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Rick van der Lans

Welcome to my blog where I will talk about a variety of topics related to data warehousing, business intelligence, application integration, and database technology. Currently my special interests include data virtualization, NoSQL technology, and service-oriented architectures. If there are any topics you'd like me to address, send them to me at rick@r20.nl.

About the author >

Rick is an independent consultant, speaker and author, specializing in data warehousing, business intelligence, database technology and data virtualization. He is managing director and founder of R20/Consultancy. An internationally acclaimed speaker who has lectured worldwide for the last 25 years, he is the chairman of the successful annual European Enterprise Data and Business Intelligence Conference held annually in London. In the summer of 2012 he published his new book Data Virtualization for Business Intelligence Systems. He is also the author of one of the most successful books on SQL, the popular Introduction to SQL, which is available in English, Chinese, Dutch, Italian and German. He has written many white papers for various software vendors. Rick can be contacted by sending an email to rick@r20.nl.

Editor's Note: Rick's blog and more articles can be accessed through his BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel.

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." These were the famous words of Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics. I discovered how true he was when organizing a large pile of  old IT magazines in my office. I found a magazine published by Fawcette Technical Publications. It was a special issue to celebrate their 10th anniversary, and was published in the winter of 2000/2001. The issue was called "The Future of Software" and contained more than 30 short articles written by a long list of experts.

Some of the authors were dead right with their predictions:

  • Avi Silberschatz: Accessing continuously growing database with zero-latency requires new solutions, such as main-memory database systems.
  • Richard Schwartz: The future is for the 10-second application; the challenge is to develop applications requiring an absolute minimal level of keystrokes ...
  • Kent Beck: In the next 10 years ... we jump to a world where we see software development as a conversation between business and technology.

And some were less lucky (I will leave it to the readers to determine which ones were correct):

  • Eric Bonabeau: Swarm intelligence will become a new model for computing.
  • Mitchell Kertzman: The future of software is to be platform-independent, not just OS-independent, but device-independent, network-transport independent ...
  • Thomas Vayda: By 2003, 70% of all new applications will be built primarily form "building blocks" ...

Interesting enough is that the big changes in the IT industry of the last few years were not mentioned at all, such as:

  • Big data
  • Smartphones
  • Social media networks

This shows how hard it really is to predict the future of the IT industry. Maybe it's better to listen to Sir Winston Churchill: "I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place."

Posted March 2, 2014 11:29 AM
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