What 2008 Meant For IT – And Your Career

2008 Is Now History, But Its Impact On Your Career Will Last
2008 Is Now History, But Its Impact On Your Career Will Last

So 2008 is now done and finished. You can clear off your desk, add a couple of “2008 stuff” files to your folders and consider the year to be all wrapped up. Well, not exactly.

What happened in IT during 2008 lays the foundation for what is going to happen in IT during 2009. Sure, considering how the global economy tanked during 2008, we’d like to be all done and finished with it, but that would be a mistake.

The trick here is to sift through everything that happened over the past year and try to figure out what is going to matter for the upcoming year. It can be a challenge to remember each and every event that occurred during the past 12 months.

That’s why I’m thankful that the staff over at eWeek magazine have done all of the heavy lifting for me on this on. Having sorted through their list of what happened during the past year, here is my list of what IT events you need to remember from 2008:

  1. The Global Financial Meltdown: Ok, so this is an easy one to pick – it started to affected all of IT last year and the pain is going to extend into this year. The good news is that IT has become such an important part of how a business is run that its budget can’t be shrunk too far – but growing the IT budget will be more iffy.
  2. Time To Get “Cloud-y”: 2008 was the year that the discussion around how best to use on-demand off-site computing resources really started to get lively. Yes, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that revolve around reliability and security; however, this is clearly a service who’s time has come – now we just need to figure out how best to make use of it.
  3. Microsoft Goes A-Hunting: We saw Microsoft make a whopper of a bid for Yahoo, saw Google step in and strike a deal with Yahoo, and saw Microsoft go slinking off unsatisfied into the night. Microsoft is not done yet and Yahoo is now a hurt and wounded beast with a depressed stock price. There are more chapters to this story to be played out during 2009…
  4. Let’s Go Mobile: Thanks to the incredible functionality provided by the iPhone, the G1, and the Blackberry Storm, laptop functionality is slowly but surely being supplemented by smart phones. This now means that access, data retention, and security issues that had been there all along will now burst onto the front burner during 2009.
  5. Wireless Broadband Is Coming: It’s not here yet, but so much money has been spent on acquiring expensive bandwidth that services can’t be too far away. Verizon Wireless bought up a bunch of 700 MHz bandwidth and Sprint / Clearwire rolled out the first site for their WiMax service. This is going to be a game changer, we just don’t quite know how yet…
  6. Virtual Everything: Moving from real servers to virtual servers continues as data center floorspace issues and the arrival of “green” computing makes this even more attractive. Can the virtual desktop be that far behind?
  7. Brower Wars, Part II: Who woulda thunk it? Once again we find ourselves in the middle of a browser war with three major contenders: IE (of course), Firefox, and (surprise!) Chrome. Google’s entry into this space caught some by surprise. However, their new browser has caught on in some circles and we’ll have to wait and see what web based applications follow on that will make use of it’s unique features.

Whew – there’s more, but this is all that I have time for. As the Chinese curse goes “May you live in interesting times…”, 2008 is clear proof that we are living in the most interesting of IT times…

So what do you think of my list? Did I leave anything off that you think is going to be a big deal in 2009? Are there any items on my list that you think will just fade away as we go into 2009? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.