The following are some random thoughts, many of which I began thinking about for blog spots, but never got around to them...
- In 2009, a BIG corporation will partner will drop Microsoft and partner with Google for their office productivity applications - and not only to eliminate the license fees, but to create a profit/revenue stream within the IT department. Here's my reasoning...standard office apps [email, IM, calendar, task lists, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.] are fairly common place. The functionality is fairly standard [unless you're a power user] and most users only take advantage of a small percentage of the functionality. Enter Google Docs/Apps and the advantage of delivering advertising. What if the Google and the IT department did a revenue share on ads delivered? No only would IT take a chunk out of their budget, they would also be providing an additional service to their users. It will happen, it's just a matter of when - because "general" advertising growth is going to slow in 2009, so creative companies will be looking to do something different.
- End user computing [in all it's various flavors and configurations] is quickly becoming irrelevant within Corporate IT - and the datacenter/shared computing is gaining importance. This trend has been happening for a while - but we will see a resurgence of investment within the shared computing infrastructure over the next few years. This does not mean Corporate IT won't control some level of the end-user compute environment - they will if only for security and compliance reasons - but needing to "own" it and "dictate" what it is, will go away. If users want to use WinTel, LinTel, Apple, Mobile - won't matter. What will matter is gaining control over "who" is accessing, "what" they access and "where" it is being stored. Everything else is unimportant.
- Winning companies and technology will be those that are two things (a) simple to use and (b) flexible in the their application. Twitter is a perfect example of both traits - what is more simple than a single input box with a limit of 140 characters? And no one tells me what to put in the box - I can promote my business, suggest a website or article, tell people how I feel, or wax philosophical. It can be used for any number of things - and there is a growing ecosystem around it - allowing people to create tools and productivity enhancements. Simple and Flexible. A formula for success.
- And finally, 2009 will be a tough year for most people - because change is tough. What we believed was "truth" was merely an illusion - what we thought was "fact" was really opinion. But I also believe that within this chaos, there will be lots of great stuff happening. There will be new businesses started [because you have to make a living somehow], new technology will be created, new ways to do business will be utilized, new ways to think, talk and do - change is scary, but change is also necessary. Without change, we don't grow. Without growth, we die - it's really that simple.