First off I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year or indeed a Happy New Decade. It seems like no time at all since we were all charging our glasses and toasting the new millennium. That was back in a world without Facebook, Twitter, blogging or apps to turn your phone into a pint of beer, a spirit level or a restaurant critic (or in fact the iPhones to put them on).

At the end of a decade in which the internet truly came into its own, it's hard to predict what the next 10 years could herald. In fact I am not even going to try. I'll stick to putting in my two pennies' worth on the trends that I think we could see emerging in 2010.

First off, I think 2010 could be the year when SMEs really come into their own as an economic powerhouse. Free of the hierarchy and bureaucracy which plagues many large enterprises, they are already starting to open a gap on their slower and heavier enterprise cousins when it comes to cutting costs and delivering real ROI on internal investments. This means they are faster out of the trap when it comes to kick-starting growth in the post-recessionary world.

I have already experienced a recession as both the head of a SME (Conchango) and have seen how smaller companies can steal a march on their competitors when times are bad. The 2001/02 recession was felt particularly strongly by the IT sector but it gave us as a company the catalyst for radical restructure that, while very disruptive, enabled us to challenge current thinking on apps and infrastructure delivery.

Part of this is because smaller businesses have to fight for their very survival and so need to be radical in order to make it through. Bigger businesses often don't see the threat until it is too late (think Woolworths) and those that do have a far bigger task on their hands in trying to turn the ship around.

CIOs of bigger companies shouldn't despair however. There are plenty of examples of big companies who have triumphed when the chips are down so size isn't everything. Take, a business that saw the future and prepared to face it by bringing in agile IT applications and business change programmes that enabled it to meet internal customer needs in weeks rather than months. Or consider Morrisons and Sainsbury's, two retailers that have found innovative ways to take on the market leader by not being afraid of a little disruption and by understanding and building upon their key strengths.

The biggest threat to any business is, in fact, apathy. It doesn't matter how big or small a company is if the appetite for change is there. As long as you understand how big your boat is and what is needed to get it heading in the right direction you stand a good chance of success. The only difference is that the bigger the boat, the longer change takes so the earlier you need to act. Change in a big company moves like a ripple through oil rather than through water.

Another major trend I predict will be the decline of outsourcing. That is not to say that it doesn't have its place, but this decade has seen a trend towards outsourcing everything. But what this indiscriminate approach does is effectively to turn your nimble craft into an unwieldy oil tanker. It is much, much harder to implement change when you are reliant on an unseen and usually remote workforce managed by a third-party that has you tied into complex and often overly rigid contracts. Over the next few years this type of outsourcing will be replaced by co-operatively managed services in which upgrades and improvements are part of the deal and where the whole thing is managed as a partnership between the customer and their supplier. This type of approach enables IT to be a catalyst for innovation rather than a barrier.

Another trend I expect to see is a move toward more collaborative working and less hierarchy. The most successful companies out there are the ones that take advantage of disruptive economic conditions to be disruptive themselves. This is not just about being different in the way you approach the world outside your company - it is also about changing the dynamics and structure within the company itself.

For a CIO, the best approach is to listen to your team. Ask them to think radically and challenge them. Then harvest their ideas. This not only gives you a broad base of thinking but will give you a team that feels valued and involved, helping you to deliver the changes needed faster and more effectively.

But that's enough from me - what are your predictions for 2010? I would be interested to know what trends you expect to see emerging over the next few months so please get in touch with your thoughts.