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'Tis that time of the year when most publications, technology or otherwise, love doing one thing predicting the future. They have reams of paper dedicated to what they think will be trends for the next one year. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they are off the mark.

This year-end (or beginning of 2002) will be no different. Technology downturn or not, most editorial teams will don their soothsayer suits and huddle together round a crystal ball to peek into the future, trying to get an undercurrent of the next big tech-wave. Most of these predictions will be based on inside market information (read gossip), years of experience tracking different technologies, or sometimes even sheer gut feel.

At Network Magazine too, we indulge in predicting the future of technology, about what it is and what it will be. We did that in our August 2001 issue, where we identified five technology verticals Servers, Security, Wireless, Optics, Broadband and discussed the likely trends that may emerge in these areas. It's very addictive when a particular trend comes true and you can squeal with delight, "We have been saying it all along."

A different approach
This time, to coincide with the beginning of 2002, we decided to take a different approach. We asked experts in the networking and enterprise computing space to inform us and our readers as to what the future holds.

We started the entire exercise with a simple note (and some basic guidelines) to the PR representatives of various companies, asking top industry veterans if they could spare some time to share their thoughts with us and our readers. The idea was very simple, to set up a platform to discuss the technologies, protocols and standards, and strategies that user companies can adopt to their benefit.

To begin with we were looking at just six people two each from user companies (CIOs, CTOs), academicians and vendors. But, the overwhelming response caught us unawares.

What we have in the next few pages is the who's who in the IT industry communicating their views on various technology issues/trends, right from e-CRM and e-business to storage, wireless, databases and security.

What's in it for me?
That's a good question. Those who are planning to upgrade or invest in new IT infrastructure can use this knowledge wisely to support demands for more intensive computing, plan procurement of equipment for better services, and create policies and strategies that can push the company forward in the respective competitive space, helping it come to terms with the harsh economic realities.

Do write back and let us know what you think about these viewpoints. We will communicate your thoughts to the right people.

Sandeep Ajgaonkar,
Assistant Editor


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