Foggy futures

The silly season is here and its time for analysts and press to indulge in fortune telling.

Obviously, IT managers have the nous to put advance plans and budgets in place, but sometimes the resulting press and analyst predictions leave tarot cards, astrology, crystals or the lines on vendors’ palms looking like accurate alternatives. Next week Computerworld will feature the “Year Ahead: 2004” in its last issue before Christmas closedown. This week I’ll present a snapshot of some of the predictions made throughout 2003.

January

Some 35 to 45 per cent of existing IT jobs in the US and Canada will be outsourced, shifted to contractors or moved offshore within the next two years.

What, the world gets a bigger slice of the IT&T pie?

2003 is a year that security people get their ducks in line and understand that individual point products just don’t cut it from a security architecture perspective.

Well, that problem’s sorted then.

Server consolidation and blades will take off as a means of consolidating management, but Itanium’s still a gamble. February

The VoIP market will skyrocket 57 per cent.

Wondering about that.

March

Sun CEO Scott McNealy predicts that organisations will bypass systems integrators and have their IT needs satisfied by “utility” style service providers.

Powered by Sun, no doubt.

April

Unless the war in Iraq drags on, global IT spending will rebound this year, growing 2.3 per cent, IDC said in a downward revision of a previous forecast of 3.7 per cent.

It’s dragging on, sort of.

May

Demand for videoconferencing to soar with the spread of SARS ending face-to-face meetings. When was your last videoconference?

Web services will create a $US4.3 billion hardware market by 2007 while software will reach $US3.4 billion. November

After two years of contraction the worldwide server market is growing again, with server sales for the third quarter of 2003 up by 2 per cent compared to a year earlier, IDC said.

Surely not Web services already?

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