Top Ten IT Predictions for 2007: Page 3

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8) Services/Software Fusion Picks Up Speed

The expanding ambition of offshore services vendors, and the upward trajectory of SaaS, will continue to radically transform the services industry, IDC forecasts.

The growing strength of the offshore vendors is a case of “all upside disrupters,” Gens says. Meaning they are companies that have nothing to lose by tipping over the existing apple cart.

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“If you look at the IBMs, or the Accentures, their heritage is billable hours – the way you make money is you grow billable hours in the services business.”

But in SaaS, the idea is to build leverage around intellectual property by delivering it through software as much as possible. “It’s a challenge for traditional services vendors, because they think software is somebody else’s business, not theirs,” he say. But these old school vendors are starting to see value in new delivery systems, so the line between software and services is getting blurrier by the year.

9) "2-Minute Drill": IP Hygiene, Channel Mash-Up, Pricing Shift, Nets + SOA = IT

This prediction, Gens concedes, lumps a number of trends into one (because, after all, there’s no such thing as “the top 14 predictions”).

This forecast comprises four key trends. 1) The greater importance of mining intellectual property for dollars (IP Hygiene); 2) The increased use of a number of delivery channels, like online/managed service providers, and the greater tendency of major vendors to deliver products as a service (Channel Mash-Ups); 3) A trend toward pricing based on business metrics, that is, pricing based on business results rather than a flat fee (Pricing Shifts); 4) A move by network/communications vendors like Cisco and Avaya to expand their SOA-ready offerings (Nets + SOA = IT).

“The channel mash-up is the one that gets me excited,” Gens says. “It ties very much to the future of IT being based upon these online hubs, where you’ve got online delivery of IT and business and consumer services.”

10) Consumer Market: Convergence, Competition and Creativity

This forecast includes a grab bag of consumer tech predictions, like “gaming will skyrocket” (no surprise) and that “Internet video will meet television” (again, a continuation of an already building trend).

Interestingly, the effect of the merging of TV and the Internet won’t be limited to the consumer world, Gens says.

“There’s no question that the video aspect will certainly have a big impact on the enterprise,” he says, because consumer video technology – easy creation, playback and storage – will become more commonly used in corporate cubicles across the U.S. (and the world). Multimedia in all its glory will permeate the enterprise.

“I’ve talked to storage vendors who talk about Silicon Valley start-ups who are in the YouTube-type business. They’re buying more storage than some of the largest financial institutions on the planet – and they’re six-month-old companies.”


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