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Blog: Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009: Hype Overload

Blog: Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2009: Hype Overload

Enough, already, with technology predictions for 2009. I mean, right now, what do these really have to do with your business or your industry?

Fact is, most research advice is heavily influenced by vendors. For researchers like Gartner (and I'm not picking on them; they all do business the same way), this is sort of a high-tech Ponzi scheme. The researchers get paid by the technology suppliers for doing research on their products or their customers and they get paid by the consumers who purchase the research. And then the researchers use this revenue to market themselves to attract more of each. Okay, it's not a true Ponzi scheme, but you get the point. As long as the researchers benefit financially (and directly) from the vendors, can you really trust what they're telling you?

So here are Gartner's top 10 strategic technologies for 2009, defined as having the "potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years":

1. Virtualization

2. Cloud computing

3. Servers (beyond blades)

4. Web oriented architectures

5. Enterprise mashups

6. Specialized systems

7. Social software / networking

8. Unified communications

9. Business intelligence

10. Green IT.

What's changed in the Gartner predictions from a year ago? Not much. Gartner removed "computing fabric" and added "cloud computing." (I'd guess that those who bought into Grid computing the last couple of years are now approaching the cloud hype with some trepidation.) I found it odd that Green IT moved from the top spot to the bottom. There were a few other minor changes.

So I wondered … what changed in the Gartner predictions from 2007 to 2008? Almost everything. The web 2.0 focus was still there, as was social networking, but the previous focus on user interfaces . . . gone. The focus on mobile and location-aware computing . . . gone.

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