One of the sadder things about life in IT is that a New Year doesn't necessarily mean we get to wipe the slate clean. All too often, the same problems and issues that plagued us in 2009 simply carry on into the next year. But with each New Year, there is plenty of opportunity to test and adopt new and emerging technologies. So with that in mind, here's a list, in no particular order, of the 10 most significant emerging technology trends to look forward to in 2010:
1) Better Virtualization Management Tools: It's pretty clear that virtual machine software is going to get more complex and dynamic in 2010. The good news is that the tools for managing virtual machines are rapidly getting better.
2) Open Data Center Convergence Architectures: A lot of the new integrated server architectures really just highlight what should be possible across any set of open distributed data center components.
3) The Rise of Open Mobile Systems: Backed by Google, Android smartphones will create an open platform for mobile computing that will force telecommunications carriers to open their networks.
4) De Facto Collaboration Standards: Driven more by end users than vendors, de facto collaboration standards from companies such as Google and Facebook will drive mashups and other composite applications into the enterprise.
5) Solid-State Drives Go Mainstream: With prices for SSDs dropping as the number of suppliers increases, entire databases are going to be running in-memory a whole lot more.
6) Data Analytics Goes Big Time: Not necessarily in terms of adoption, but rather in the amount of data that can be effectively analyzed in real time.
7) Desktop Virtualization Proliferates: It will come in many flavors, but the end result will be the same. The cost of deploying and managing end-user desktops is going to drop substantially.
8) IT Process Automation Tools: An increasing percentage of the mundane IT tasks that waste so much time during the day are about to become automated.
9) The Rise of Twitter Communications Protocol: A large number of enterprise applications are going to start using Twitter as an asynchronous communications protocol for sharing information.
10) Advances in Compression: For all the trouble we have managing huge volumes of data, it's not like data compression technology is standing still in the face of this challenge.
All in all, there's quite a lot to look forward to in 2010. Sure, cloud computing and business intelligence applications will remain at the top of the IT agenda for most of the year. But in terms of enabling technologies, 2010 should turn out to be a lot more memorable than 2009. And that's just referring to the stuff we know about, never mind the raft of undisclosed products and technologies that will be revealed over the next 12 months as the economy recovers and demand for innovative products increases. In the meantime, chin up, there's lots of work to be done.