Gartner Selects the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2008
(Wireless News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
Gartner analysts highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that
will be strategic for most organizations during the Gartner
Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 12.
Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for
significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors
that denote significant impact include 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.
"Companies should factor these technologies into their strategic
planning process by asking key questions and making deliberate
decisions about them during the next two years," said David Cearley,
vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Sometimes the
decision will be to do nothing with a particular technology. In other
cases it will be to continue investing in the technology at the current
rate. In still other cases, the decision may be to test/pilot or more
aggressively adopt/deploy the technology. The important thing is to ask
the question and proactively plan."
The top 10 strategic technologies for 2008 include:
Green IT. The focus of Green IT that came to the forefront in 2007 will
accelerate and expand in 2008. Consider potential regulations and have
alternative plans for data center and capacity growth. Regulations are
multiplying and have the potential to seriously constrain companies in
building data centers, as the impact on power grids, carbon emissions
from increased use and other environmental impacts are under scrutiny.
Some companies are emphasizing their social responsibility behavior,
which might result in vendor preferences and policies that affect IT
decisions. Scheduling decisions for workloads on servers will begin to
consider power efficiency as a key placement attribute.
Unified Communications. Today, 20 percent of the installed base with
PBX has migrated to IP telephony, but more than 80 percent are already
doing trials of some form. Gartner analysts expect the next three years
to be the point at which the majority of companies implement this, the
first major change in voice communications since the digital PBX and
cellular phone changes in the 1970s and 1980s.
Business Process Modeling. Top-level process services must be defined
jointly by a set of roles (which include enterprise architects, senior
developers, process architects and/or process analysts). Some of those
roles sit in a service oriented architecture center of excellence, some
in a process center of excellence and some in both. The strategic
imperative for 2008 is to bring these groups together. Gartner expects
BPM suites to fill a critical role as a compliment to SOA development.
Metadata Management. Through 2010, organizations implementing both
customer data integration and product integration and product
information management will link these master data management
initiatives as part of an overall enterprise information management
(EIM) strategy. Metadata management is a critical part of a company's
information infrastructure. It enables optimization, abstraction and
semantic reconciliation of metadata to support reuse, consistency,
integrity and shareability. Metadata management also extends into SOA
projects with service registries and application development
repositories. Metadata also plays a role in operations management with
Virtualization 2.0. Virtualization technologies can improve IT resource
utilization and increase the flexibility needed to adapt to changing
requirements and workloads. However, by themselves, virtualization
technologies are simply enablers that help broader improvements in
infrastructure cost reduction, flexibility and resiliency. With the
addition of automation technologies - with service-level, policy-based
active management - resource efficiency can improve dramatically,
flexibility can become automatic based on requirements, and services
can be managed holistically, ensuring high levels of resiliency.
Virtualization plus service-level, policy-based automation constitutes
Mashup & Composite Apps. By 2010, Web mashups will be the dominant
model (80 percent) for the creation of composite enterprise
applications. Mashup technologies will evolve significantly over the
next five years, and application leaders must take this evolution into
account when evaluating the impact of mashups and in formulating an
enterprise mashup strategy.
Web Platform & WOA. Software as a service (SaaS) is becoming a viable
option in more markets and companies must evaluate where service based
delivery may provide value in 2008-2010. Meanwhile Web platforms are
emerging which provide service-based access to infrastructure services,
information, applications, and business processes through Web based
"cloud computing" environments. Companies must also look beyond SaaS to
examine how Web platforms will impact their business in 3-5 years.
Computing Fabric. A computing fabric is the evolution of server design
beyond the interim stage, blade servers, that exists today. The next
step in this progression is the introduction of technology to allow
several blades to be merged operationally over the fabric, operating as
a larger single system image that is the sum of the components from
those blades. The fabric-based server of the future will treat memory,
processors, and I/O cards as components in a pool, combining and
recombining them into particular arrangements to suits the owner's
needs. For example a large server can be created by combining 32
processors and a number of memory modules from the pool, operating
together over the fabric to appear to an operating system as a single
Real World Web. The term "real world Web" is informal, referring to
places where information from the Web is applied to the particular
location, activity or context in the real world. It is intended to
augment the reality that a user faces, not to replace it as in virtual
worlds. It is used in real-time based on the real world situation, not
prepared in advance for consumption at specific times or researched
after the events have occurred. For example in navigation, a printed
list of directions from the Web do not react to changes, but a GPS
navigation unit provides real-time directions that react to events and
movements; the latter case is akin to the real-world Web of augmented
reality. Now is the time to seek out new applications, new revenue
streams and improvements to business process that can come from
augmenting the world at the right time, place or situation.
Social Software. Through 2010, the enterprise Web 2.0 product
environment will experience considerable flux with continued product
innovation and new entrants, including start-ups, large vendors and
traditional collaboration vendors. Expect significant consolidation as
competitors strive to deliver robust Web 2.0 offerings to the
enterprise. Nevertheless social software technologies will increasingly
be brought into the enterprise to augment traditional collaboration.
"These 10 opportunities should be considered in conjunction with many
proven, fully-matured technologies, as we as others that did not make
this list, but can provide value for many companies," said Carl
Claunch, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "For
example, real-time enterprises providing advanced devices for a mobile
workforce will consider next-generation smartphones to be a key
technology, in addition to the value that this list might offer."
Symposium/ITxpo is a strategic conference for senior IT and business
professions. More than 6,000 senior business and IT strategists from
virtually all major industries will gather to gain the latest advice on
the biggest challenge: driving profits and performance with IT.
Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of
attendees' annual planning efforts. They rely on Gartner
Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT
to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.
Event information: www.gartner.com/symposium/us.
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