Gartner Inc. recently unveiled its list of the top 10 strategic technologies and trends for 2010. The Stamford, Conn.-based IT research and consulting firm defines a "strategic technology" as one that presents "a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment or the risk of being late to adopt."
The top 10 strategic technologies for 2010 include:
- Cloud Computing. Increasingly, consuming cloud services enterprises are acting as cloud providers and delivering application, information or business process services to customers and business partners, according to Gartner.
- Advanced analytics. The next step in using advanced analytics to support operational business decisions is to provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics -- not simply information -- to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action, Gartner notes.
- Client computing. With virtualization creating new ways of packaging client-computing applications and capabilities, companies should build a five- to eight-year strategic-client computing roadmap outlining an approach to: device standards, ownership and support; operating system and application selection, deployment and update; and management and security plans to manage diversity, according to Gartner.
- IT for green. IT can enable many green initiatives, including the use of e-documents, reducing travel and teleworking. IT also can provide the analytic tools that others in the organization may use to reduce energy consumption in the transportation of goods or other carbon-management activities, Gartner points out.
- Reshaping the data center. Companies are finding that costs are lower if they adopt a pod-based approach to data center construction and expansion, according to Gartner. If a company expects it will need 9,000 square feet during the life of a data center, then design the site to support it, but only build whats needed for five to seven years (as opposed to past design principles for data centers, which usually estimated growth for 15 to 20 years), Gartner recommends.
- Social computing. Organizations must focus on both the use of social software and social media in the enterprise as well as on participation and integration with externally facing enterprise-sponsored and public communities. A suggestion from Gartner: "Do not ignore the role of the social profile to bring communities together."
- Security -- activity monitoring. A variety of complementary (and sometimes overlapping) monitoring and analysis tools help companies better detect and investigate suspicious activity -- often with real-time alerting or transaction intervention. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of such tools, companies can better understand how to use them to defend the firm and meet audit requirements, Gartner notes.
- Flash memory. Flash memory is not new, but it is moving up to a new tier in the storage echelon, according to Gartner. At the rate of price declines, the technology will enjoy more than a 100% compound annual growth rate during the new few years and become strategic in many IT areas, including consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems.
- Virtualization for availability. Virtualization has been on the list of top strategic technologies in previous years, but it makes the list this year because of new elements such as live migration for availability that have longer-term implications, Gartner notes. Live migration is the movement of a running virtual machine, while its operating system and other software continue to execute as if they remained on the original physical server.
- Mobile applications. By year-end 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce, providing a rich environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web, according to Gartner.
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