10 Biggest Technology Developments for the Future

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 12-03-2008

10 Biggest Technology Developments for the Future

Peering into the future is usually a fool's errand, but for IT, it's essential. CIO Insight asked 222 IT leaders about which technologies they expect to explode in the next five to 10 years, as part of our upcoming Future of IT study. Here's what they said.

1. Green IT

As predicted in 2008: 47%
As predicted in 2007: 32%

Eco-friendly technologies have arrived after years of buzz. IT leaders are becoming more enamored of the cost-saving potential of these technologies for the future much more so than last year.

2. Nanotechnology in PCs/Electronics

As predicted in 2008: 30%
As predicted in 2007: 32%

The buzz around nanotechnology has waxed and waned over the years, and even though interest may have dropped off a bit since last year, IT leaders still see big potential.

3. Business Process Modeling

As predicted in 2008: 28%
As predicted in 2007: 34%

CIO Insight's recent BPI study found that improving processes is a huge booster in good times and bad, but more so in tough times. That could explain the continued interest by CIOs.

Collective Intel, Mobile Videoconferencing, Mesh, Smart Tags

4. Collective Intelligence

As predicted in 2008: 27%
As predicted in 2007: 33%

The rise of collaborative and Web 2.0 technologies feeds into this growth area, giving businesses a new way for their employees to interact and share crucial data.

5. Mobile Videoconferencing

As predicted in 2008: 21%
As predicted in 2007: 21%

Telepresence, as it's known in IT circles, is growing, despite some cost concerns. And with an increasingly mobile workforce, videoconferencing is ready to take its show on the road.

6. Mesh Networks

As predicted in 2008: 19%
As predicted in 2007: 15%

These self-healing networks can work in many different flavors (wireless, wired, etc.) and have benefited from lowered costs.

7. Sensors/Smart Tags

As predicted in 2008: 19%
As predicted in 2007: 19%

Radio-frequency identification, the much-debated darling of Wal-Mart and other retailers, is still flexing its muscles. IT executives show the same level of interest in RFID as in 2007, which is a good sign, given the economic climate.

Autonomous Computing, Social Network Analysis, Wearable Tech

8. Self-Healing/Autonomous Computing

As predicted in 2008: 16%
As predicted in 2007: 22%

Who said computers aren't as smart as humans? Not IT leaders, apparently. The potential for computing resources that manage themselves can provide cost savings and free up IT pros for other duties.

9. Social Network Analysis

As predicted in 2008: 15%
As predicted in 2007: n/a

Social networking is on the rise, including in the enterprise, but businesses need a way to manage it all. Analyzing social net activity can help them harness value, which has been largely absent.

10. Wearable/Implanted Technology

As predicted in 2008: 14%
As predicted in 2007: 17%

Business workers won't become cyborgs (well, maybe), but various tech firms have been fine-tuning more equipment designed to be toted or implanted.

Which technologies do you think will have the greatest impact in the next five to 10 years? Sound off in the comments section below.

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