Gartner’s top 10 for 2010

Bill Chamberlin at HorizonWatching has spotted a PDF of Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010, presented by analyst Andy Kyte in Sofia in October. Mr Kyte was there for a local executive briefing to celebrate the opening of a new Gartner office in Bulgaria. It appears that he also presented the talk to a professional gathering in the evening, from where it’s available online. At least, for now!

What’s most interesting is the wholesale change since last year’s list. There’s no item on the new list which appears identically on last year’s. Some changes are cosmetic; there are three items which transfer with new titles, such as Social Software and Social Networking which morphs into the simpler Social Computing.

Others involve reassembling last year’s list. For example, Virtualization (2009) feeds into three new items: Client Computing, Reshaping the Data Center, and Virtualization for Availability. And Cloud Computing (2010) adds Enterprise Mashups and Web-Oriented Architectures (2009) to last year’s definition of Cloud Computing.

This isn’t a list of emerging technologies, although some of the items on the list might be categorised thus. The criterion is the expectation of enterprise impact within the next three years. I’d certainly expect the list to change from year to year and no future impact assessment can guarantee accuracy. But I wonder, for example, whether Gartner think that Unified Communications (dropped this year) has achieved the impact predicted for it in 2008 and 2009, or whether they no longer expect it to do so? Maybe someone with access to the full report can tell us.

HorizonWatching’s a useful service. Well done, over there!

• Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010, HorizonWatching, 24 Nov 2009
• Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010, Gartner presentation, Sofia, 27 Oct 2009, from the Bulgarian FMI Society IT Academy
• Gartner Executive Event – here for interest is the invitation to the main event on 27 Oct 2009 with the full agenda

Webinar recording available

Thanks to Duncan Chapple of Lighthouse for sharing and hosting yesterday afternoon’s webinar. Anyone who couldn’t get to the session can reach the material through the link below. Thanks to attendees as well, for some interesting questions!

Click here for the recording hosted by DimDim (Flash Player is needed). Please be assured that the sound quality isn’t due to your PC: I was recovering from a heavy cold!

For more background information, see the original post Free webinar: “Managing the Insight Services Portfolio, From the Panic Cycle to effective delivery” (16 Nov); or contact me to discuss an engagement

In brief … self provisioning ups its profile

All of a sudden, what we’ve been talking about for years in the Leading Edge Forum’s Consumerisation group (going back to study tours years ago) is getting a much higher popular profile.

In the early days, we were making the case against a lot of scepticism that consumer technology (and not just PCs, but online services that we now call Web 2.0) is cheaper, faster and more capable than most enterprise provision; and leaders like BP were changing their security model to enable employees to pick their own kit and still be more secure than the traditional “everything inside the firewall’s ok” mindset.

Stage two was when the major insight services (naming no names …) finally “got it” and decided that they’d invented the term Consumerisation.

Now, it’s into the general business press and the case studies are beginning to show what we’ve been saying for years: that smart college kids won’t want to work in an environment limited by corporate blinkers. OK, the alert is from an article in CIO Insight. But it features an interview with Google’s CIO; and it starts with a link to an article in the WSJ. We’re getting there!

• Google’s CIO on Technology Choice, Biz-Tech 3.0, 16 Sep 2009
• It’s a Free Country… So why can’t I pick the technology I use in the office? Wall Street Journal online, 15 Nov 2009
• You might find some interesting stuff by using my Gartner Blog search engine and searching for “Consumerization”. Don’t forget to use the American spelling!

Free webinar: “Managing the Insight Services Portfolio, From the Panic Cycle to effective delivery”

IT budgets are always under constraint, but today’s CIOs are under intense pressure to deliver more for less. At the same time technology development is offering new options, from social computing to sourcing. IT must assess these effectively and invest for business benefit.

Coherent and well-aligned external advice has never been more important. Insight from analyst services, whether it’s the global majors such as Gartner and Forrester Research, or smaller and more specialised services, influences the whole of IT’s strategy and delivery. Yet, as analyst firms themselves respond to the same pressures, the costs of insight services are rising.

With over 700 varied providers, there’s plenty of opportunity to create a portfolio which delivers the right strategic and operational insight. The portfolio approach can yield significant direct savings while, at the same time, measurably improving effectiveness. And this relatively small investment in managing the service portfolio impacts not just the insight services budget, but through it the whole IT spend.

Yet there is limited experience on offer to help enterprises analyse their service needs. How do you shape and manage the portfolio to provide for coherent strategic advice?

I’m outlining the approach to this in a webinar, in conversation with Duncan Chapple. Duncan leads Lighthouse Analyst Relations market analysis of the research community, and between us we bring to the table around twenty years’ experience of this field/

Join us on Tuesday 24th November 2009, at 3 p.m. (15.00) UK time, to learn about “Managing the Insight Services Portfolio: from the Panic Cycle to effective delivery”, and begin your journey.

Who should attend:

  • Directors of Enterprise Strategy and Architecture
  • Managers in Procurement or in IT who purchase external insight services
  • Executive IT directors looking for coherent strategy advice
  • IT directors with responsibility for supplier and vendor management
  • Service owners and service improvement project leaders
  • Risk management leads
  • Anyone dissatisfied with their current use of insight services

What you will learn

Obviously we can’t describe a complete methodology in a short Webinar, but we will introduce the key ideas:

  • How to assess your current use of insight services
  • How to identify the insight services needs of your IT function (needs analysis)
  • How to create a cost-effective portfolio
  • How to move from disparate service contracts (“We just buy research”) to strategic delivery

register, email me or

Managing the Insight Services Portfolio: from the Panic Cycle to effective delivery
Tuesday 24th November
UK: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
US East Coast: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
US West Coast: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Mainland Europe: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

(A version of this post is also available at

One you may have missed …

… as I nearly did. My post from a year ago on reCAPTCHA is still one of the most visited on this blog, and you can see reCAPTCHA in action on my own main website where I use it to protect my email address from spambots.

Well, in mid September reCAPTCHA was acquired by Google. The story’s in Computerworld or on the Google blog. And as Computerworld comments, it’s a little component of Google’s mission to make all the world’s content accessible. The world is full of scanned archives of not-entirely-readable text (machine readable that is). reCAPTCHA helps to crack that problem. As it scans the world’s archives, Google will put it to work way beyond the academic sector where it originated.

• Google acquires reCAPTCHA in two-for-one deal, Computerworld, 16 Sep 2009
• reCAPTCHA uses one problem to crack another, ITasITis, 27 Nov 2008
• Teaching computers to read: Google acquires reCAPTCHA, Official Google Blog, 16 Sep 2009
• reCaptcha

Windows 7: an analyst case study

A couple of weeks downstream from the official launch, it’s worth taking a look at the commentary around Windows 7. Where are the insights relevant to enterprise deployment? Who’s providing good coverage?

I’m not looking at consumer-level information. Oddly enough, that actually broadens the review: counter-intuitive it may be, but of course the enterprise analysts have been working forward to the event for some time. But what’s the picture now, since Win 7 has seen the official light of day? Where might you go for ongoing advice, as you plot your strategy?

ITasITis regulars will remember I did a similar review of coverage of the Satyam debacle, earlier in the year. This time, there seems to be a lot less to review from the insight providers. News coverage of course is significant; and at the business end, Wharton Business School’s Knowledge@Wharton emphasises the commercial importance of Win7, for Microsoft, after the generally agreed lack of impact from Vista. The article gathers various opinions and research that suggests a better reception this time. But this isn’t the coverage that will be of most benefit to IT strategists.

So: where will you go for advice? Primarily, it’s the two majors: Gartner and Forrester. There’s a significant difference in approach in their mainstream research; and, also, in the flow of ongoing advice.

In official research, Gartner suggest that enterprises should plan an 18-month project to migrate to Win7. Starting now, presumably, since the research is dated 1 October. As Steve Kleynhans points out (and comment is pretty much unanimous on this) this will be the first major migration since the adoption of either Win2000 or XP in most enterprises.

More recently still, and in research available to a free account, Gartner advise that “Windows 7 is unskippable”. This paper advises that it’s “conservative” to plan to eliminate XP by mid-2012, when problems with third party applications may start to appear. So if you’re on the 18-month project, there’s time in hand – but not too much, given the annual-or-longer IT planning horizon. For other Gartner research, especially if you’re an account holder, drop onto the site and just search for “Windows 7”.

For sure, if an enterprise is intending to roll out Win7 across the organisation then the various stages of preparation, inventory, development, testing and rollout have to be gone through. So Gartner are giving thorough advice if your enterprise is still of a mind to create a corporate desktop image and roll it out everywhere.

But second, and importantly: Gartner are also blogging, though (typically) it may not be obvious. They are using Brian Gammage’s blog to capture thoughts on Win7 as the story unfolds. For ongoing insight from the majors, if you don’t have a Gartner account – or even if you do – this is the place to start. Remember, the blogs are not “published Gartner research” – they may give a different picture from the considered reports.

And a sideline. If you want to search Gartner blogs, there’s now a custom search on the InformationSpan Analyst Blogs index. Try it!

Forrester Research, in a piece published just a few days before the official launch, are much more inclined to get the train moving now and move it a bit at a time. Their advice is that enterprises “should: 1) start or accelerate application compatibility testing […]; 2) plan for rolling out […] small batches on new hardware initially; 3) weigh the costs and benefits of upgrading existing machines with at least 2 GB of memory; 4) start developing training sessions and tips and tricks guidance; and 5) prepare for — and embrace — empowered users who want to be early adopters.” Looks like they agree with Gartner about development, integration and testing but take more account of XP being long in the tooth; this advice will get experience moving.

A search on Forrester’s site reveals a steady flow of research and opinion over at least the last year, and if enterprises have been following this they should have a fair idea of what their strategy is (not “will be”) and of what they need to do to get there. Forrester do note, in a report from June, that both Vista and MacOS were picking up traction in the enterprise as XP declined.

What else is out there? Actually, not much unless you’ve got accounts with other providers; in which case you’re probably aware of it already. For serious enterprise advice about Windows 7, the two major providers appear to be the only shows in town. If you want an easy-access outside thought, though, have a look at today’s Guardian which reviews Windows 7 against the latest Ubuntu Linux and throws in a mention of MacOS Snow Leopard for good measure. OK, it’s from the personal perspective, but it’s worth remembering that Macs are variously reported as making a stealthy comeback in the enterprise.

• Opening Windows: Knowledge@Wharton, 22 Oct 2009
• Prepare for Windows 7 in Three Phases, Gartner document G00170151, 1 Oct 2009 (link is to a Google cache copy, so isn’t guaranteed; this report is not openly available on
• Reasons to Care About Windows 7, and Reasons Not to, Gartner document G00171872, 19 Oct 2009
• Windows 7 Commercial Adoption Outlook, Forrester, 15 Oct 2009; the report is quoted extensively in XP to lose adoption war to Windows 7, Computerworld, 20 Oct 2009
• Corporate Desktop Operating System Trends Q3 2008 To Q2 2009, Forrester, 22 Jun 2009

Other reports:
• Breaking the Windows XP Ice Pack: Can Windows 7 Turn Up the Heat on Replacements?, IDC, October 2009, primarily a market research perspective
• Windows 7 or Ubuntu 9.10: battle of the operating systes, Guardian Technology 5 Nov 2009
• Windows 7 Update Advisor, Tom Austin, Gartner Blog Network, 2 Nov 2009