2010: Investment in innovation will be back

2010: Investment in innovation will be back

Dr Giles Nelson, director of strategy at Progress Software, looks forward to innovation firmly coming back onto the agenda as the global upturn begins.

We have recently seen the 1990s’ dream of the ASP model become a reality in the form of cloud computing, as almost-ubiquitous connectivity opened up online services to companies and consumers. Virtualisation is helping save server space, as well as reducing operating costs and energy usage. Event-driven computing, pioneered in financial services, is now changing the way architectures are created in a wide variety of sectors, creating enormous efficiencies in service delivery; mobile computing is actually now an everyday reality for people. So, as we come to the end of the noughties, we can look back to a wealth of IT innovation having occurred in the last 10 years. It took a bit of a knock in 2009 -- budgets were cut and cost efficiency was for many sectors the only objective. But with the global economy showing some signs of recovery the belts are likely to be loosened in 2010 and innovation will be a big priority again.

The stage is already set for this. SaaS adoption is paving the way for further computing services to be offered in the cloud and event-driven computing looks set to accelerate. Also, enabling more people to have high-speed Internet access is another vital area of technology development. In the UK for example, the UK Digital Economy Act will (eventually) bring broadband to all, changing expectations for how we interact with the internet permanently. For the CIO who wants to lead the revolution in their organisation, my advice would be to innovate at every opportunity, watch consumer trends and listen to ideas from across the business to ensure success.

The five key technology trends set to shake up computing in 2010 in my opinion are:

1. Cloud computing will become mainstream

The definition of ‘cloud’ will become both broader and more segmented, with storage-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and computers-as-a-service becoming more widely sold and used. Adoption will be quicker than the analysts suggest, as the cost savings and flexibility that cloud can introduce become more compelling. The cloud will continue to disrupt both the open source and traditional software markets. People may object or differ in opinion on terminology but cloud computing is here to stay. In time, only key IT systems which are core to a firm’s competitive advantage or holding key IP will be controlled and retained internally.

2. Event-driven computing adoption will accelerate

In many industries, a constant stream of business events is becoming the norm. These events describe the pulse of a business -- what is happening now. The use of event processing technologies will accelerate and give organisations more power to understand the opportunities and risks present in their businesses. The design of IT architectures will evolve to a point where all are, at least partially, event driven.

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