Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2010

Gartner, Inc. analysts today highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2010. The analysts presented their findings during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 22.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

These technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives. They may be strategic because they have matured to broad market use or because they enable strategic advantage from early adoption.

“Companies should factor the top 10 technologies into their strategic planning process by asking key questions and making deliberate decisions about them during the next two years,” said David Cearley, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, this does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the technologies. They should determine which technologies will help and transform their individual business initiatives.”

The top 10 strategic technologies for 2010 include:

Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterizes a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. Cloud-based services can be exploited in a variety of ways to develop an application or a solution. Using cloud resources does not eliminate the costs of IT solutions, but does re-arrange some and reduce others. In addition, consuming cloud services enterprises will increasingly act as cloud providers and deliver application, information or business process services to customers and business partners.

Advanced Analytics. Optimization and simulation is using analytical tools and models to maximize business process and decision effectiveness by examining alternative outcomes and scenarios, before, during and after process implementation and execution. This can be viewed as a third step in supporting operational business decisions. Fixed rules and prepared policies gave way to more informed decisions powered by the right information delivered at the right time, whether through customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other applications. The new step is to provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, not simply information, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action. The new step looks into the future, predicting what can or will happen.

Client Computing. Virtualization is bringing new ways of packaging client computing applications and capabilities. As a result, the choice of a particular PC hardware platform, and eventually the OS platform, becomes less critical. Enterprises should proactively build a five to eight year strategic client computing roadmap outlining an approach to device standards, ownership and support; operating system and application selection, deployment and update; and management and security plans to manage diversity.

IT for Green. IT can enable many green initiatives. The use of IT, particularly among the white collar staff, can greatly enhance an enterprise’s green credentials. Common green initiatives include the use of e-documents, reducing travel and teleworking. IT can also provide the analytic tools that others in the enterprise may use to reduce energy consumption in the transportation of goods or other carbon management activities.

Reshaping the Data Center. In the past, design principles for data centers were simple: Figure out what you have, estimate growth for 15 to 20 years, then build to suit. Newly-built data centers often opened with huge areas of white floor space, fully powered and backed by a uninterruptible power supply (UPS), water-and air-cooled and mostly empty. However, costs are actually lower if enterprises adopt a pod-based approach to data center construction and expansion. If 9,000 square feet is expected to be needed during the life of a data center, then design the site to support it, but only build what’s needed for five to seven years. Cutting operating expenses, which are a nontrivial part of the overall IT spend for most clients, frees up money to apply to other projects or investments either in IT or in the business itself.

Social Computing. Workers do not want two distinct environments to support their work – one for their own work products (whether personal or group) and another for accessing “external” information. Enterprises must focus both on use of social software and social media in the enterprise and participation and integration with externally facing enterprise-sponsored and public communities. Do not ignore the role of the social profile to bring communities together.

Security – Activity Monitoring. Traditionally, security has focused on putting up a perimeter fence to keep others out, but it has evolved to monitoring activities and identifying patterns that would have been missed before. Information security professionals face the challenge of detecting malicious activity in a constant stream of discrete events that are usually associated with an authorized user and are generated from multiple network, system and application sources. At the same time, security departments are facing increasing demands for ever-greater log analysis and reporting to support audit requirements. A variety of complimentary (and sometimes overlapping) monitoring and analysis tools help enterprises better detect and investigate suspicious activity – often with real-time alerting or transaction intervention. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these tools, enterprises can better understand how to use them to defend the enterprise and meet audit requirements.

Flash Memory. Flash memory is not new, but it is moving up to a new tier in the storage echelon. Flash memory is a semiconductor memory device, familiar from its use in USB memory sticks and digital camera cards. It is much faster than rotating disk, but considerably more expensive, however this differential is shrinking. At the rate of price declines, the technology will enjoy more than a 100 percent compound annual growth rate during the new few years and become strategic in many IT areas including consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, it offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages including space, heat, performance and ruggedness.

Virtualization for Availability. Virtualization has been on the list of top strategic technologies in previous years. It is on the list this year because Gartner emphases new elements such as live migration for availability that have longer term implications. Live migration is the movement of a running virtual machine (VM), while its operating system and other software continue to execute as if they remained on the original physical server. This takes place by replicating the state of physical memory between the source and destination VMs, then, at some instant in time, one instruction finishes execution on the source machine and the next instruction begins on the destination machine.

However, if replication of memory continues indefinitely, but execution of instructions remains on the source VM, and then the source VM fails the next instruction would now place on the destination machine. If the destination VM were to fail, just pick a new destination to start the indefinite migration, thus making very high availability possible.

The key value proposition is to displace a variety of separate mechanisms with a single “dial” that can be set to any level of availability from baseline to fault tolerance, all using a common mechanism and permitting the settings to be changed rapidly as needed. Expensive high-reliability hardware, with fail-over cluster software and perhaps even fault-tolerant hardware could be dispensed with, but still meet availability needs. This is key to cutting costs, lowering complexity, as well as increasing agility as needs shift.

Mobile Applications. By year-end 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing a rich environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web. There are already many thousands of applications for platforms such as the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market and need for unique coding. It may take a newer version that is designed to flexibly operate on both full PC and miniature systems, but if the operating system interface and processor architecture were identical, that enabling factor would create a huge turn upwards in mobile application availability.

“This list should be used as a starting point and companies should adjust their list based on their industry, unique business needs and technology adoption mode,” said Carl Claunch, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “When determining what may be right for each company, the decision may not have anything to do with a particular technology. In other cases, it will be to continue investing in the technology at the current rate. In still other cases, the decision may be to test/pilot or more aggressively adopt/deploy the technology.”


Analysts Examine Latest Industry Trends During Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 18-22, in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla., October 20, 2009

Clay Shirky's Technology Insight at Gov 2.0 Summit 09

A 10 min video of Clay Shirky 's talk at Gov 2.0 Summit 09: What real problems we can solve with social media?

Social Media Revolution

Is social media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?

This is the video compilation of Erik Qualman explaining his theory of Socialnomics(TM) along side relevant social media statistics.

The book Socialnomics from Wiley Publishing will be in stores August 31, 2009.

The author of The Information Age on Network Society

Long (58 min) but very interesting talk of sociologist Manuel Castells on identity and social change in the network society. Taped eight years ago, but not outdated at all.

Josh Cohen on future of Google News

"So much on what is online today is still a legacy of the production of the paper", says Josh Cohen, Business Product Manager for Google News, recently called a "digital vampire", by Leslie Hinton - Wall Street Journal (Rupert Murdoch’s) publisher and Dow Jones CEO.

In the moment when the new generation of news, Twitter Journalism bursts onto the scene, he talks about the strategy of Google News for the coming year [4:30 min video Who are you, Josh Cohen? produced by French online mag Mediapart]

"Just Landed" Twitter Visualization

Just Landed - 61 Hours from blprnt

Fascinating twitter visualization. It's scanning tweetfeeds for the phrase "Just landed in..." or "Just arrived in..." and tracks the location the Tweet was sent from.

The user's original location is found from their profile and an airplane flight path pops up on the 3D map of the world.

Looks pretty clear in which country people are using the twitter the most : USA is on the 1st place, Europe comes after. Might be useful for the News companies.

US NOW, Ivo Gormley's docu on eDemocracy is in full online now

Thousands of people tuned in on May 12, 2009 to watch the film Us Now and view the launch events’ panel discussions in London and Harvard coordinated by FutureGov and the British Council.

Us Now is a one hour film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet. It tells the stories of online networks that are challenging the existing notion of hierarchy. For the first time, it brings together the fore-most thinkers in the field of participative governance to describe the future of government.

Us Now takes a look at how this type of participation could transform the way that countries are governed. It tells the stories of the online networks whose radical self-organising structures threaten to change the fabric of government forever.

Contributors: Clay Shirky, Don Tapscott, Charles Leadbeater, William Heath, Martin Sticksl, Lee Bryant, Tom Steinberg, Ed Miliband, George Osborne, Saul Albert, Mikey Weinkove, Sunny Hundal, Sophia Parker, JP Rangaswami, Paul Miller, Becky Hogge, Matthew Taylor, MT Rainy, Giles Andrews, Paul Miller, Shane Kelly, Liam Daish

The film follows the fate of Ebbsfleet United, a football club owned and run by its fans;

Zopa, a bank in which everyone is the manager;

Couch Surfing, a vast online network whose members share their homes with strangers,, get recommendations and info from the 'net while you're out on the street, by doing what comes naturally: asking people, if you search for a mentor, or want to be a mentor

School Of Everything, helps teachers and learners find each other. If you search for a teacher, or want to be a teacher

Slice the Pie,help you to a piece of the music industry today. Get in touch Artists, Fans and Investors.

Ideal Government where you can say what you want from e-enabled government. Let's observe government first-hand.

The People Speak a campaign to engage young people on the global issues that will shape their future

Morecambe & Heysham Model Railway Club

Social Inovation Lab For Kent

Green Party Canada

The Point


Ethical hacker

Director: Ivo Gormley, May 2009
1 hour and 32 seconds, United Kingdom
License: CC - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

More on Us Now Blog

Watch the movie in larger format

Next City Car

This would be a perfect car for Paris. Aiming for the sweet spot between the comfort of a private vehicle and the efficiency of public transportation, the City Car from MIT's Media Lab is a stackable electric car that can be checked out like a luggage cart at the airport, then returned to any station around the city.

Electric motors in each wheel eliminate the need for a mechanical drivetrain, and these 5-ft.-long (1.5 m) two-seaters zip along at 55 m.p.h. (about 90 km/h). Available: 2011

The Smart Cities group at the MIT Media Lab is working on two low-cost electric vehicles that it hopes will revolutionize mass transit and help alleviate pollution. Next week, the group will unveil a prototype of its foldable electric scooter at the EICMA Motorcycle Show, in Milan. A prototype for the team's foldable electric car, called the City Car, is slated to follow next year.

The MIT group sees the vehicles as the linchpin in a strategy that aims to mitigate pollution with electric power, expand limited public space by folding and stacking vehicles like shopping carts, and alleviate congestion by letting people rent and return the vehicles to racks located near transportation hubs, such as train stations, airports, and bus depots.

"We're looking at urban personal mobility in a much more sustainable way than the private automobile provides," says William Mitchell, director of the Smart Cities research group.
The group's strategy will efficiently solve the "last mile" problem without losing the virtues of the private automobile, Mitchell says.

The last mile is that inconvenient distance between any major transit stop and a person's final destination. While a traditional automobile provides mobility on demand and gets you to your destination, its negative externalities--congestion and pollution--seem intractable.

At the heart of these vehicles is an omnidirectional robot wheel that the team has developed. The wheel encases an electric-drive motor, as well as suspension, steering, and braking systems. With no engine or mechanical parts between the wheels and the driver's controls, the system offers great flexibility in design. The driver can, in fact, fold the car up (see below image). Six to eight folded and stacked City Cars can fit into one conventional parking space. General Motors sponsored the development of the car.

The wheels also enable incredible maneuverability. Instead of making U-turns, the car can spin on the spot, and when the driver turns each wheel 90 degrees, the car can parallel-park by moving sideways.

"The idea for a wheel motor has been around for a long time," says Peter Schmitt, designer of the wheel. But Schmitt says that the advantage of his design is that the wheel is controlled by software instead of by mechanical coupling.

The MIT team's vision of deploying these cars in a shared-use, personal-mobility system isn't new either. In Lyon, France, a company called Velo'v recently introduced a shared-use bicycle system throughout the city. Based on its initial success, the Velo'v system is being extended to Paris with approximately 2,000 stacks and 20,000 bicycles.

Another business model that the team has looked at is the Zip Car rental system.
Zip Car is a rental service based on a two-way model: customers have to return the car to the same location from which they picked it up. They also have to reserve cars online in advance.

The MIT team says that the Zip Car two-way model is great for neighborhoods where people have to boomerang in and out to run errands. But in a dense city starved for parking, the MIT designers see great virtue in their one-way system, which lets people move from spot to spot without returning to their point of origin. In the ideal City Car scheme, vehicles can be rented from one rack and returned to another.

Still, Robin Chase, the founder and former CEO of Zip Car, has some reservations about the MIT group's system. She says that she's worried about logistical and operational problems, such as the even distribution of vehicles. With a one-way model, too many could wind up in one location. The company must then pay for trucks to redistribute the cars or scooters throughout the city.
Chase adds that when she was with Zip Car, she noticed that customers were reluctant to adopt new technologies. "Our electric car was our least rented vehicle," she says. "People didn't seem to trust the technology."

The MIT team is not deterred. It's looking at Taipei as an ideal location in which to roll out the electric scooter, which was developed in partnership with SYM, a major Taiwanese scooter manufacturer. "Taipei is teeming with scooters," says Ryan Chin, a designer with the Smart Cities group.

Currently, there are nearly as many scooters in Taiwan as there are people. During a typical rush hour, traffic lanes overflow, and riders wear surgical masks to filter the pollution from exhaust. Some three million scooters lie abandoned throughout the country.

"If a shared scooter is used by 10 different people a day, you'll reduce the number of scooters on the road by half," Chin says.

With a successful run at the Milan motorcycle show, Chin says that his group's 50-kilogram scooter could be mass-produced and deployed within three years.

A Carbon-Free, Stackable Rental Car
An MIT group hopes that its foldable electric vehicles will cut pollution, and ease congestion.
By Michael Patrick Gibson

Next City Car

Via Smart Cities

Identity Fragmentation

"This is by no means a complete model. I worry that I’ll never be able to effectively manage all the pieces of me that I’m absent-mindedly handing out." Francis Shanahan Identity Fragmentation [Nov 2007, no Twitter yet!]