Trends transforming IT in 2010

The Burton Group has identified IT trends that will ultimately affect enterprise IT practices and strategy. The trends will also bring business and technology stakeholders closer together, especially where pure economics drive enterprise IT decisions, creating a critical junction in the decade beginning in 2010.

Externalization, consumerization and globalization – Externalization plays an important role in IT economics, prompting value assessments of what capabilities should be treated as commodity. Consumerization reflects the desire for individual choice of devices and applications for maximum personal productivity. Democratization is evident in the rise and importance of social networks within and outside the modern enterprise. Ultimately, these elements converge to reshape the perception of enterprise IT and the traditional career path of the IT professional.

Cloud computing – Over the next several years, enterprise demand will lead to maturity in cloud computing solutions, especially with respect to virtualization techniques, risk management and pricing models. Cloud computing offers some uniquely attractive benefits, but also carries some significant risks. The key to cloud computing is comprehension: Knowing what the cloud is, strengths, weaknesses, risks, and usage and pricing models is important for IT organizations that are looking to use the cloud to create a competitive advantage.

Data center transformation – 2010 marks the start of data center transformation by virtualizing many aspects of the data center and establishing a hybrid of internal and external IT providers. The dynamic data center exposes new methods and external offerings that give IT organizations a way to provide the right level business IT services from external specialized IT service providers, including private and public cloud providers.

Social computing – Adoption of social computing is accelerating in organizations worldwide. As social computing moves from niche to mainstream, enterprises are focusing on empowering worker interactions through social networking and are reporting real value. Enterprises must also plan for these factors shaping social computing in 2010 and beyond: business and cultural drivers, increasing risk and vendor strategies.

Wireless everything – With the explosive growth and widespread availability of wireless networking products and services, substantial changes lay ahead for enterprise networks. Greater use of wireless mobile devices owned by employees is causing IT to rethink standard policies of issuing smartphones and even laptop computers to everyone. Employees are increasingly using their own wireless mobile devices, and enterprises must consider mobility as a strategic initiative rather than tactical capability.

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