There are those who hold that the IT revolution has petered out with no more breakthroughs to come. But IT directors attending a meeting of Computer Weekly's 500 Club for IT directors, on technology changes in the next five years, thought otherwise.
There is fundamentally no end in sight to Moore's law, which predicts a doubling of processor speeds every 18 months. The same applies to both storage and bandwidth. So, if there is something that a company wants to do with IT, but is restricted only by current speeds and storage densities, then it can still plan to implement it because the technology will catch up to make it feasible.
Anyone who thinks that the IT industry has peaked should ask: "As IT directors, do we seriously think that we will have the same IT infrastructure in 10 years' time that we have now?"
One thing you will almost inevitably have - and a lot sooner than 10 years - will be a single communications infrastructure that not only nullifies the current voice/data divide but also, crucially, has intelligence about who is communicating and why.
One speaker painted a vivid picture of a time when IT and telecoms convergence reaches a point where an intelligent network will not only be able to link all IT and comms devices, but will have sufficient intelligence to find the right person to communicate with, at the right time. Moreover, if the call drew a blank, the intelligent network would recognise the fact and know who it should then try to contact.
This Computer Weekly 500 Club meeting took place on 9 July 2003.