Opinion by Thornton May

A few technology predictions

We’re three years away from big changes in the world of technology and IT. Here are some thoughts on what will happen before then.

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I am told that Midwesterners have what they call “patio season.” This is a lovely though brief period that arrives pre-football, pre-fall and pre-school.

I think we are in technology’s patio season; we are definitely pre-something. From the perspective of 30 years out, we are pre-singularity — that moment when machine intelligence exceeds human intelligence and control. Tightening our predictive lens and looking just three years out, most organizations now find themselves in what I call the “Pre-DD Interregnum.” “DD” stands for “digital delivered,” and it refers to that moment in time when all the technology around us actually works and/or is recognized as not working. In other words, IT — all IT, both enterprise and consumer — has three years to get its act together. 

Its work is cut out for it. Listen carefully and you will pick up a general grumble of dissatisfaction with the overall experience of using technology.Don’t let hyperbolic CES press releases, a constant stream of CIO awards programs and impressive technology IPOs and startup valuations lull you into thinking otherwise.  

Consumers and boards of directors expect their technology to work, to interoperate securely, and to make their lives and/or bottom lines better. They are inevitably disappointed as they run smack-dab into the paradox of the computer (as pointed out by futurist Alvin Toffler and others): A machine designed for dealing with complexity in fact added a whole new layer of complexity.  

Patience is running thin, though. During the next three years, boards of directors are going to demand significantly more transparency in the area of IT performance. They are going to want to know what they are spending on technology and what they are getting back from those investments. 

Those demands will have effects. I forecast that by 2018: 

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