Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2008

Gartner, Inc. analysts highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations. 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.

The top 10 strategic technologies for 2008 include:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 enables optimization, abstraction and semantic reconciliation of metadata to support reuse, consistency, integrity and shareability.

5. Virtualization 2.0. Virtualization technologies can improve IT resource utilization and increase the flexibility needed to adapt to changing requirements and workloads.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Computing Fabric. A computing fabric is the evolution of server design beyond the interim stage, blade servers, that exists today. 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 fixed server.

9. 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.

10. 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.”

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