Some sober second thoughts on 2008 IT predictions

The New Year always starts with a bang of predictions on what’s hot and what’s not. Most of these predictions are just more hype to get you going with some new technologies or get some more zip into your conversations.

The best list of predictions I have seen for 2008 is the in the McKinsey Quarterly, January 9, 2007 entitled ‘Eight business technology trends to watch”. To quote this paper, ”Technology alone is rarely the key to unlocking economic value: companies create real wealth when they combine technology with new ways of doing business. … The McKinsey trends fall within three broad areas of business activity: managing relationships, managing capital and assets, and leveraging information in new ways.”

The piece is well written. It describes trends for technology as business or organizational outcomes and objectives and not just technical jargon. You can confidently send this along to your business and IT counterparts whose eyes tend to glaze over from management buzz words or techno-speak.

Highlighted is the ubiquitous move to collaboration, social networking and the new web (Web2.0) is given prominence as a collaborative tool for organizations and individuals:

“Web 2.0 technologies—it has become a more widespread platform for interaction, communication, and activism. Consumers increasingly want to engage online with one another and with organizations of all kinds. Companies can tap this new mood of customer engagement for their economic benefit.”

That is fair enough. Fact is, for many large organizations and financial institutions with very serious security requirements web 2.0ish implementations have to be handled carefully. But there are “sandbox” solutions out there that work admirably.

I suggest getting IT planning, security and communication groups work together to explore the opportunities and evolve new processes that can succeed for companies where reputation and security are core raison d’

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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