When it comes to tech trends, 2007 is a year of transition. Two tipping points include broadband penetration and the death of the single core processing chip.
According to Technology Futures (TFI) 2006 was about building capacity and capability whereas 2007 is a period of transition.
The research firm has identified top 10 trends which includes the emergence of multicore chips as the industry standard.
TFI vice president David Smith said programming will have to adapt from the old linear approach to a new image-based model, which takes into account synchronized parallel processing and new storage capabilities.
"Part of this new storage capability is that 2007 will be the year that flash memory hits the mainstream. During 2007, approximately 17 different fabs will be put into rpoduction, and the vast majority of these fabs will produce flash chips," Smith said.
"The new OSs from Microsoft and Apple will take advantage of this flash, and the increased capacity will usher in new applications in the mobile domain."
Smith said global mergers and acquisitions will continue to grow. The biggest mergers in 2006 included EMC's $US2.1 billion acquisition of RSA Security, Hewlett Packard's $4.5 billion acquisition of Mercury Interactive and IBM's $1.3 billion Internet Security Systems (ISS) buy.
At the end of 2006, Internet penetration was only 20 per cent worldwide. But most of the new user's first experience on the Internet will be on handheld devices, not the desktop.
Smith said there will also be a big focus on authentication as security and privacy concerns accelerate.
However, according to Intelligient Business Research Services (IBRS) the most prominent shift in 2007 will be moves by Microsoft to be everyone's best friend.
IBRS managing director Nick Bowman said while Vista will be Microsoft's top message, the company's real goal is to become more relevant in the office and business productivity space.
Other technologies topping the list, according to Bowman, is identity management, virtualisation, storage and IPTV.
Australian futurist Morris Miselowski said there has been more change in the last two years than in the previous 20 years.
"In the next 10 years we will experience the equivalent of 100 years of change," he said.
"The marketplace is more savvy, customers want closer involvement in the services you provide and staff will be harder to find."
Miselowski said it will be a very tight labour market in 2007 with Unisys predicting skills shortages to elevate HR to the boardroom.
The IT services company predicts competitive advantage in the ICT sector will be at the mercy of effective talent sourcing.
Unisys Asia Pacific HR director Melanie Laing said the HR role will complete the evolution from its traditional function to a strategic executive partner taken seriously by executive management teams for directly influencing profit.
"A new breed of HR director is emerging equipped with strong business knowledge and competencies," she said.