It’s often around holiday season that I field calls asking for my perspective on what I think the trending topics and issues for the coming year will be – to be honest, even after 10+ years of doing this I still get caught by surprise at how quickly it comes around.

The early snows in northern eastern USA jolted me out of my routine and prompted me to think about what I personally see as being potential inflection points during 2012.

The result was a longer post than usual, which for no reason other than it seemed to work that way, contained what I feel are twelve IT delivery related disruptions coming up again and again, so I thought why not make it “12 IT delivery topics for ‘12”. 

Having gotten them down on paper, I realized that my “top twelve” loosely fell into three big “mega themes” on which you can expect to hear more from me over the coming year, specifically Social IT, the IT “Cambrian explosion and the need to reboot IT management.

For the sake of brevity, I’ve summarized my top 12 here which I’ll follow up with a series of posts to dig a little deeper into each idea and the potential impact. 

The IT crowd – social IT

#1 IT as a team sport – IT management goes social.

#2 Death of the pager, IT management goes mobile.

#3 Breaking down the silos – agile, continuous delivery and devops.

The coming IT Cambrian explosion

#4 The browser war is over. Every player wins a prize.

#5 Giga-scale architectures for the enterprise (or “The rise and rise of Ruby and friends.”)

#6  Big data, NoSQL and shared-nothing (or “DBAs go back to school.”)

#7 CPU architectures cross-over. x86 in handhelds, ARM in data centers, change everywhere.

#8 IT management software, the next sprawl? 

Time to reboot IT

#9 The IT service broker goes mainstream.

#10 IT consumerization backlash.

#11 Enterprise architecture gets its mojo back.

#12 Automating governance. IT risk and compliance overhaul.

To be clear, predictions as a general rule are wrong the minute they’re made, mine doubly so! However, I have made a conscious decision to focus on what I’m seeing and hearing from practitioners versus theoreticians and I hope that they stimulate us all to think about the disruptions we might face and how we can be better prepared to respond if and when we need to. 

As always, feel free to join in with your comments and/or your own list – if nothing else it’s great food for planning thought. 

Happy holidays and a prosperous 2012.



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