Early each year we post a “Top Ten” list of critical technologies or trends on the minds of CIOs. For this post, we leverage Gartner survey results done late in 2010, as a starting point. Last month, Gartner delineated its top 10 technologies for 2011 that will give technology execs the most bang for their buck. In this list, there are items that we’d expect to see on a 2011 Top Ten list, some that are a surprise, and some notable omissions.
Let’s get right to it:
1. Cloud computing
This set of technologies has been on lists for a number of years. Now enterprises seem to be expecting everything as a service, and as such, many firms will probably need cloud computing brokers. Items of note:
- IT organizations are generally wary of the public cloud, but may be comfortable with select applications in the public cloud.
- IT executives expect vendors to “cloud wash,” but are paying close attention to discern real capability in vendor offerings.
- To minimize security exposures, firms are considering limiting access to specific clouds based on communities or groups. Limit access to specific clouds based on community and groups.
2. Mobile applications and media tablets.
Tablet PC’s and touch screens aren’t new, but as Apple has leveraged the iPhone ecosystem, and the iPad is as common as pocketbooks, the game has changed considerably. Items of note:
- Access to enterprise applications on the tablet will be commonly expected by users.
- Developing mobile applications is complicated by the diversity of platforms available.
- Context aware computing can connect to customers better
- Marketing will drive a lot of projects to utilize tablets, but these devices can also be used for inspections, surveys, image capture, documentation and training.
3. Next-generation analytics.
Companies need to develop “operational analytics” to make predictions and use data mashups. There’s value in very current information. We are now shifting our focus to start doing simulations and modeling to predict the future. These simulations would ultimately be run on smartphones and other devices. Algorithms will really matter to companies to support the right type of prediction. Though many companies are using Business Intelligence applications, the real test is how many of those are seeing real value from those apps.
4. Social analytics.
This concept revolves around taking social networking data and incorporating it into enterprise analysis. Sentiment, context and influence are key areas for companies.
5. Social communication and collaboration.
Social collaboration is unstoppable, and CIO’s have been reluctant to embrace this fully. There is tremendous power in this, but most firms are way behind the curve in leveraging any advantage from this. By now, companies should have policies, high value social uses identified and have experiments to link social with CRM systems. Meanwhile, unified communications will merge with social. Expertise location will probably be the best use case.
Corporate use of video is now mainstream. Low-cost video recorders are commonplace and companies will need video content management systems, better design skills, and address privacy issues and policy concerns. Key uses of video in the enterprise will be E-learning, merchandising, marketing, webinars and telepresence. Furthermore, the “Nexters” entering the workforce will expect video. Network architectures will likely need to be improved in order to handle the growth in video traffic.
7. Context aware computing.
The idea here is that social analytics and computing leads to knowledge about user preferences. Portals, mashups, mobile computing, and social networks will all begin to integrate.
It’s very likely that marketing initiatives will be the first to experiment in these waters.
8. Ubiquitous computing.
This is a repeat topic from years past, and not much tangible progress is evident in our opinion. It is evident that increasingly, everyone has multiple computing devices, and these devices are situational in nature. That is, if there were already one device that suited all possible use cases that a person has, then we wouldn’t need a laptop, desktop, smartphone, and iPad.
9. Storage class memory.
We’ve mentioned this on in years past as well, mainly in the context of solid state drives. When Flash meets RAM there are differences in speed and costs. The emergence of commodity persistent storage will lead companies to rethink which data goes where.
10. Fabric based infrastructure and computers.
The basic idea here is infrastructure that manages resources in an integrated fashion. Cisco UCS, HP Matrix are examples. New ways of building servers will mean you buy pools of processors and memory instead of physically swapping boxes. Though there is benefit in this sort of architectural paradigm, it may take another year to sort through the fog of marketing hype.?
At least in this body of survey results, it’s very interesting to note that topics of sustainability, Green IT, Green Data Centers, Data Center modernization, and virtualization are completely absent. We know for sure, because of the demand we still get from our Customers that these topics are absolutely in play. Another key absence is the mention of Security. IS Security has been near the top on most top ten lists in recent years, and especially as it applies to cloud-based services. It’s interesting though, that these are nowhere on Gartner’s recent Top Ten list.