Chapter 17. Present Imperatives and Future Outlook

Despite the dot-com meltdown and the collapse of the Internet hype, it is safe to say that we are still in the middle of a revolution in computing and communications. A majority of the citizens in the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia are using computers directly or are affected directly by them in various ways. The speed and capacities of our computers continue to double every 18 months, and we are aggressively rewiring our infrastructure to support high-bandwidth communications.

The unabated pace of this information revolution has profound implications for data warehousing. Remember, data warehousing (or whatever it may be called in the future) simply means publishing the right data. Data warehousing is the central responsibility for doing something useful with all the data we collect. Thus perhaps the good news is that we will all have jobs forever because data warehousing is at the core of IT's responsibility. But the bad news is that data warehousing will be a moving target because our information environment is evolving so rapidly and surely will continue to evolve for many decades.

To try to get a grip on what the next 10 or 20 years may have in store us, let's first lay out as much as we can about what other industry pundits have said recently regarding the next directions of technology. Although this may seem to go counter to the biases in this book (that is, start with the business user's needs, not with technology), ...

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