Cheaper bandwidth tops Gartner

Adding bandwidth will become more cost-effective than buying new computers. That was No. 1 on Gartner’s top 10 list of IT predictions, released during the market research firm’s Symposium/ITxpo 2002 conference, held recently in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Optical bandwidth capabilities are increasing by 100 per cent per year, while computing capacity is rising by just 60 per cent annually, said Carl Claunch, director of research. This will ultimately result in fewer, more centralized data centres and more sharing of computing facilities between companies under an application service provider model.

The other predictions included:

2. Most major new systems will be inter-enterprise or cross-enterprise systems. Technology that lets companies tie together their supply chain systems and other applications will take off.

3. Despite the complexities, inter-enterprise systems will provide a macroeconomic boost to companies. Many users will be able to leverage cross-departmental and cross-company systems to react more quickly to changing business conditions.

4. Successful companies, buoyed by a stronger economy and continued advances in technology, will lay off millions of employees starting within two years.

5. Consolidation of vendors will continue in many segments of the IT market. Business pressures will continue to hamper service providers, network operators and vendors of middleware and systems and network management tools. Half of today’s software vendors will be gone by 2004.

6. Moore’s Law will hold true through this decade. Continued technological advancements will make it possible for the following leaps in computing power within six years: 40-GHz processors, 1.5TB disks in the average PC, 4GB to 12GB average PC RAM and four to eight CPUs per chip.

7. Banks will become the primary providers of “presence services” by 2007. As more personal and financial information is distributed online, consumers will increasingly rely on banks as guardians of information.

8. Business activity monitoring will hit the mainstream within five years. Additional opportunities will be created for businesses to become more agile through the use of IT.

9. Business units, not IT, will make most application decisions. Business outcomes and mainstream accounting principles will drive application investment and deployment decisions.

10. The pendulum swings back to decentralized IT operations by 2004. Improving economic conditions will lead senior management to push IT to decentralize yet again to help companies react faster to changing business conditions.