January 07, 2010

Case Western Reserve IT Expert Makes Forecasts for 2010: Sees Technology Advancing to a 'New Normal'


Keeping pace with quickly changing demands in the information technology world usually results in a wild ride, akin to navigating a white-water river raft through a Class 6 set of rapids–and 2010 likely will set a prime example.

Lev Gonick, Case Western Reserve University's vice president for Information Technology Services and chief information officer, says dramatic change is happening, even with campus finances generally tight across the United States. His view is that what seems normal one day rapidly is becoming the "new normal."

About four years ago, Gonick decided that blogging a look back on each year's tech developments didn't set any agenda for change. So he decided to become a seer of the year ahead, a task much more challenging. He blogs about technology at Bytes From Lev in which he has posted "2010: The Year Ahead for IT in Higher Education."

Indeed, his views have an online following, as evidenced by his Top 10 predictions for 2010 posted Thursday at Inside Higher Education's online site.

"The portfolio of managing requirements for operational excellence, customer service and even more selective innovation activity has never been more challenging," Gonick writes in his blog. Happenings in IT lead him to "portend for a wild river ride ahead in 2010."

Here are Gonick's Top 10 developments, each explained in further detail in his blog:

  1. Public Cloud Services Go Private
  2. The President's Climate Commitment Meets the Campus Data Center
  3. Big Science meets Next Generation CyberInfrastructure
  4. Time to Declare the PC Dead and Embrace the Mobile Platform
  5. The E-Book Reader Grows up and Goes to Campus
  6. Social Networking Finds its Niche at College
  7. Course Management Platform Alternatives Make Major Inroads
  8. Serious Gaming Gets Serious
  9. Mobile Security Hits the College Campus
  10. Open Content meets the Open University and the Vision of the Metaversity

Research campuses, such as CWRU, often lead the way to the new normal. To navigate of the developments, any IT wild river rafter had better also reach for a cloud.

Cloud services are a wide range of hosted services and solutions that migrate from a campus data center to hosting environments somewhere on the Internet. The "somewhere" is now thought of as the cloud, which holds much more than e-mail or calendar functions. Many kinds of content, including lectures, performances and student video postings, are now reliably served up in the cloud.

"In 2010, we will likely see the next frontier of these tools, and even turnkey solutions. Expect new private cloud services that allow the same economies of scale associated with public cloud services, yet are protected with a layer of privacy and regulatory ability," Gonick said.

Billions of dollars in federal stimulus funding for important research at universities in 2010 may spark a national call and strategy for scientific renewal and advancement, leveraging the next generation cyberinfrastructure, Gonick said.

For those on a campus or elsewhere who still are endeared to a PC, the raging river seems headed in a different direction.

"In 2010, it will become more obvious than ever that the PC as we have known it for the past quarter of a century is obsolete," Gonick said, pointing instead to a "clearly emergent" hardware platform for learning, the mobile smart pad, including smartphones, e-book readers, next generation iPods and "what will likely be a bevy of smart pad entrants in the market in the year ahead."

For more information contact Marv Kropko, 216.368.6890.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, January 7, 2010 12:08 PM | News Topics: Faculty, Staff, Students, Technology, features

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