11 daring predictions for 2010

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Socially Savvy

While the concept of a social networking guru might seem quaint by 2013 (do you have a photocopier guru in your office?), there is an opportunity in 2010 for people who really understand how to make social networking happen within the enterprise. While there are still a lot of carpetbaggers and "gee-whiz" cheerleaders playing in this market, I still find that there are a lot of people who don't have a basic understanding of social networking and are reluctant to ask for help.

-- Mike Dover

Seeing Into the Future

Superman's X-ray vision will become a reality. Well, not quite, but close. The University of Utah has developed a way to look through building walls using a network of inexpensive radios. Fire departments will use these to find people inside burning buildings. Police will use them to track down criminals. Shopping malls, subways, sports arenas and other public places will use these systems to determine how individuals move around public spaces.

-- Bart Perkins, Computerworld columnist and managing partner at Leverage Partners Inc.

The Winners of 2010

IT Workers Who Breathe Social Networking

Social media may have started out as a fad, but it's quickly winning serious corporate converts. The search will intensify in 2010 for IT specialists who can engage audiences in their company's messages, products and services. The skills sets in demand will be technical but also heavily business- and consumer-focused, with many industry- and situationally specific flavors.

-- David Foote

Amazon Outpeddles eBay

Amazon.com's stock hit an all-time high in October, and yes, that includes the company's highs during the dot-com bubble. It's successful because of the clear attention paid to the corporate mission (acquiring customer service darling Zappos will only help here) and tremendous management science -- its collaborative filtering engine gets better and better. And finally, its superior vendor platform that requires sellers to provide more information and a higher-level of quality than eBay. As a result of this, Amazon offers much more security for the buyer.

-- Mike Dover

The Losers of 2010

Oracle Gets Ousted?

In off-the-record, libation-enhanced conversations with CIOs, when you mention the word Oracle -- they see red. In 2010, we may see another instance of Oracle firing its entire sales force as an apology to the industry for customer abuse. In 2010, CIOs have choices, and when possible, Oracle will not be one of them.

-- Thornton A. May

Big Companies That Lag

As the recession ends, midsize companies will increase IT spending faster than large companies. In 2009, most companies cut IT spending dramatically. New IT capabilities were deferred in favor of virtualization, ITIL and other internal efficiency efforts. As the economy improves, executives in large companies who have always believed that IT is too expensive will be unwilling to allow spending to increase significantly. Smaller organizations won't have a choice. Many of their cuts harmed service levels or critical business programs.

-- Bart Perkins

Next: Cloud: Love it or hate it?

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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