The good folks over at the Gartner Group have revealed the top 10 technologies that they believe will change the world over the next four years:
- Multicore and hybrid processors
- Virtualization and fabric computing
- Social networks and social software
- Cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms
- Web mashups
- User Interface
- Ubiquitous computing
- Contextual computing
- Augmented reality
What caught my attention were items 1-4. I think that Gartner got it right this time around. Muticore servers and virtualization will mean that firms will need fewer boxes and apps can be easily moved from box to box (and right out the door to an outsourced data center). Workplace social networks and cloud computing means that the need for a centralized IT department will go away. Firms will no longer need to own/maintain the boxes that they use to run their firm’s apps. With no need to touch a box, there will be no need to have the IT staff co-located with the boxes. Oh, oh — can you hear your job going away?
What does this all mean, and more importantly what should a successful IT staffer (or CIO) do today? The key to your future success is to understand how IT is going to change and what you need to do to change with it. IT is going to become much more about information and how it can be used to help the business grow and prosper. This IT function is going to leave the IT department as we know it today and will migrate into the business unit itself. What this means to you is that you need to know what your firm does, and even more importantly, how it does it. The next question will be what information is needed by the business units to improve how they do their work. This is what tomorrow’s IT staff will provide. Thanks Gartner for the peek into the future!