Business techie think tank Gartner put out its annual top IT predictions. This year's list comes with dark overtones among some more democratic shifts in how IT will serve its employees.
We'll get to dark in a moment.
First, if Gartner is right, it would appear IT departments will finally be living the old Burger King promise, "Have it your way."
Prediction No. 1: By 2013, four out of five companies will lend IT support to workers who take care of business on a tablet.
Prediction No. 2: By 2014, nine out of 10 companies will allow workers to use corporate applications on their own personal devices (including tablets, no doubt. See No. 1). All I can say is that it will be long overdue, assuming it takes that long.
Now for the dark stuff:
Prediction No. 3: By 2015, a G20 nation will get hit by a crippling attack of cyberterrorism that dramatically disrupts and damages the country's infrastructure. Gartner warns of possible "multi-modal attacks;" in other words, attacks on multiple systems like the stock exchange and the power grid at the same time. There's a cheery thought.
Prediction No. 4: By 2015, the average IT department will see a 25 percent decrease in manpower hours related to the services it offers thanks to automation. This is sunny news for the bottom line. However, it's not so sunny for people who actually work in IT. Gartner compares this to what we've seen happen in manufacturing. And a ho, ho, ho to you, too, Gartner.
And the last one that bears mentioning is just strange:
Prediction No. 5: In the future, 10 percent of our BFFs online will not actually be real BFFs. This one creeps me out. Gartner says by 2015 that social media strategy will evolve to a point of using highly sophisticated social bots. These bots will be so adept at personalization, interacting with individual users and engaging them that, hey, we won't know the difference. One word: yuck!
Last updated: Dec 1, 2010
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio