2009: What does IT hold?

2009: What does IT hold?

It’s been another big year for virtualisation, unified communications, software-as-a-service, security and storage solutions. But with global markets now facing the biggest economic downturn in recent history, will these offerings continue to be successful? ARN asked a cross-section of industry representatives for their thoughts on some of the biggest IT technologies and trends this year and their predictions on what to expect in 2009.

“Fortunately we now have some technologies like virtualisation, data de-duplication and e-discovery tools that will help CIOs save the business money overall, while helping them to run IT more effectively,” he said.

EMC’s Gold said organisations cited data storage and management as a key challenge in the datacentre space for 2009, not only from a storage capacity point of view but also with regard to power and cooling. He predicted solid-state storage would go mainstream in 2009, as well as cloud-based services for storage, backup and disaster recovery capabilities at lower price points than on-premise DIY solutions.

Director of marketing and business innovation for Avnet, Michael Costigan, also cited increased adoption of blade server technology and a heightened march of Linux into the datacentre.

“Linux is still there, it kind of comes in waves – I wouldn’t say it’s all encompassing, but it does get mentioned every now and then,” he said. “In 2009, blades will still be driving the market. I think the green aspect will be very top of mind and I think virtualisation will go on and get bigger.”

Mobility: A plethora of choice

With such a wide range of mobile machines now in the market, like the notebook, netbook, ultramobile PC, tablet PC, iPhone, smartphone and mobile Internet device (MIDs), users had more PC options this year than they’ve ever had before. The economic downturn and the fact that organisations are trying to do more with less will decide which machines prove popular in 2009.

Having made big waves in the mobile market this year, the netbook will continue to evolve into a more powerful device, Asus product manager for notebooks and Eee PC, Albert Liang, said. The Rudd Government’s recent tender for netbooks to secondary students is also expected to drive take-up. Citrix director of technology strategy, Dr Michael Harries, cited a strong push towards smartphone technology in the enterprise market. He predicted more organisations would take-up smartphones, such as the iPhone, as general access devices in 2009.

In the past, mobile computing was predominantly addressed by PDA devices, Tegatech principal, Hugo Ortega, said. Today, people are looking to reduce costs by rolling out desktop-styled applications on ultramobile PCs because of the lower development costs, he said.

“In this market place, people are going to be more risk averse when they’re spending their money, so ruggedisation and mobility go hand-in-hand,” he said. “When you’re rugged, you’re protecting the assets you’ve bought and when you’re mobile, you’re increasing productivity.”

HP market development manager, Janet Bradburn, saw mobile thin clients continuing to mature in 2009. “It’s an area we’ve seen more interest in, particularly those that are looking at the remote client solutions or that type of infrastructure,” she said.

“It allows the user to securely access the datacentre environment from a remote location.”

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