Next week we will reach the point when days finally stop becoming shorter.  Since the era when our ancestors lived in caves this has been a time of year to abandon pessimism and to celebrate the coming of better times.  No time in my 40+ year career has been as frustrating as 2009, a year when businesses everywhere have been overly cautious about investing in anything non-essential.  The season inspires me to believe that we have reached a low point and that better times will soon be with us. 

With that in mind, I offer a set of predictions for 2010 – something I have done on occasion in the past with some modest success.  Fortunately, I wisely chose not to attempt it during the chaos that was taking place at the end of last year. 

I will confine my speculation to subjects of interest to the JDE software community.  Don’t look for a guess as to when Tiger will play his next golf tournament, who will win Best Actress, or by how many degrees the earth’s temperature will rise.  Here goes: 

  1. The Sun deal will close, but only after major mySQL concessions – even selling it off if necessary.  A flurry of new appliance offerings will follow during Oracle’s next FY starting in June.
  2. Cloud computing hype will rise, but adoption will be limited within our community.  BI will be one area where it will start to catch on.
  3. Loyalists will embrace IBM’s Power 7 servers coming in Q1.  It is a little late, but IBM will finally make a strong financial case for running all types of applications under the i Operating System (aka OS/400). 
  4. Oracle Business Intelligence 11g will be heavily promoted when announced early in 2010 but it will take until at least 2011 for it to have much appeal within our community.
  5. Fusion Applications will arrive very quietly in 2010 because the first wave of customers has already been signed up.  Oracle will wisely wait for the pioneers to shake it down before unleashing a major sales campaign.  The first big push for Fusion will likely come no sooner than the next OpenWorld.
  6. IBM and SAP will quietly explore a merger but the obstacles (including regulators and executive egos) appear to be too great to overcome.  If a wedding does occur, an epic battle with Oracle for control of the universe will ensue.
  7. JDE installations will grow significantly in emerging markets.  This will more than offset any net losses in mature markets.
  8. The visibility of BI vendor MicroStrategy will increase greatly.  It would not be a surprise if the last independent BI provider finally gets bought.  In the meantime watch for many value-conscious JDE accounts to become customers.
  9. Complaining about Microsoft will greatly diminish as Vista becomes widely used.  Sadly, nothing likely to surprise or delight us seems to be in the pipeline for 2010 either.  This is a shame since the IT market badly needs more innovation.
  10. Oracle will play small ball in 2010 choosing to digest what it has already eaten rather than to undertake another large-scale acquisition. 

Why not join the fun and offer some predictions of your own?  The worst that can happen is that you will be wrong.

Unless some big news hits the wires this will be my last posting for 2009.  Have a happy and safe holiday season and a great start to a new and better decade.