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The top strategic technologies for 2009

The top strategic technologies for 2009

Virtualisation tops the list as it will allow organisations to save money, provide better power efficiency, and better utilise servers in the present economic turmoil.

Virtualisation will hold the No 1 spot on CIOs' lists in the Asia Pacific in 2009, said research firm Gartner. The top 10 strategic technology areas below will affect, run, grow and transform the business initiatives in 2009, according to Phillip R. Sargeant, managing vice president, global storage markets at Gartner.

1. Virtualisation

2. Business intelligence

3. Cloud computing

4. Green IT

5. Unified communications

6. Social software and social networking

7. Web-oriented architecture

8. Enterprise mashups

9. Specialised systems

10. Servers - beyond blades

Seven per cent of servers virtualised

Virtualisation is not a new technology, said Sargeant, a user since 1993. It will, however, become a strategic area for organisations to save money, provide better power efficiency, and to better utilise servers particularly during the present economic turmoil.

Only about seven per cent of the millions of servers installed in the world today are virtualised, said Sargeant. VMware, despite being a market leader in the virtualisation, will face a lot of challenges from Microsoft, who is expected to stage a lot of activities in the area of virtualisation in 2009 and 2010, he said.

Virtualisation is advancing in three trajectories, deduplication, single-instance storage, and compression, which will promise lower-cost data migration, unified storage management, common replication services, and longer product life.

"Cloud computing is all about 'server delivery', not technology", said Sargeant, who said it can be put under the umbrella term of virtualisation or Green IT.

The green IT strategy that most information technology vendors adopt today is predominantly associated with energy saving in data centres. But there is much more that vendors can do in green IT, said Sargeant, such as in the process of supply chain, and the choice of materials to produce products with.

Systems were generalised to run multiple applications many years ago, said Sargeant. In the next 12 months, however, systems are expected to be specialised and optimised to run more applications such as data recovery compliance and data application compliance.

Blade servers will start to gain attraction in 2009, and by 2010, they are expected to take over rack servers, according to Sargeant.

Growth strategies

"In the present financial situation, organisations will still adopt new technologies as long as they can help them to cut cost", said Matt Boon, managing vice president and group team manager, global hardware markets at Gartner. He said the ongoing global economic problems in 2009 could reduce IT market growth from 5.8 per cent to 2.3 per cent in the worst case.

Organisations can make short-term gains from discretionary IT spending, said Boon, such as by extending hardware replacement cycles, and by not upgrading business applications software. However, CIOs should be cautious that the cost of saving expenditure on legacy equipment does not outstrip the cost of upgrading it.

CIOs should also preserve essential IT spending, such as those that ensure business process efficiency, cost reduction, and competitive advantage. Others essential IT spending, according to Boon, includes critical infrastructure projects and strategic investments in technology migration.

Hardware market strategies

The following are some predictions and strategies that Boon recommended to both users and vendors of hardware, in order to grow enterprise business in an economic downturn through 2009 and beyond. Most importantly, CIOs are advised that their decisions made today will not impair their IT operations in the future when the economy gets out of the downturn.

Users will:

- Delay hardware refresh schedules.

- Revise and in some case cut budgets.

- Increase their focus on cost savings and total cost of ownership.

- Look for lower pricing and have lower brand loyalty.

- Increase dual vendor sourcing to create a more competitive environment and a safety net.

- Delay large projects.

- Be less easy to predict.

Vendors should:

- Advise users on configuration upgrade possibilities. Focus on additional software, services and peripheral sales to the installed base.

- Move the discussion away from hardware and focus on business value.

- Support enterprises in cost cutting initiatives. Re-educate the sales force and channel partners on the total cost of ownership story.

- Prepare your 'we can help you cut costs' messaging for 2009.

- Develop more aggressive competitive defend and attack programs.

- Become advisors in collaboration with partners to either downsize a project temporarily, or find a smaller interim solution.

- Renegotiate deals with partners and component and ODM suppliers.

- Increase focus on geographic markets that are less impacted (emerging markets and selected mature markets, such as China and India).

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