Innovations In Reach

eWeek Labs examines 12 technologies that corporate IT must watch in 2001.

Stanley kubricks 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey," showed a future that seemed distant enough to give us time to invent it. Sure enough (despite laggard progress into space), weve already grown used to everyday encounters with many of the movies once-futuristic concepts, from handheld devices to supercomputers.

In the spirit of the holistic vision of Kubrick and collaborator Arthur C. Clarke, we find that no single development dominates eWeek Labs expectations for IT innovation in 2001. We arent even tempted to propose a facile label such as "Year of Wireless" or "Year of Convergence," though many such labels will surely vie for enterprise mind share.

Instead, we see continued impressive progress on many complementary fronts in this 2001 tech odyssey.

Growing network capacity will invite richer media streams and enable more complex transactions. Business and entertainment activities will generate floods of records and will demand the creation and distribution of oceans of data, requiring vast storage investments (with 64-bit systems to track it all). Wireless connectivity and growing network dependence will elevate concerns regarding integrity and privacy.

The technologies that we examine in this special report solve pressing enterprise problems, create new problems of their own and play cooperative roles in curing each others side effects. We hope youll find this a useful watch list, as well as a wish list, as you enter the 21st century.