Gartner Reveals Top 10 Technologies

by drjim on May 30, 2008

Gartner Top 10 Technologies For 2008

Gartner Top 10 Technologies For 2008

The good folks over at the Gartner Group have revealed the top 10 technologies that they believe will change the world over the next four years:

  1. Multicore and hybrid processors
  2. Virtualization and fabric computing
  3. Social networks and social software
  4. Cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms
  5. Web mashups
  6. User Interface
  7. Ubiquitous computing
  8. Contextual computing
  9. Augmented reality
  10. Semantics

What caught my attention were items 1-4. I think that Gartner got it right this time around. Muticore servers and virtualization will mean that firms will need fewer boxes and apps can be easily moved from box to box (and right out the door to an outsourced data center). Workplace social networks and cloud computing means that the need for a centralized IT department will go away. Firms will no longer need to own/maintain the boxes that they use to run their firm’s apps. With no need to touch a box, there will be no need to have the IT staff co-located with the boxes. Oh, oh — can you hear your job going away?

What does this all mean, and more importantly what should a successful IT staffer (or CIO) do today? The key to your future success is to understand how IT is going to change and what you need to do to change with it. IT is going to become much more about information and how it can be used to help the business grow and prosper. This IT function is going to leave the IT department as we know it today and will migrate into the business unit itself. What this means to you is that you need to know what your firm does, and even more importantly, how it does it. The next question will be what information is needed by the business units to improve how they do their work. This is what tomorrow’s IT staff will provide. Thanks Gartner for the peek into the future!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

none May 30, 2008 at 3:47 pm

These technologies are already here today.
This is no stretch and no surprise.

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Free, Anonymous OpenID by http://www.jkg.in/ May 30, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Is this an ordered list? ’cause I really doubt that augmented reality and “web mashups” will be more important than the Semantic Web.

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Per May 30, 2008 at 4:40 pm

I believe that last one is the most interesting; Semantics.
We have a ton of computing power already but no doubt we will need more before the end of next week.

However if more clever information processing were done with the data that’s all around us we could do wonders.

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John Brendler May 30, 2008 at 5:29 pm

1. Multicore/hybrid: No; this will not change the world. It is simply good old Moore’s law plodding along.

A better choice would have been Solid State Storage Devices.

2. Virt./Fabric: Agree

3. Social: No; while this been a locus of the “Web 2.0” buzz, it is nothing new to business: it’s what used to be called “collaboration”. And while collaboration is important, there is only so much room for “democratization” within corporate business models, supply chains, and business processes. Instant Messaging hasn’t changed the world either. Social is done making its changes.

Better: substitute “fiber to the curb/desktop”.

4. Cloud: agree

5. Web mashups: No; get off the buzz bandwagon. This is nothing new. The core concept is integration. What is new is the effectiveness of new underlying client/server technologies which are making it feasible to efficiently create feature- and content-rich web-based applications that are also responsive enough for use.

A better choice would have been “asynchronous web-app frameworks” (Ajax, Ruby on Rails, Django, etc.)

6. UI: no; not within 4 years.

Better: substitute “Open Source / FOSS”

7. Ubuquitous: no; same trend plodding along. No world-changing difference within 4 years.

Better: substitute “Realization of voice/data infrastructure convergence. IP telephony gains mainstream acceptance. Business model shakeup among telephony, cable, layer 3/4 network providers.”

8. Contextual: maybe, but this is probably too narrow

Better: redefine as “pervasive wireless infrastructure (enabling location-based services, contextual computing, etc.)”

9. Augmented reality: no; not in 4 year horizon. We will see some, but not enough that it’s changing the world.

Better: substitute zero-configuration networking (Microsoft finally stops resisting).

10. Semantics: agree, although this may be too narrowly defined (for buzzword value).

Better: redefine as “maturation of enterprise-level content management technologies (e.g., semantics, metadata integration, services).”

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David May 30, 2008 at 5:40 pm

In other news, fire is hot.

“Top 10 Buzzwords of the Previous Three Fiscals” would be a better title for this list.

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MLKnight May 30, 2008 at 5:42 pm

In response to the comments after the list (not the user submitted, from the blog owner)

“With no need to touch a box, there will be no need to have the IT staff co-located with the boxes. Oh, oh — can you hear your job going away?”

I’m not in IT computer support, but a programmer. But I’ll tell you this much – so long as you have people at computers, you will need your IT support guy. You are imagining a world where this cloud computing transition will be seamless and clean, and where the machines the end users sit at – even if they are just thin consoles with little power themselves, that are the access to the cloud… will never have an issue.

Well, they will. Computers will have issues, I am pretty sure, pretty much forever. Especially with the errors and other problems that originate with a user. An IT staff handles the network topology, manages usernames and passwords, makes sure printers throughout a company have ink, that the phone system is working as expected.

They maintain servers, regardless of their being physical or in a cloud. They are responsible for backing up sensitive data, for keeping that data secure, for archiving and keeping data clean.

Anyway, changes are coming, but pretending an IT team will no longer be needed is… naive, at best.

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Donovan Walker May 31, 2008 at 3:20 am

Totally un impress by this list.

“Fire is hot” as one commenter said.

Course, maybe the top 10 are just really obvious this time.

IMO, 10 years is too long a cycle these days.

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Mark May 31, 2008 at 4:01 am

Other astounding revelations also posted by Gartner today….

1. Pope is Catholic
2. Sun found to be quite hot
3. Earth not flat after all
4…

🙂

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Torley May 31, 2008 at 8:42 am

This list needs more fleshed-out context (I’m sure Gartner must have more info); dropping a list of names won’t help inform us as describing, even briefly, HOW they’ll change the world.

(6) is a really vague, amorphous blob tho. User interfaces have always continued to evolve gradually, and changing the world has never been temporal point-oriented, but come in waves. It’s true some paradigms (like desktop GUI metaphor and computer mouse) have been adopted, then dominated industry standards for a long time — which leads me to wonder what the next big, common devices will be?

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Zane Safrit May 31, 2008 at 11:27 am

I’d add “water is wet”.

Some, if not most, of this list is already here.

10 years ago, did you see Twitter? Or blogs? Or podcasts? or RSS or tags or delicious?

The top 10 technologies even 5 years from now aren’t on this list.

Still, water will be wet and fire will be hot at those times.

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Undertoad May 31, 2008 at 11:41 am

I remember when Gartner picked the three “winner” OSes about 12 years ago, supposed to be the OSes that that would prove successful in the new era and kick out all competitors. I think it was Win NT, AIX, and Solaris.

No mention of Linux.

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john May 31, 2008 at 12:05 pm

couple of things

Virtualization just simply improves the up time and actually allows people to correctly manage server process’s Virtualization on the desktop is very much pointless unless you want to reset your machine every login

Semantics – this is going to power more and more websites to give correct answers wikipedia is a great source and with IE 8 the ability to read in data and post it off to an external site is a great thing encouraging more semantic web type of content that in turn new tools will be able to make sense of

regards

John Jones
http://www.johnjones.me.uk

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Galtenbergs May 31, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Good stuff, John Brendler. A much better list.

*bow

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Dan Covington May 31, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Concur. The Academy Award goes to… Brendler’s List.

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Dr. Jim Anderson May 31, 2008 at 5:35 pm

I tend to agree that Gartner’s list is a bit weak this time around. The two that I personally believe have the strongest legs are virtualization and cloud computing (despite the silly name). I’ve been talking to a lot of folks who are using virtualization as a way to halt jobs, move them to a different platform, and then restart them. This sure seems to make it possible to create and run your mission critical apps on boxes that someone else has to mange for you.

Same thing goes for cloud computing. I agree that shutting down a data center and outsourcing everything won’t be happening anytime soon. But how about a hybrid approach: use the cloud for stuff that is not critical: HR, paychecks, etc. Sounds like a way to get started and minimize your exposure at the same time. Any thoughts?

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Mike Peter Reed May 31, 2008 at 5:37 pm

So everything that’s been around since the sixties then?

Personally I’d like to see solar technology and open source change the world by giving common people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it, to be totally independent from the large energy providers. No more war over resources and we can finally start planning our permanent ascent from this planet with aplomb.

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Rob Greenlee May 31, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Nothing on this list is really new or revolutionary. Most of these have been on the bigger tech roadmap for years. It is really about slow evolution and steady improvement of these tech concepts. Many of these on this list have interconnected dependencies on each other and as they all improve in combination with increases in core computational processing we will see these really develop vs. just be dream concepts that have been around since the dotcom boom.

The technologies from this list that I would like to see fully develop are better user interface hardware/software and semantic/user agent web discovery technologies.

Rob Greenlee
http://www.mobilecasternews.com

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VarunMayan June 1, 2008 at 2:16 am

I feel déja vu. All of these has been done or in progress. You should have written something new. I am dissapointed. One I can suggest in Online Application Development. Other is advent of parallel languages

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JG de Vries June 3, 2008 at 2:21 am

Is 1 to 10 just a coincidence or is it a ranking.
If it is ranking than I would have nr. 7 or better John Brendler’s nr. 7 ranked much higher.
With IP Telephony collaboration in terms of UC will influence the way we work together much more than we know now.
I feel we are on the edge of a new Internet era, just like 15 years ago.
And that also makes it very clear how difficult it is to predict the future.
15 years ago nobody could have guessed where we are today.
Still I will thank Gartner every time for the effort, that’s why we are discussing this right now.

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