What's Hot and What's Not for 2010
Cloud computing announcements will be hot, deployments will be not. Social media will be hot with workers and not with IT departments. SIP Trunking is hot. No qualifier of "not" on this one.
I've read many of the prediction blogs and articles for 2010 and I thought I would put a different spin on my own predictions. There will be no shortage of industry announcements and hype next year, but which are the ones that will actually be impactful? Below, I've outlined which trends are hot and which are not.* Cloud computing announcements will be hot, deployments will be not. 2010 will be the year of cloud announcements. Almost every major telco, SaaS provider and infrastructure vendor will come out with its cloud vision and roadmap. Within the telco community, cloud based UC will be the primary service that the operators will be selling creating alternative deployment models for customers. One day in the not too distant future, cloud delivery will be the norm; however, for 2010, deployments will struggle as security and management issues will be the primary barriers to deployments. Additionally, pricing models and SLAs need to mature and standardize.
* Social media will be hot with workers and not with IT departments. There's no doubt in my mind that social networking tools will be the next big wave to hit the enterprise workforce. Companies that find a way to harness its power will gain a competitive advantage over others and users will be clamoring for the tools. However, IT will need to deal with the issues of how to deploy, secure, mobilize and manage these tools which will further the divide between business leaders and IT departments. A number of companies I have worked with have already blocked things like Facebook and Twitter, but that's only delaying the inevitable. IT departments will be forced to support these tools, and getting a jump on this trend now means IT can deal with it at their own pace instead of having to react to it later--but most will resist.
* Internal use of videoconferencing will be hot, B2B video will not, ultimately making video lukewarm. Every predictions report I read seems to have some mention of video being a hot technology for 2010, but I think there are still too many barriers to significantly increase adoption of videoconferencing to being a mainstream tool. Don't get me wrong, I've done many sessions over video and telepresence and the experience is great; the problem is that doing B2B video is still very difficult. Companies can have the exact same systems, and getting a video call to work between the two organizations can take a couple of hours of IT time to get working properly. Until this barrier falls, video will remain a niche tool for global organizations to use for internal collaboration.
* SIP Trunking is hot. No qualifier of "not" on this one. Everything is aligned here to have SIP Trunking to take off. Many of the new UC product releases in 2009, such as Avaya Aura, were designed with SIP architecture in mind. Add to this, more SIP Trunking services being widely available from incumbent telcos, maturity in session border controllers and an ROI period of less than six months and we have the recipe for SIP Trunking to finally take off. I understand a few issues such as local calling and some security concerns exist, but not using SIP Trunking severely limits the value an organization will receive from their UC deployment.
* CEBP and UC enabled applications will not be hot. This is another technology wave that will have a long adoption cycle. There will be a few verticals, such as healthcare and financial services, that will communications-enable some processes, but broader deployments will be limited until the ISV community gets more engaged in UC. This is one of the trends that the vendors are going to need to "prime the pump" and develop some processes and applications in concert with the ISV community to start the ball rolling. Once this happens, the momentum will create a "rising tide" that will initiate another wave of growth in this market.
* Consolidation is hot. The consolidation of IT and communications vendors that we saw in 2009 will continue into 2010. With flat IT budgets and a continued tight economy, vendors will need to find new markets to sell into in order to grow. Additionally, enterprises are continuing to rationalize down the number of companies that they deal with, meaning a broader portfolio equates to a bigger portion of the IT pie. So, the big IT vendors will continue to gobble up smaller companies but many of the midsize technology vendors such as Avaya, Brocade and Juniper could also jump into the mix creating a broader buying community.Cloud computing announcements will be hot, deployments will be not. Social media will be hot with workers and not with IT departments. SIP Trunking is hot. No qualifier of "not" on this one.