Silicon Valley is hot again, claims Sun

8 Dec 2006

Demand for innovations that fuel the internet is up and Silicon Valley is hot again, claimed Sun country sales manager for Ireland Declan Carr in his predictions for 2007. He also forecasted greater alignment between IT and business trends.

“Throughout history, we’ve seen several examples of technology literally transforming society,” said Carr. “The railroads, telegraph, electrical grid and interstate highway system are good examples. So is the internet.

“About 15 years ago, the mass availability of Java and a simple web browser launched the euphoria that led to the now infamous dotcom bubble. As with railroad, telegraph and electrical technology, the build out will precede the internet bubble.

“Interest level and market opportunity are up, especially for the innovations that fuel the internet. The global IT market is growing, Silicon Valley is hot again, and that’s great news for all of us,” said Carr.

Carr said that with shrinking IT budgets, IT professionals are saddled with squeezing every ounce of value out of the existing infrastructure to justify investments of recent years, while at the same time having to deploy innovative technology.

“CEOs and CIOs alike realise the importance of IT, yet the real value for both comes from using IT as a real competitive differentiator,” he said. “2007 will see businesses starting to marry technology decisions with business trends and gaining control over their IT and business requirements to deliver transparency, accountability and manageability.”

However, a dark spectre on the horizon for the IT industry is the environmental and energy problems it presents.

“We know that some computers consume a ton of energy. After salaries, electricity is becoming the second-biggest operating expense. Map that challenge to every data centre on earth, and you have a global power crisis as the network is built out. Suddenly, the notion of running an efficient, green data centre is not only good environmentally but it’s also smart business. Power matters.”

Another problem he said was the fact that IT poses some of the greatest threats to the environment in terms of equipment disposal and energy consumption. “The industry has a duty to recognise these threats and recognise the need for significant R&D investment in low-carbon technologies and virtual ways of working, whilst helping its customers to make smarter, more energy-conscious decisions,” Carr said.

Carr also pointed to the unstoppable march of the mobile phone, indicating that last year 10 times as many people bought mobile handsets than did PCs. “Roughly one billion mobile phones were shipped compared to around 100 million PCs.

“With that, the odds are much higher you’ll watch broadcast content on your phone than on your PC. Now that the major handset manufacturers are the world’s largest camera manufacturers, the odds are far higher you’ll even create broadband content on your handset. Talk about change,” said Carr.

By John Kennedy