Technologies That Will Mold the Future of IT

By InfoWorld staff Jul 26th 2012
Which of today's newest shipping technologies will cast the longest shadow over business computing? Here are our best guesses.
  • Among the technologies shipping but not yet widely adopted, we see the following 10 having the greatest impact over the long haul. Get to know them.

  • 10. HTML5: But while HTML5 looks similar to old-fashioned HTML, the tasks it accomplishes are dramatically different. Moreover an entire sector of the Web development industry is going to retool as we move to HTML5 from Flash -- a tectonic shift for Web developers.

  • 9. Client-side hypervisors: Client hypervisors point to a future where we bring our own computers to work and download or sync our business VMs to start the day. Install one on an ordinary machine and leverage the processing power of the client.

  • 8. Continuous build tools: There have been a number of continuous integration tools for some time, but the emergence of open source solutions encourages the kind innovation that comes when programmers are given the chance to make their tools better.

  • 7. Trust on a chip: Last year, Intel combined the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip and a hardware hypervisor layer to protect boot sequences, memory, and other components. Soon, every computer device will have a hardware/software protection solution running.

  • 6. JavaScript replacements: Everyone is moving on from JavaScript to the next thing. Some want to build entirely new languages that fix all of the troubles with JavaScript; others just want to translate their code into JavaScript, so they can pretend they don't use it.

  • 5. Distributed storage tiering: Vastly faster than disk and many times cheaper than DRAM, NAND flash memory is a hot commodity - it's combination of high speed and low cost makes it excellent for server-side cache and a natural choice for tier-one SAN storage.

  • 4. Apache Hadoop: As Hadoop solutions proliferate, businesses will better be able to predict the behavior of Web customers, optimize workflows, and discover patterns in everything from medical histories to common search terms.

  • 3. Advanced synchronization: Automatic data syncing coupled with context, such as location, and sensor-driven data, will give rise to truly user-centric computing, profoundly altering how IT approaches tech policies and strategies centered on user productivity.

  • 2. Software-defined networks: SDN isn't network virtualization; rather it is a way to "program the network" - that is, it allows cloud providers and ISVs to build new networking capabilities the rest of us can draw on. The leading example of SDN today is OpenFlow.

  • 1. Private cloud orchestration: With a private cloud, IT managers can borrow technologies pioneered by public cloud providers and apply them to their own data center. Paradigm changes demand new ways of working - and the emerging collection of cloud orchestration software supplies the means.

Everyone is a trend watcher. But taking a hard look at the technologies that gave life to the latest buzz phrases is the only way to determine which trends will actually weave their way into the fabric of business computing.

We're every bit as excited about big changes in the direction of enterprise IT, from the consumerization of IT to infrastructure convergence. But what vapor-free technologies have actually emerged to enable these IT strategies to take shape, and more importantly, which will cement these changes in your IT department in the years to come?

Among the technologies shipping but not yet widely adopted, we see the following 10 having the greatest impact over the long haul. Get to know them.

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