2009: The Year of Thinking

OK, a number of folks have been calling about predictions for 2009. I don't have a lot for you on that subject, because (a) wireless is just too big now to reduce to a few simple prognostications, and (b) there's a major overriding and complicating element that will be present for some time, the economy. Next year is clearly going to be relatively slow, with enterprises watching every dime even more closely than before, and with suppliers at best cautious to make the major investments required to introduce new products and services. There's going to be excess capacity in the system until markets (goods, services, materials, labor, credit, currency, and on and on) come back into balance, and that will be the second half of next year at best.

OK, then, so things will be slow. But (I'm always one to look on the bright side, a byproduct of living as an entrepreneur) such is an opportunity to engage in an activity that we usually can't spend a lot of time on - thinking. Yes, just sitting and thinking, perhaps aided by a pencil and paper. The current recession will pass, not fast enough for any of us, but it will end as recessions always do (my theory is that we just get bored with them and make new investments and take new risks simply because we simply need something to do). In the meantime, we can ask ourselves a few questions: what products and services will be needed as the upturn occurs? How can we best position ourselves, via investments in IT, for competitive leadership as the economy recovers? What will our organizations look like as prosperity returns, and what tools and solutions will be best aligned with our capabilities, goals, and objectives then?

So, when was the last time you could sit and think like that? A few starting points: I remain convinced that wireless will play a key role in the outcome of your thought process, no matter what business, industry, enterprise, or organization you are part of. I remain convinced that mobility will form the basis of successful IT strategies, and that addressing requirements for wireless and mobile addresses essentially everything else in IT as well. And, given the rapid technological evolution of mobile and wireless that will continue for at least the next three to five years, we've not really had time to draw little charts and other illustrations of how everything might fit together, and to plan what might make the most sense for us, do a few experiments, and enjoy a little breathing room between back-of-the-envelope conceptualization and production deployment.

That is what I am going to do over the next two weeks here - think about our IT solutions and what will work best for us in 2009. I am going to continue the cutover to Macs and LINUX, deploy a new two-factor encryption technology and explore other security solutions, complete the deployment of generation 3 of Salmon Run Studios (our audio production facility) and plan for adding video to this around the middle of next year, further research the replacement for my personal (and rapidly aging) Motorola Q, upgrade the Farpoint Group Wireless Media Facility, tweak the network a little, and continue the never-ending cleanup process that will hopefully reduce the perennial fire danger from all of the ancient but still valuable hardcopy we've collected over the years. But, mostly, I am going to sit and think.

So we'll be sort of closed until 5 January 09. I'll undoubtedly have a posting or two for you between now and then; wireless never sleeps. But, in the meantime, I wish all of you a pleasant holiday season, and a prosperous, exciting, and thoughtful New Year.

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