Bob's 2012 Trends

So we're halfway through the year and we got curious -- what is going to happen within the next six months that we're just not going to expect or be prepared for in technology? We asked our pal Bob Lewis over at IT Catalysts  to give us a list of five surprises we should prepare for because (a) he's a contrarian, (b) he's funny, and (c) he's usually right about tech stuff. Here's what he said:

Surprise #1: Windows 8 will be horrible for PCs and laptops (not the surprise) but not bad at all for tablets and smartphones. Especially corporate tablets and smartphones. Quite a few people will like the tablets better than the iPad, in fact.

Surprise #2: The Cloud will disappoint most of the companies that try to move their corporate IT infrastructure to it. It will cost more, take longer, integrate worse, and be harder to debug than anyone expects. In most cases, companies will decide to use private clouds, instead, "private cloud" meaning "the same stuff we've been using all along inside our firewall, but if we call it a cloud we won't have egg on our faces."

Surprise #3: Many business pundits have been predicting the end of IT. Most of it, they claimed, will move into the cloud; the rest will move into the business. It won't, and it won't.

Surprise #4: Tablets won't replace laptops. When employees have to do actual work, they'll still need a keyboard, screen, and mouse. The programs their employers use for conducting business … accounting, HR, supply chain and so on … won't go away and won't work well on a 10" screen that shares real estate with a virtual keyboard. And, they'll need more than the nearly featureless word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs they can get for their tablets.

Surprise #5: Companies that follow the trends will find that following the offshoring trend and following the Agile programming trend at the same time just doesn't work. Agile means programmers are face-to-face with users every day. Offshoring means programmers are 12 time zones away from those users. Pick one.

Keep up with Bob's musings here.