Creative disruption 2010-2020: Contextual IT

The 12th Annual Emerging Technologies Update Day @ Wharton was very helpful on helping us not forget how IT is evolving longer term:

  • Microprocessor. Workloads that required 200 servers 5 years ago can now be executed with only on 13 servers. An increase of 15X computing power on the period 2005-2010 by reducing the size of transistors with new materials. BUT, At the current rate of evolution and scale, we’ll be reaching atomic level scale by 2020. 
    • Quantum computing. The current binary system might be replaced after 2020. Imagine an atom as a planet with a magnetic orientation - not just pointing south (0) or north (1). On a single axis there are at least 360 directions for orientation. The Z dimension adds an almost infinite number of values. Few atoms can then store represent huge amounts of information. Follow Intel’s blog on R&D
  • Wireless is finite. 4G is arriving to the US and many other cities. A great guide describing the business implications as well as the evolution of the organizational structure is “How to compete on the 4G revolution”.
    • You should also follow the Digital swarm blog – now even the most basic devices include camera and other sensors.
    • The spectrum available on each country determines how much information will be available. Wired connections will continue being relevant – Fiber limits are significantly higher than wireless.
  • Storage limits. Traditional hard drives continue adding storage density 2-4TB will become common, but I/O is not improving. It’s typical that we reach access limits with significant free space available. Solid State drives (SSD) offer much less capacity but improved access speeds at.
    • It’s very possible that a common configuration moving forward will mix high capacity drives, SSDs and high performance hard drives. Human DBAs will be replaced by fully automated software that can store COLD data on unused portions of high density drives. Follow @Teradata
  • Life-like Computing. The traditional IT is being disrupted by the cloud and the mobile. The “Internet of things” vision refers to billions of devices working together. Imagine flexible devices, OLED and the Natural User Interface. Nokia presented Video 1, Video 2 and the well known Morph. There was a more interesting one not available on the web that projects a human assistant avatar providing feedback and suggestions as if we had a twin brother. Check out other future vision videos.

I still do not see anything relevant on the iPad. On the cloud wars, there are few questions that PAAS will be a lot more relevant than IAAS longer term. 

There were very few discussions on software and software development (I think VS2010 is a breakthrough tool). But without a doubt, The decade of the Contextual-TI has started.

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