Following in the footsteps of chat-happy teenagers, the corporate world will embrace the value of instant messaging (IM) in the next 18 to 36 months, according to a top Gartner analyst.
Speaking to a packed crowd at the 11th annual Asia-Pacific Symposium/ITxpo, Bob Hayward, Gartner’s senior vice-president, research fellow and “public face” for Asia-Pacific and Japan, dished out his Top 10 strategic technologies for 2004.
Rounding out the “what’s hot” list are real-time data warehouse, Wi-Fi security, internal Web services, policy-based management, IP telephony, utility computing (buying services from a provider over a network), grid computing (taking a compute-intensive task and farming it out for processing ), network security technologies, and RFID tags (miniaturisation and wireless).
Indeed, all of these “hot technologies” centre on business process fusion (BPF), the overall theme of the four-day event. The idea is to help organisations realise a “real-time enterprise (RTE)” which integrates distinct IT process applications and offers the convergence of infrastructure and platform software.
Hayward said the goal of RTE was to improve the quality of management decision-making, as well as a company’s responsiveness and cycle times.
“It’s all about investing to reduce the cost and time in business processes,” he said.
So what does this mean for resellers?
VARs can jump on the Top 10 bandwagon now that adoption rates were increasing (and entering medium to large firms globally), markets were more mature, there were a host of offerings, as well as more skills associated with the gear, he said. Along with peddling the gear, consulting, implementation and support were ideal opportunities for VARs.
“We’ve ironed out some of the kinks [we’re on version 2 and version 3 now], and there’s a bit more competition,” Hayward said.
The risks and legal issues (including privacy) have been worked out, the costs reduced, and efficacy proven, he said, and therefore can be given the green light.
“If you aren’t already looking at them, then you should be,” he said.
For more on this story, see the next issue of ARN.