• 12/27/2004
    2:00 PM
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Expect The Unexpected In 2005

Thought IT developments in 2004 were surprising? Just wait till next year.
No one likes surprises—unless there's an upside. And although the IT business did pretty darned well in 2004 (considering), a resurgent boom in 2005 would be a serious surprise. But there are some hopeful signs: the stock market's late-year rise, rising global demand, and continued open-source innovation. While it's no cinch that '05 will see a killer upswing—and no one expects dot-com-style exuberance—the high-flying technology world will likely continue to roll onward with broadband and wireless everywhere, innovative software models, and the never-ending battle between hackers and security firms.

So how can we (and you) predict surprises for 2005? It's not easy, but if you educate yourself about the market, the trends, and the fundamental underpinnings of technology, you can at least be prepared for the worst—or best—surprises. It also helps to be willing to take a shot in the dark and not worry too much about egg on your face come 2006.

So, here are our predictions for IT surprises in the coming year in E-Business, Security, Software, Networking, and Mobile/Wireless. Who knows, some of them might even come true!

Keith Ferrell, David Haskin, Preston Gralla, Fredric Paul, and Don St. John contributed to this report.

E-Business Predictions
Indian Outsourcer Buys American Outsourcer
Why not? The hottest Indian companies are flush with revenues and prospects for the coming years, and nabbing an American outsourcer would have a dual welcome effect—giving the expanded company a richer services portfolio and better time-zone coverage, while also blunting some of the negative hype about jobs flowing offshore.

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