With the new year fast approaching here are my Top 10 Themes and Predictions for 2010.
1) Videoconferencing continues to gain momentum and is finding its way into almost every organization. With Cisco and Logitech making major acquisitions in this space it is clear where these companies are placing their bets for 2010 and beyond.
2) Mobility has been trending up and continued to gain momentum throughout the financial meltdown. With almost all applications becoming mobile enabled, the workforce now has another factor working in its favor to become even more distributed.
3) Unified Communications capabilities are now shipping with almost every major phone system, and now come at a price point that should increase adoption rates. Adtran recently began shipping their UC solutions that are also interoperable with other vendors such as Cisco, Avaya and Nortel.
4) Cloud Computing not only expands but begins to mature. Small business and startups will migrate to these offerings due to their convenience and pricing. Larger organizations will build their own secure clouds with some experimenting with the public offerings.
5) IT & Telecommunications convergence and competition will drive M&A activity. With the networking space hot, here are a few names that might do a deal in 2010: Adtran, Extreme, Fortinet, Juniper, F5 and Riverbed with IBM being a likely acquirer of at least one of them.
6) Social Networking begins assault on the enterprise. Don’t look now but vendors are already announcing new offerings to try and create a market in this space such as Salesforce’s new offering “chatter.”
7) Augmented Reality begins to pop up in new mobile applications and becomes a major buzz before the year is over.
8) Virtualization trend continues with new benefits being touted such as live migration (which makes extreme high availability possible at a more affordable price). Older themes such as the virtual desktop will continue to garner attention due to lower administration costs and increased security.
9) LTE (Long Term Evolution) hype to begin in 2010 as AT&T and Verizon begin launching their 4G networks to compete with Clearwire/Sprint. LTE definitely has promise but limited devices and initial coverage will keep this technology from taking off for at least another year or two.
10) New taxes on Mobile, VoIP and Internet? Maybe not all three in 2010. But since they represent a large base of subscriber growth and relative economic health, it would not be surprising to see governments around the world look to see how new taxes on these services could help them reduce their deficits.
Global uncertainty will surely play a major role in corporate spending and streamlining in the coming new year, but technologies and companies that deliver perceived value and return on investment have an exceptional opportunity to not only innovate, but to gain market share.
What do you see taking center stage in 2010?