Top 10 Strategic IT Technologies & Trends

Gartner has highlighted the top 10 technologies and strategic trends for most organizations in 2011 during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Florida October 18th through October 21st.

A strategic technology is defined as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next 3 years.  Factors that indicate significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.  It may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses, or an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters with potential for significant market disruption in the next 5 years.   These technologies impact long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

Companies should factor these top 10 technologies into their strategic planning processes by asking key questions and making deliberate decisions about them during the next 2 years.  Consider the security and privacy implications as you consider the how’s and why’s of implementing these technologies or adopting these trend setting technologies.  The questions you ask now will provide the answers you will need later.

The top 10 strategic technologies for 2011 include:

  • Cloud Computing. Cloud computing could change the service model of network computing.
  • Mobile Applications and Media Tablets.  Each brings with it risks and benefits.
  • Social Communications and Collaboration.  Careful what you share.
  • Video.  Consider trends in digital photography, 3D, consumer electronics, digital and Internet-based television and mobile computing.
  • Next Generation Analytics. It is becoming possible to run simulations or models to predict future outcomes.
  • Social Analytics. Measuring, analyzing and interpreting the results of interactions and associations among people, topics and ideas.
  • Context-Aware Computing. Using environmental , activities, connections and preferences to improve interaction with end users.
  • Storage Class Memory. The use of SSD and other technologies to increase storage and access speeds.
  • Ubiquitous Computing.  The coming 3rd wave of computing where computers are invisibly embedded into the world.
  • Fabric-Based Computing.  A system can be aggregated from separate modules connected over a fabric or switched backplane.

 And the Top 10 Trends in IT:

  1. Virtualization. “The data center of the future is going to be completely virtualized,” Cappuccio predicts. 
  2. Dealing with data. Data is expected to grow by 800% over the next five years, and 80% of it will be unstructured.
  3. Energy and green IT. This includes better automation and monitoring. 
  4. Unified communications and collaboration. This will be especially important as younger workers are hired.
  5. Thinking horizontally. Companies need IT pros with business smarts.
  6. Open-source collaboration. External networks will emerge.
  7. Windows XP migration. Vendors will cease testing their apps on it.
  8. Computing and data center density. This will be helped by the doubling of cores every two years and the expanded use of liquid cooling.
  9. Cloud computing. Users will shift more services to the cloud.
  10. Fabric computing. Server, storage and network systems will be integrated.

A webinar series will provide full video replays of the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo keynotes, as well as selected Gartner analyst presentations. More information is available at

Zeus At Home, But Then Who Really Cares?

According to ComputerWorld, it looks like Zeus malware distributors are developing a new attack strategy, targeting businesses more than banks.  Zeus has been typically used to steal online banking credentials,  but has started angling for home computers and VPN access into the soft, mushy insides of the corporate network. 

It would seem there is less network protection at home, fewer tracking mechanisms, and just as much or more value to be had within the various Small, Medium, and Enterprise sized businesses that this tactic exposes their tools to.  Criminal groups that use Zeus have started trying to find out where their victims work by popping up fake online bank log-in screens that ask the victims for their employer’s name.

We trust our employees, but because most of the security work goes on in the corporate environment behind the red curtain, they don’t understand security, their home computers and laptops are not as well protected outside of the corporate perimeter.   Zeus provides a powerful tool for corporate espionage, letting criminals remotely control victim computers, search files, capture passwords and log keystrokes.  Hackers could use the victims’ home PC to break into corporate systems by by-passing a large portion of the protective controls deployed within an organization. 

Employees take risks at home that they would not necessarily take at the office because no one is watching.  The risk they understand is getting caught, not getting compromised.  The Internet remains a target rich environment as awareness is lacking, and lackadasical complacancy is the norm.  Without perceived and pernsonal consequence, there is no security beyond that which is ENFORCED.

Agree?  No?  How come?