I  think a lot of people, IT Professionals included are worried about the year ahead, so here are some likely problems and my new year resolutions:

Energy prices are spiralling

This means the cost of moving whole atoms rather than just electrons is even more pronounced than ever, so moving data ( a stream of electrons)  is now much cheaper than moving people ( 7x10^27 atoms) . This will mean home working and unified communications is no longer a luxury choice for a lifestyle focused company it is a necessity to retain and attract talent, who are fed up with rising transport cost on overcrowded roads and railways.

Take a look at Lync Server 2010

Hi-speed broadband in the UK lags behind many countries in Europe. 

This could well mean that the adoption of the cloud in the UK could be slower than elsewhere, but does it? On the one hand your office internet speed might hold you back from relying on a cloud service. However if you look at allowing home working then your workforce is distributed and they’ll each have their own access to the net, and if your services are in the cloud then there won’t be a choke point on the pipe to the servers in your offices, nor any single point of failure.  One of your critical systems is probably your e-mail server, so would this be better sat behind a fat pipe where anyone anywhere can get to it?

Take a look at Office 365

Recession, stagflation, or business as usual

The biggest threat facing the British economy is a lack of certainty, which in turn shows up as a lack of confidence to place orders for goods and services and recruit more staff. Obviously IT investment is under the microscope in both the public and private sector and the very low day rates for contractors is just one symptom of this.

I think this will put pressure on IT departments to consider pay per use cloud services whatever their natural resistance to them might be as predicting growth or shrinkage in servers/ licenses / storage etc.  are all impossible without a firm baseline to work from.  It might not be appropriate or possible for a business to move its services to the public cloud but for larger organisations it is possible to get existing assets to work harder by providing cloud like services on premise, and this is what a private cloud aims to achieve. 

Read up on Hyper-V Cloud

Internet Security

Whatever your views on the many leaks and data losses over the last year there is no doubt that it has heightened awareness about security and privacy on the internet.   So you could stay safe and keep all your data in house, like the way people used to stuff money under the mattress because they didn’t trust banks.  However it is people who leak information and in many cases reported in 2010, there was no hacking or cyber security breach, just someone with an agenda of their own and a pen drive.  I don’t believe there will ever be a complete fix for this, but I think good audit controls and restricting what data a user can see will lessen the damage to some extent. I would also argue that having this data in the cloud can be more secure as it forces you to look at the security granted to each user group /role.

Check out Microsoft’s solution accelerators on governance risk and compliance

Everyone tries to get fit after Christmas, but few succeed.

Personally I find the best way of doing this is not to.  So I play on the Kinect, because I enjoy it, and shovel some sh*t in the garden (from the stables next door) to ensure that this year’s 5 a day are from my garden.

So my prediction is for a  happy if partially cloudy new year!