Uh, could somebody tell me where my desk is? My blog? My job? Sorry, what is it that I do for a living again?
My profuse apologies, but I'm having a terribly difficult time getting back into the swing of full-time employment after a scandalously terrific holiday, part of it spending some quality time with the family, and the other doing some more swimming with the fishes in Cozumel (an island which, by the way, seems to have rebounded from its own hurricane [Wilma] with a lightning fast response from its government and populace and, an island which is very much back in business).
Therefore, I've made no significant New Year's resolutions this year, neither personally nor professionally. That would simply be setting me up for failure, both personally and professionally.
However, there are plenty of prognosticators projecting our info tech future, and I thought it might be interesting to kick off the year by listening to what some of the professional soothsayers have to say.
The Crystal Tech Ball
MSN's Squawk Mark Stahlman predicts a big boost in corporate spending on IT, calling it a "trifecta." One, large companies dramatically increase their IT spend to drive top line growth; two, SMBs will begin to move into Vista (Microsoft's new OS); and three, consumers will continue to pour money into new PCs and high-def everything. Most interestingly, Stahlman notes that new accounting requirements from Sarbanes-Oxley are kicking in, elevating the status of CIOs and allowing them to use some of those piggy bank savings to spend on new tech.
Forbes' Daniel Lyons asserts that open source software will continue to "change the rules of the information technology game," and force vendors like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle to "develop new strategies for coping with open source upstarts like Jboss, Linux, and MySQL." At the same time, he believes that big corporate users will "drive down their costs by displacing expensive programs with open source alternatives."
Next, according to the 2005/2006 Harvey Nash USA CIO Market Survey (sponsored by Harvey Nash Group PLC and Pricewaterhouse Coopers), a quarter of the CIOS and IT executives polled are reporting an increase in IT budgets of between 10 and 20 percent, while 13 percent expect budgets to rise by more than 20%. Their net on the situation: The recession-delimited IT spend has led to pent-up demand for operational improvements. This newfound budget is also expected to lead to increased IT hiring, and because the 70% CIO job satisfaction rating suggests they're happy in their jobs, they're ready to get some serious business-enabling tech work done.
The most interesting tidbit I clawed out of the Harvey Nash survey was this: The CIO role is becoming more strategic, with more IT leaders playing a more active role in developing the new business opportunities that tech can facilitate.
Put all this together, and it suggests that 2006 could prove to be a banner year for the strategic use of IT: More cap-x investment from more involved CIOs implementing more open source providing better value and a more effective IT spend leading to more efficient business operations that provide mo better business results!