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The year of hope

Annus horribilis. Probably, that term best describes the bygone year for the tech industry, which was plagued by flagging sales and budget cuts. After that brutal finale to the decade, now the question everyone seems to be asking is whether this year will be any better? By the look of things, it seems safe to assume that 2010 will be the year of recovery for the general economy and a better year for IT, simply because now all business is information technology. So, what is on the horizon for the next 12 months?

Honouring the venerable New Year tradition of making predictions, I am going to stick my neck out and take a call on what will shape the industry this year.

Here are my predictions, in no particular order…

Cloud computing – 2010 is likely to witness adoption of the cloud in the Middle East, with some MSSPs reinventing themselves to offer cloud services, and telecom operators such as Etisalat setting up the cloud marketplace. Needless to say, this will be manna from heaven for resource-strapped SMBs, which can now deploy IT services on per-per-use basis.

Virtualisation – Server virtualization will continue its march into data centres, while desktop virtualization will finally go mainstream. Though issues related to management and security will become more obvious, I tend to think most enterprises will forge ahead motivated by the huge cost savings.

3G- With most operators deploying technologies such as HSPA+, EV DO, and trialing 4G technologies such as LTE, chance are that that mobile broadband might overtake terrestrial.

Unified Communications – As vendors come up with affordable, focused applications of their UC products, the technology will continue to sell. Over time, if they also promote interoperability, customers will gradually build enough UC infrastructure in their own networks so they can leverage it for new uses.

According to IDC, 2010 will be a year of modest recovery for the IT and telecommunications industries. But the recovery will not mean a return to the pre-recession status quo. Rather, we'll see a radically transforming marketplace — driven by surging demand in emerging markets, growing impact from the cloud services model, an explosion of mobile devices and applications, and the continuing rollout of higher-speed networks.

Brace yourself for the ride.

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