CIO’s and Technology Managers these days are being hired based more on their management skills than on their technical skills. Having a broadbased knowledge and experience will make technologists more hirable in the short- and long-term future.
That’s what I see. Did I miss anything?