10 Years from now...

As we near the end of the calendar year this is a good time to pull out the crystal ball and solicit your input on what YOU think automation systems in 2020 will be like?

There is so much discussion in the Press about wireless and other higher bandwidth technologies how much of this will find itself into broad deployment in the field? Or will it be like fieldbus technology which though now ``on the market` for 10+ years still has limted market penetration?

Whenever I think about `crystal balling` I am reminded of a statement by Bill Gates along the lines that we always over estimate what will be accomplished in 2 years, and underestimate what will be possible in 10. A bit of a paradox but certainly true in the computer environment in which this statement was made. Does the same hold true in automation or should the numbers for automation be changed to 10 years and 20 years because of existing field infrastructure with a minimum 20 year life before it needs to be replaced?

I am interested in your thoughts so please share with this list. Who knows we may have a future column or White Paper here that will be useful to you as you prepare your company`s strategic automation plan. You do have one of those don`t you?