Monday, November 17, 2008

Top 10 IT Trends for 2009

While Gartner has published the Top 10 technologies for 2009, I wanted to take a closer look at the trends and identify what would be important from CIO office perspective. I give significant focus to CIO office because the spending from his office is going to have a ripple effect on the whole ecosystem of Enterprise IT – be it hardware vendors or software product vendors or outsourcing/offshoring vendors.
Given the current climate of economic conditions, if one would need to describe today’s state of CIO office, it would be ‘frugal’. Everyone in the industry will know this open secret. However, the dollars spent on these gloomy days are expected to generate more value when compared to spending on cheerful days!. The key challenge for the CIO would be ‘How to act creatively when being stingy? & How do I generate more value for the money?’.
I have always believed technologies that bring real&tangible economic value will outshine the technologies that are darlings of soft benefits/tall promises. I believe the following 10 Trends will help the CIO to find the answers:
1. Data Center Rationalization
Like the fragmented spaces in the computer memory gets compressed and made available for applications, the under-utilized data centers across regions will be rationalized / consolidated
2. Virtualization
Within the Data center, the under-utilized servers will again be consolidated and virtualized to save cost and space.
3. Open-Source Migration
The companies that have always endorsed licensed products will embark on the iniatives to evaluate everything from Open –source community – right from OS to application frameworks. Every COTS product in the company will be evaluated for their necessity and alternatives.
4. Custom applications rationalization
The application portfolio will be under manifying glass to see the alignment and value. Poor performing apps will be evaluated for layoff!
5. SaaS Adoption
The high-expensive on-premise software apps will be questioned and SaaS offerings will be tried out in pilot mode. This will be a perfect opportunity for SaaS vendors to prove and get their new clients!
6. IT Security
As the IT ecosystem welcomes new entrants like Virtualization, Open-Source and SaaS, there will be re-newed focus on existing IT security practices. However, this activity will not be a choice, but a mandatory activity!. If any enterprise chooses to skip this step are putting themselves into danger!. We may see new set of enterprise IT security products emerging in this area!.
In fact, these factors will also lead to re-look of licensing models of products within the enterprise!.
7. Innovation in Offshoring/Outsourcing contracts
OK, How do we get money to do all this?. Who is going to pay for it?. That’s where the innovation lies. No vendor will do it for free. Neither the CIO would wish to pay for it. Here comes the testing time for the relationship maturity of CIO office and IT outsourcing/offshoring vendors. There will be a call for new contracting models where the vendors will be required to innovate and come out with options for rolling out these cost-conserving initiatives in a multi-year roadmap. Whichever vendor gives a helping hand to the CIO will go a long way!.
8. Metrics based IT Management
CIO would question his own management on the way the IT is being managed for efficiency and effectiveness. New way of demonstrating the business value of IT needs to be in place to get funding for new development projects. Which means, get ready to be number-savvy!. This will have implications on PMO-centric organizations as well as Enterprise architecture centric organizations.
9. License negotiations
Product license newels/upgrades will be challenged and asked for alternatives. If a cost-effective alternative is feasible and can be developed, the IT will not hesitate to say good bye to those products!
10. Enterprise Architecture
Really smart CIOs will do serious introspection on their IT strategy and they may realize the need for an Enterprise Architecture! And certainly they will not implement all the above 9 steps in bits and piences but within the framework of their rejuvenated IT strategy!.


Charlie Bess said...

Do you have any surprise trends or areas you believe are underestimated for 2009?

Bala said...


I understand your perspective. From CIO office perspective & IT spending perspective, I believe there is nothing that is going to be surprising. But, if you ask me what will be the technology trends/industry trends in 2009, I will have a different list altogether.

Hargobind Singh said...

A nice post.., I totally agree to the phasing out of underperforming/high-maintenance SaaS applications, and replacing them with SaaS. With shrinking profits, and growing quality of SaaS offerings, this is going to be a busy year of SaaS marketing folks.

- Hargobind