I don't know about you but I think this year has been a bit of an odd one. One of those years when the things you think are going to have a big impact on your life either pass you by completely (like England and the World Cup – blink and you missed it) or those that affect you in a completely different way to what you expected.
Take for example the election and subsequent spending review. This is a great example of something, which has taught me to expect the unexpected. Once the depth and the breadth of the government spending cuts became apparent I fully expected a lot of sagging shoulders, mournful sighs and comments about war-time spirit and belt-tightening but that wasn't the case.
The public sector of course will be hit hard but bizarrely the response among many of the public sector IT departments that I have encountered was the first big surprise of the year. Instead of viewing the cuts as a problem, many of the CIOs I speak to see it as an opportunity.
Positive thinking gone mad you might think. Not necessarily.
What it gives them is the opportunity to get creative and show just what they are capable of. It seems that the most ambitious among you think perhaps this is a chance for you to stand out from the rest.
After all you could argue that when times (and budgets) are good, doing a good job is relatively easy. It is when times aren't so good that you have to really prove your worth.
For some of the CIOs I speak to this is also a chance for real innovation – especially those with perhaps more forward thinking colleagues. Virtualisation and cloud computing provide an opportunity for increased agility with costs that are much more based on actual demand.
Shared services are especially attractive to the public sector and yield benefits beyond efficiencies – collaboration, improved information management and so on. And both of these have the ability to deliver real savings, very quickly.
The second surprise was the source of a particular significant 'eureka moment'. Namely Xfactor.
Not because I actually I watched it (I didn't) but because of what it taught me. What I realised is that everyone wants their five minutes of fame. No surprise there you might think but the revelation was how this applied to the way enterprises should look at social media.
In its top ten predictions for 2010 IDC predicted that social networks and collaborative tools would transform the way we use business applications.