Snake Oil

Snake Oil
Photo by * w a a *

InfoWorld has an article titled
IT snake oil: Six tech cure-alls that went bunk. I enjoy reading these types of articles, in the same way that I like to read FAIL Blog, but I found this one to be a bit sobering. Near the top of the article was this:

Today, cloud computing, virtualization, and tablet PCs are vying for the hype crown. At this point it’s impossible to tell which claims will bear fruit, and which will fall to the earth and rot.

Two of those items, cloud computing and virtualization, are high on my list of “game changers” for the future. But all of the failed technologies on the list would probably have been equally high on my list in the past. I would like to think that they’re on my list because I’m so prescient, but the reality may be that I’m just caught up in the hype storm but don’t know it (does anyone know when they’re in the hype storm?)

Only the future will tell what will end up changing the IT landscape, and we do need to try to anticipate it if we want to stay relevant in the future, but it’s helpful to look at our past to see how easy it is to be very wrong about it.