There's a complex ecosystem over which we have no control - but we can influence. Technology has made communities more powerful and enabled change to happen more rapidly.
There was a quick look back at some themes that were being discussed 15 years ago at similar Gartner events in 1995 including:
- The desktop of the future (do we talk about desktops anymore?)
- The future of end user computing (its not about computers anymore but devices)
- The integrated personal assistant on your desktop (who remembers Microsoft's clippy - the most reviled piece of technology ever)
- The paperless office (are we any nearer?)
Then a look forward to some developments we might see in the next 5 to 10 years:
- No-one will be interested in or know about the device operating system (I would say for some users esp MacOS that's here already)
- most new IT investments will be sourced as services from the Cloud
- User experience will be key
- Displays will be tactile, flexible, 3D, projected anywhere
Memory is getting cheaper - terabyte memory sticks are on their way - so it will be easier to record and store everything rather than be discriminatory, so good search and retrieval tools will be essential. We're seeing this already with photographs and films. I take loads of both, and can't be bothered most of the time to sort through them, I just store everything, and if necessary buy a bigger hard disc.
A good opening talk, setting the scene for the rest of the conference.