At the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner analysts presented their insights into the top 10 technologies and trends to rule the world in 2009.
With emphasis on virtualization, organizations should also pay close attention to cloud computing, green IT, Business Intelligence (BI) and social software — among other strategic trends.
Defining “Strategic” According to Gartner
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.
These technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives. They may be strategic because they have matured to broad market use, or because they enable strategic advantage from early adoption.
“Strategic technologies affect, run, grow and transform the business initiatives of an organization,” said David Cearley, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “Companies should look at these 10 opportunities and evaluate where these technologies can add value to their business services and solutions, as well as develop a process for detecting and evaluating the business value of new technologies as they enter the market.”
The Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009
Much of the current buzz is focused on server virtualization, but virtualization in storage and client devices is also moving rapidly. In addition, such virtualization trends as data deduplication can significantly decrease the cost of storage devices and media to hold information.
Gartner notes that, despite ambitious deployment plans from many organizations, deployments of hosted virtual desktop capabilities will be adopted by fewer than 40% of target users by 2010.
As TechCrunch mentioned, the Apple’s Intel-based computer platform is growing and businesses are using VMWare’s Fusion software, and its competitor Parallels Desktop, to boot Windows on Apple hardware.
In the current economic slump, organizations can get more bang for the buck by implementing virtualization software rather than buying new servers. There are plenty of virtualization products on the market right now to help tight IT budgets: enterprise-grade products like VMWare Server and VMWare ESXi are just some of the options.
At the same time, there’s also Microsoft’s Hyper-V — VMWare’s big competitor with nice pricing models. Hyper V offers economic benefits through Windows Server 2008. Customers can consolidate multiple server roles as separate VMs running on a single physical machine, while also running multiple different operating systems — Windows, Linux and others — in parallel, on a single server leveraging the power of x64 computing.
With players like Amazon Web Services, Google Apps, IBM, HP and many others already in the cloud, cloud computing is another hot topic. As per Gartner, the key characteristics of cloud computing are:
- SaaS capabilities
- Delivery of services in a highly scalable and elastic fashion
- Usage of Internet technologies and techniques to develop and deliver the services
- Designing for delivery to external customers
Some of the potential benefits of cloud computing include cost savings and the built-in elasticity. These features allow for lower barriers to entry and quick scalability and growth.
Beyond Blade Servers
Just like it was predicted earlier this year, green IT is much hyped about, and servers will continue to evolve in 2009 beyond the blade server stage that exists today.
This evolution will simplify the provisioning of capacity to meet growing needs. It will also make it easier on the inventory of systems, eliminating the need to track and purchase various sizes and configurations. The result will be higher utilization because of lessened “waste” of resources that are in the wrong configuration, for example.