Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Mystic Me 4.0

After hitting a 50% prediction rate and fortuitously realising the importance of that, I thought I'd enter the spirit of things again by upping the stakes even further in terms of both specificity and non-obviousness.

As per normal, I'll keep with my insistence on all elements being correct for the prediction to be successful, a dead parrot is a dead parrot in my book. These predictions are what I believe is going to happen but I've pushed them to a level that I can't be certain. The target is to be 50% right (i.e. above that they not either specific or non-obvious enough and vice versa)

So, with no more pining for the Fjords, the Mystic Me 2011 set are :-

  1. Cloud: 2011 will be an interesting year as conventional wisdom within the popular press shifts towards seeing open source architectures dominating the cloud computing space. Cost efficiency arguments around cloud computing will increasingly be replaced with customer innovation stories and the adoption rates of cloud computing will outstrip many early analyst predictions. In particularly pundits will cite AWS as exceeding $1 billion in revenue. With the growth of cloud computing, Enterprise IT will increasingly focus on new value creation, architecture and vendor management techniques and hence there will be increasing mention of terms like supply chain management and new business models based upon outcome. There will be a marked sea change as Platform as a service (PaaS) will overtake Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) as the main buzz of cloud computing. There will also be no let up in the pace of mergers and acquisitions in this industry. Governments will also increasingly become engaged in discussing regulation of the cloud and somewhere, some official will be talking up the idea of licensed cloud operators.
  2. Environment: Total Arctic Ice volume will decline to the lowest level on record with the melting season considered to have extended by several weeks. The UK will suffer another cold winter.
  3. Economy: Inflation, as measured by RPI, will continue to rise however despite this and because of instabilities in the recovery the MPC will hold interest rates low and implement a final last gasp effort for more quantitative easing - principally because they're all barking mad. In the UK, London will experience a property bubble for high value residential property whilst the overall housing market, according to the Halifax House Price Index, will suffer a fall in prices. The double dip will finally arrive in 2011, driven by overexposure of banks to instruments based on sovereign debt during a time when there are increasing market attacks on sovereign debt and a drop in consumer confidence. The FTSE 100 will drop below 3,000 during the year.
  4. Society: As a consequence of austerity measures, general strife and frustration, we will see increasing civil disobedience in many countries. In the UK, I expect to see further protests and increasingly strike action. Despite the necessity to reduce debt, the coalition (in particular the Liberal Party) will continue to wain in popularity polls but despite many pundits predicting an election, the coalition will muddle through.
  5. Technology Business: There are five particular events I expect to see in 2011. First, VMWare will increasingly act as two operational divisions - one focused on infrastructure, the other on platform. Some public pundits will start to question whether one of the units will be sold. Secondly, I expect that whilst CPTN holdings will turn out to be a patent troll, its target is not Android or FOSS specifically but Cloud in general. Thirdly, we should see the examples of companies publicly trading on variability in cloud infrastructure prices through the provision of true brokerage services. Fourthly, the volume of tablet sales will sky rocket with new competitors flooding into the market and the only thing more surprising than the growth of tablets will be the rapid decline of traditional laptops. Lastly, the concept of social searching will become increasingly important with a continuation of the plethora of start-ups providing new ways of ranking, mining and determining social reputation however those pundits discounting the future of Google will get a rude awakening.
  6. Media Technology: In the UK, there will be further high profiled efforts to carve up the Internet. Not only will we see two tiered internet services but also the use of government regulation to introduce censorship based services designed to "protect the most vulnerable". Whilst Paywalls will continue to be the rage, the largest effect will come through the proliferation of devices with on-chip DRM. Many pundits will raise the question whether these devices and the introduction of two tier environments means the Internet can be effectively controlled for the average consumer. Online video will continue to grow exponentially, with YouTube becoming increasingly seen as the future distribution channel of media - i.e. if it ain't on YouTube, did anyone see it?
  7. Manufacturing Business: Printed electronics will have a robust year in the popular press, with pundits talking up the potential for this technology especially when combined with 3D printing. Whilst this is nothing new, there will be a significant increase on the hype around the subject with a couple of high profile articles.
  8. Words to watch for: Consumerization, Shadow IT and Ecosystem are the watch words for 2011 and this is the year in which they'll reach fever pitch. Cloud computing will still cause confusion for many and unfortunately there will be a continuation of marketing efforts to distinguish between enterprise and public cloud.
  9. Social Mobility: Despite increases in tax and a crackdown on tax avoidance causing the usual round of noise about the "wealthy will leave the country" there will be no mass exodus of wealth from the UK.
  10. MISOG's: Despite the occasion, there will be a considerable amount of grumbling over the Royal Wedding and how much coverage it's getting. There will be numerous articles on whether the Royals are still relevant, endless facts on the cost to the economy and assertions that public money would have been better spent elsewhere. Whilst the direct cost of the wedding (ignoring overall economic impacts) could be paid for several times over out of the tax efficiency measures that Philip Green (our cost Czar) has employed or the huge profits institutions have made on quantitative easing, unfortunately no private company will step upto the plate and offer to pay the bill. Someone, somewhere will write an article about how the cost of giving everyone an extra days holiday could stall the UK recovery.