11 Predictions For 2011

It is time of year when we are expected to make predictions about the following year. My predictions for next year are, in no particular order:

1. We won’t see any less hype next year. Probably more.
2. Confusion will continue to spread, mostly because of 1.
3. Cloud computing won’t take over the world.
4. The advocates of cloud computing will say that it is taking over the world (see 1).
5. Most people won’t be much clearer about what cloud computing is and what it isn’t and what the different types of cloud computing are (see 2). For example, it needs to be understood that XaaS (something as a service) is not the same thing as cloud computing and that there are (maybe) 3 types of cloud computing: public, private and hosted, where the last of these is effectively a private cloud that it is run for you by someone else. But what is the difference between a flexible on-premise infrastructure and a private cloud? And what is the difference between an outsourced infrastructure and a hosted cloud? Beats me.
6. We will run out of letters to put before aaS (see 2). Just kidding. I wonder how many have actually been used up?
7. Virtualisation will continue to be the next greatest buzz word; at the latest count applying to at least four different technologies (see 1 and 2). Currently we have desktop virtualisation, server virtualisation, data virtualisation (which refers to having a virtual data model and is therefore completely different) and we are about to see the emergence of the polar opposite of server virtualisation (making one big system look like a lot of small ones) whereby you make a cluster of small systems look like one big one, which will also use the v word.
8. We will hear lots more about big data (see 1). From the amount of noise about it (see 1) you would think big data was the number one issue in data management. It isn’t. It is certainly important for some companies but those companies are a relatively small fraction of the total. Most companies are more concerned with mundane issues like performance and meeting user demands for new reports than they are with big data. But big data means big bucks, particularly if you are a disk manufacturer, so expect more 1.
9. In order to meet the demands of big data there will be more sets of initials: SQL, NoSQL and NOSQL aren’t nearly enough: someone will certainly invent some more (see 1 and 2).
10. The number of proprietary data warehousing vendors will fall though not enough to compensate for the growth in NoSQL, NOSQL and other initial-based open source database vendors claiming to address the big data problem.
11. It won’t get any better in 2012 so you might as well enjoy 2011 while you can.

Philip Howard is Research Director (Data Management) at Bloor Research. Data management refers to the management, movement, governance and storage of data and involves diverse technologies that include (but are not limited to) databases and data warehousing, data integration (including ETL, data migration and data federation), data quality, master data management, metadata management and log and event management. Philip also tracks spreadsheet management and complex event processing.