According to Gartner, the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations. The analysts presented their findings during 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:
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. 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.
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. 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.
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 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 CMDB initiatives.
5. 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 an RTI.
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