Ten Technology Trends to Watch in 2011 - Part 1

Ten Technology Trends to Watch - Part 1

Monday, August 08, 2011 | Staff Writer

IT organisations straining to stay atop of the latest tech developments will want to pay special attention to Gartner's recent webinar, ‘Tech Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore.’ The IT research and advisory giant outlines ten critical trends organisations need to monitor and engage with closely.
In this first of two articles, we examine five of these trends and how they are affecting, for better or worse, today’s IT organisations. 
1. Virtualisation.
Virtualisation, which encompasses infrastructure, applications, server, desktop, storage, network and hardware, is changing how IT is used by allowing it to become one logical system. Virtualisation can provide additional muscle on demand and is compatible with today’s Green IT measures. For SMBs, moreover, virtualisation affords incredible ease of migration. According to Gartner, the critical timeframe for virtualisation is now. Organisations need to review consolidation plans and make certain all virtualisation bases are covered without delay. New client-side virtualisation is also pressing IT to evaluate multiple options and deliver systems that can convey and store portable media. Based on hosted virtual desktops that create a "thick client” image via a "thin client” delivery model, new client virtualisation is posed to create a long-term, flexible workforce that reduces operating complexity and streamlines standards in alignment, audit and control.  But before this can happen, organisations need to evaluate their options and create test environments that get end users involved for real-world analysis.
2. Data deluge.
According to Gartner, enterprise data growth is expected to grow by 650% in the next five years, and 80% will be unstructured. For IT, this means complexity will continue, despite continued budget constraints. More access will create more data, resulting in a deluge of data that will require increased compliance, backup, audit, and security. To stem the tide, organisations must virtualise storage quickly, prepare for reduplication, evaluate all data inputs, keep only what is essential, and segment and prioritise data. Key technologies to manage the data deluge will include thin provisioning, data reduplication, automated tiering, HSM principles and virtual tape.

3. Energy and Green IT.
Power to Performance Effectiveness (PPE) will become a focal point, forcing a review of IT efficiency at the intersection between facilities and IT. As the power issue moves up the food chain, corporate social responsibility will also become a central concern. How will this affect organisations? There will be an increased awareness and focus on power, compute to consumption ratios will become critical, EU or EPA metrics will come into play, and new KPIs based on efficiency will be developed. IT will need to begin evaluation of PUE or PPE, commence continuous improvement planning, and focus more on consumption rather than technologies.
4. Complex Resource Tracking.
This includes monitoring energy consumption, visualising the power consumption of resources, automating energy usage to optimal levels, and learning how to dynamically move workloads. Organisations will have to manage new KPIs based on power and a growing demand for new vendors and skills. According to Gartner, the critical timeframe for complex resource tracking will come in the next two years, and will demand that organisations get to know their facilities team, begin market research, and monitor EPA and EMU initiatives.
5. Consumerisation and Social Software.
Social collaboration (wikis, blogs, Facebook, Twitter), social media (content sharing and aggregation), and social validation (social ratings, rankings, and commentary) will continue to be a major force in shaping consumerisation and social software, compelling organisations to focus on early pattern detection and the "collective.” In the next two years, organisations will need to respond to the distributed social web by establishing rules of engagement, monitoring and looking for signals, becoming active participants in the social web, and adding a social dimension to internal and external websites. 
                                                                                                          Part two of this article >
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