Big Changes Coming for IT, Says Gartner Analyst
- By John K. Waters
Technology and organizational changes are coming in every area of IT, and they
are going to have a profound impact on virtually all of the 11 million IT professionals
around the world—and eventually, everyone, everywhere.
That was the very broad brush with which Peter Sondergaard, global head of
research at Gartner, launched his conference-opening keynote at the Gartner
Symposium/ITxpo in San Francisco.
“A lot of technology users have given us the impression that the rate
of change in information technology might be slowing down,” Sondergaard
told his audience. “With mega-issues such as Y2K behind us, and with challenges
such as Sarbanes-Oxley and e-business having some sense of being under control,
many believe that…there are no real great challenges confronting us…
We're here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”
Sondergaard laid out Gartner's predictions of IT industry changes following
journalism's classic five W's.
Who will be affected by/involved in these changes? Pretty much everybody, Sondergaard
expects. "The impact of IT hasn’t yet become truly pervasive,"
he said, "but it’s moving that way very fast."
What will these changes be? Here’s Gartner's answer:
- Hardware: PC and server processors and the operating systems that run on
them will no longer be tightly coupled. The new wave of virtualization technologies
will not only allow systems to run on the same device, Sondergaard said, but
will also permit guest machines to have a locked-down corporate image while
the host domain may upgrade and load hardware and software.
- Software: The mainstream adoption of service-oriented architecture will
create a new generation of applications. "We’ll soon reach the
point where more than half of all newly created applications will be built
from service components that are linked together by business-process definitions,"
Sondergaard said. "This will cause a huge shift in the balance of resources
away form traditional application development on the payrolls of technology
- Networking: "Circuit-switching platforms will be replaced by IP-based
solutions in homes and offices. The trend is rapidly moving toward local,
national and international network services," Sondergaard said. "The
result is that you have already bought your last conventional PBX and conventional
- IT Services and Management: Sondergaard predicts "a subtle but significant
shift" before the end of this decade, when the default question about
outsourcing changes from if to when.
Where will these changes occur? Gartner sees them coming everywhere, with "a
contest between legacy users of IT on one side, and those who are emerging from
the opportunities made possible in emerging nations around the world."
Why are these changes going to occur? "[T]o foster greater business agility,
to promote quick build-up and tear-down of business partnerships, to facilitate
adjustment and deployment of resources where needed and to render harmless approaching
danger well in advance of that danger’s arrival,” Sondergaard said.
When will these changes occur? Gartner believes this will occur in the next
few years. "This is not a story about technologies in a laboratory,"
Sondergaard said, "nor is it about emerging technology trends... This is
something that you need to address now."
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached