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Green Tech, Unified Communications Top Gartner List of 2008 'Strategic Technologies'
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October 11, 2007

Green Tech, Unified Communications Top Gartner List of 2008 'Strategic Technologies'

By Mae Kowalke
TMCnet Contributor

Market research firm Gartner (News - Alert) on Tuesday released its predictions for the top 10 “strategic technologies” that organizations are likely to be focusing on during 2008. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the imminent launch of Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Communications Server 2007, unified communications grabbed the number two spot on the list, beat out only by “green IT.”

Gartner predicted that the three-year period starting in 2008 will see a majority of companies migrating to IP telephony and by proxy to unified communications. The firm said that “20 percent of the installed base with PBX (News - Alert) has migrated to IP telephony,” and more than 80 percent have some type of IP telephony trial underway.
The switch to IP telephony and unified communications, Gartner said, will represent “the first major change in voice communications since the digital PBX and cellular phone changes in the 1970s and 1980s.”
At the top of Gartner’s list was “green IT.” The firm said growth of business use for environmentally-friendly technology is being driven in part by regulatory changes and in part by market demand. “Green” regulations are affecting data centers in particular—with “impact on power grids, carbon emissions from increased use and other environmental impacts” being under scrutiny.
The popularity of “green” technology in business is also the result of consumer and client demands.
“Some companies are emphasizing their social responsibility behavior, which might result in vendor preferences and policies that affect IT decisions,” Gartner said in its report. “Scheduling decisions for workloads on servers will begin to consider power efficiency as a key placement attribute.”
Other technologies Gartner predicts will be influential during 2008 are:
Business process modeling--top-level process services will be defined jointly by a set of roles, complementing service oriented architecture (SOA) development.
Metadata management—companies will link together master data management initiatives in order to achieve broad information management goals and help boost SOA projects.
Virtualization 2.0—virtualization solutions, coupled with policy-based automation, will be used to enable infrastructure improvements, to boost flexibility and resiliency, and to cut costs.
Mashups and composite apps—Web mashups will be the dominant model (80 percent penetration) by 2010 when companies create composite applications.
Web platforms and WOA—software-as-a-service (Saas) will be coupled with “cloud computing” as companies develop their Web platform strategies for the next 3-5 years.
Computing fabric—technology will be introduced allowing blade servers to be merged into a larger system.
Real world Web—companies will be focusing on ways to make information on the Web applicable in particular locations/contexts or for particular activities.
Social software—the enterprise Web 2.0 product environment will experience a lot of flux through 2010, resulting in a high rate of vendor consolidation; social software technology will see increased use within the enterprise environment to augment traditional methods of collaboration.
Gartner advised that the emerging technologies listed here will be used in conjunction with more established technologies, as companies look for new and innovative ways to stay competitive.
“For example, real-time enterprises providing advanced devices for a mobile workforce will consider next-generation smartphones to be a key technology, in addition to the value that this list might offer,” Gartner analyst Carl Claunch said in the report.

To learn even more about unified communications, green technology and the other concepts discussed in this article, check TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents free to registered users.

Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.

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