In the midst of troubled economic times, the IT world marches on with a strong mandate to help businesses drive efficiency and cost savings. With that in mind, here is my list of predictions for the rising and falling IT trends of 2009.


I’ve organized this list into counterpoints, trends that will be “IN” and related trends that will be on their way “OUT” during 2009. These are not absolutes. The INs will not be ubiquitous and the OUTs won’t be extinct. The rule of thumb here is that for the INs you’ll see more of them in 2009 than you saw in 2008, while you’ll see less of the OUTs in 2009 than you did last year. So here we go…

IN: IT pros with business skills – OUT: Technical certifications
IN: Web-based applications – OUT: Build-it-yourself custom software
IN: Automating processes to save money – OUT: Long-term projects
IN: Macs in the enterprise – OUT: Upgrading XP machines to Vista
IN: Virtualization – OUT: Infinite racks of small servers
IN: Core i7 – OUT: The Pentium brand
IN: Thin clients – OUT: A laptop for every knowledge worker
IN: WiMAX – OUT: Metro Wi-Fi
IN: Ubuntu – OUT: Red Hat
IN: Business Intelligence (BI) – OUT: SNMP data overload
IN: Telecommuting – OUT: The 8-5 work day
IN: HP laptops and desktops – OUT: Dell laptops and desktops
IN: Multifunction server appliances – OUT:  Best-of-breed network devices
IN: Smartphones – OUT: Desktop-replacement notebooks
IN: Video conferencing – OUT: Air travel for a single meeting
IN: More internships – OUT: Filling open positions
IN: Conserving energy – OUT: Building IT for future growth
IN: WAN acceleration – OUT: Dark fiber
IN: 3G broadband – OUT: Frame relay
IN: Netbooks – OUT: Desktop PCs
IN: Microsoft Office on the Web – OUT: Azure, Live Mesh, and Windows Live
IN: CIOs with minimal tech background – OUT: CIO as lead engineer
IN: IT/business integration – OUT: Centralized IT departments