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Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2008
Gartner, Inc. analysts today highlighted 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.

Interesting strategic technologies that made the top 10 list 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.

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.

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 owners 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.

Published Wednesday, October 10, 2007 7:26 AM by David Marshall
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