One of the hardest things to do is to predict the future, forecasting is fraught with dangers (especially of being incorrect):
- “I think there is a market for about five computers.”
- “X-rays are a hoax.”
- “Atomic energy might be as good as our present day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything more dangerous.”
So given the dangers should we even try?
The answer is a resounding yes as the effort in determining different scenarios and options for the future allows technology planners to understand business drivers and outlying technology (assuming that a cross-functional team is involved, if it’s just one person the outlook isn’t so good).
This forward planning also allow business to react quickly once a technological change has occurred.
What does this have to do with life at Oracle?? Recently a request went out to employees asking what their vision of technology would be like in 2020. The effort was headed by Frank Buytendijk, who is the face of Oracles Thought Leadership and is a great speaker – he’s spoken at several UKOUG Hyperion events and is well worth it, very interesting and entertaining.
The responses came in from all around the globe and a paragraph of mine was chosen as the first quote:
The washing machine finished its washing cycle at the same time the bagels popped from the toaster. Both sent data to the house hub. The toaster, being a newer model, registered the actual energy consumption and the fact that the bagel setting was used.
While many of the collaborators mentioned RFID tags and the ubiquitousness of computing, we failed to see what this recent WiFi Alliance poll suggested: that 75% of respondents would be grumpy without wifi for a week (more than would be grumpy without coffee for a week).
I can only assume it’s american coffee and not fresh roasted like my friend and supplier.
The responses were collated and presented at Oracle Open World last month, you can get the full output here (caution PDF). Another blogger also wrote about his submission. There weren’t any forecasts of hover boards …
PS: the three leading quotes were from: Thomas J Watson, President of IBM, 1948; Lord Kelvin, 1900 and Winston Churchill, 1939.