The 10 hottest tech trends of 2009

Posted on Posted in Stories, Technology Center

Virtualization, traces of Web 2.0, and efficiency are the key trends that will rule the tech world starting next year, according to Gartner, Inc.

The research company predicts that the 10 hottest technologies will have long-term impact on business and the IT industry itself, thanks to “high potential for disruption to IT or the business,” the amount of investment, the risks of late adoption, and the rewards of early implementation.

Topping the list is virtualization, particularly server virtualization, which has the potential to lower the cost of storage and media devices. According to David Cearley, vice president at Gartner, today’s virtual hosting technologies encourage the reduction of data duplication, and combined with the impression that the quality of hosted data are as good as those stored in personal computers or company servers, the trend will eventually result in lower costs of data storage devices and equipment.

With the attention accorded to Software as a Service (SaaS), its next of kin, cloud computing, comes in second. Cost, scalability, and “elasticity” are the primary reasons for the increase in adoption of the technology next year. Most of its adopters will be composed of small and medium size enterprises, but large organizations are not far behind in embracing the technology.

The third trend focuses on the development of servers that allows for provisioning of resources according to end-users’ needs. New server technologies will enable companies to combine available resources instead of purchase separate systems for hardware and software requirements. This reduces inventory and eliminates wasted assets. While server blades have nearly the same approach, these are still not as flexible.

The fourth trend centers on Web-inspired architectures, specifically, the technologies, standards and design approaches that promote “agile, interoperable and scalable service-oriented environment.” Gartner predicts that the Web-oriented approach to technology innovation will be integrated into more enterprise solutions in the next five years.

Enterprise mashups, the fifth trend to capture the technology world starting in 2009, has its roots in the Web industry. As mashups became one of the standards of Web 2.0, Gartner expects that enterprises will explore the approach’s potential in business computing environments.

The other five that round up the list are specialized systems that address the demands of “general-purpose computing markets,” social software and social networking, unified communications or consolidation of communications technologies, business intelligence technologies that assist organizations in “making smarter decisions at every level of the business,” and green IT and its resulting energy efficient products.

Gartner’s forecast does not mention outsourcing, but it is easy to predict that with the increasing need for  technology upgrade and maintenance, combined with cost-cutting demands brought on by the current economic challenges, companies will continue to ship part of their technology work offshore. What the forecast provides, on the other hand, is a peek at the next wave of tech trends that will be adopted by various industries.

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