Since so many other bloggers are having fun sticking their necks on the line with New Yearâ€™s predictions, how can I resist? Thereâ€™s something about appearing sage–while knowing you canâ€™t get called on your mistakes for 12 months–that is fundamentally appealing. Here are my predictions for 2007. Some of them are somewhat difficult to measure so Iâ€™m hoping to get some help from my readers this time next year on how I did. Iâ€™d love to see your own predictions as well in the comments to this post.
- NAC as a term will grow out of favor as NAC teeters on the brink of Gartnerâ€™s â€œTrough of Disillusionment.â€ This one seems quite likely given that we have already seen a bit of NAC backlash. I can see this going a couple ways. First, rather than the NAC term completely going away I can see it surviving with qualifiers such as â€œIdentity-based NAC.â€ Another option is that the term itself is completely replaced with something either more generic, or more specific such as network identity management or role-based access control.
- One of todayâ€™s NAC vendors will go under. I donâ€™t see how the market can sustain so many players, especially given that some have seen many rounds of funding and have already retooled their products once to chase the NAC wave. I wonâ€™t list all the NAC vendors here but there are easily 15 or more.
- So that Iâ€™m not all doom and gloom, one of todayâ€™s NAC vendors will get acquired by a larger firm. Whether the NAC term survives or not, the functionality of NAC–in its broadest definition–is useful to organizations. There are plenty of players who need that functionality in their product portfolio. My guess is a networking player will do the buying. I wonâ€™t get into whether the acquisition will be from a position of strength or as a result of the NAC vendor running out of cash, but it is fair to say that both appear feasible.
- An open-source 802.1X supplicant will emerge as a viable alternative to commercial and OS-native supplicants. So that I donâ€™t give myself any wiggle room here, this doesnâ€™t mean that one is available to download, but rather that organizations are deploying it at scale. I think the market canâ€™t help but make this happen since the OS supplicants are lacking and the commercial supplicants are simply too expensive. Think of the market forces that created Firefox when Internet Explorer wasn’t getting the job done; I think we’ll see something similar here.
- 2007 is the year wired 802.1X turns the corner from rare occurrence to early-adopter chic. While it won’t be mainstream by any means (that label will belong to wireless 802.1X) it will see substantially more deployment than in 2006.