Tech trends that will shape IT for the next five years

recently ran an article by Jason Hiner
about Gartner's predictions of the 10 technology
trends that will shape IT
.  In it, Mr.
Hiner adds insightful comments, some of which inspired me to write this post.

predicts that half of business travelers won't take their laptops with them by
2012.   The timing is perhaps aggressive but the idea
is spot on.  Many people want smaller mobile
systems, but there is probably going to be a point where small isn't
necessarily better. Others want  larger
laptops. Look at the newer notebook computers that have 20 inch
.  Some people want modular, multi-purpose
devices – think "laptop/smartphone/PDA/emaildevice."   The
range of products will undoubtedly expand.

predicts that open source will penetrate 80% of enterprise software.  To put a finer point on it, they think 80% of
enterprise software will include "elements" of open source.  I think it's an  improvement to
substitute the words "standards based" for "open source." Why?  Ask, and I''l explain.

article says power efficiency will become key criteria in IT
purchases.  We hear it from customers every
day.  The convergence of limitations on power, cooling and space are hitting
the entire IT infrastructure hard
.  That's why we
started years ago, and why we're delivering products and services today that address these issues head on.  We're already offering the greenest servers, client PCs and solutions on the planet.

The CO2
footprint ("carbon footprint") of the data center, was also mentioned as becoming part of PC purchasing criteria.  We're well on our way to having a zero carbon footprint for our company by the
end of this year.  Dell is the only
company to offer free recycling for consumers and low-cost asset recovery services for business.  You can offset the carbon footprint of
the entire life of one of our products with the "Plant a Tree for Me" and "Plant a Forest for Me" programs.  CO2 is still a
pretty abstract concept for most people. 
One way to think of it is that using an Energy
Smart server that consumes 19% less power can save 3,200 watts per rack per
year (about $30,000), which eliminates 18 tons of CO2 emissions, which equals
about four acres of pine forest.  Please
check out our credentials, and our Sustainability Report

I also agree
with the idea that end user preferences will drive many IT decisions.  IT organizations will govern the directions
and architectures, but end users will drive what IT delivers to them as tools.  Tablet PCs, RFID devices, smart phones, email
devices, telephony, fax, and other devices will all need to be
interconnected.  Users will demand a
single identity that travels with them and the ways they use and access

In short, we agree with a lot of what's in the
TechRepublic article, but differ over the timing.  What do you think? How fast is our IT world changing and in what ways?

About the Author: Jeff S. Johnson