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Gartner Advises IT to Focus on Five Areas

If you’re wondering what your organization should invest in, Gartner’s ideas may help you decide. Gartner is encouraging IT firms to make room in their programs and budgets for five key topic areas this year: open-source software, voice/data convergence, service-oriented architecture, IT utility and global sourcing.

“These five trends represent inevitable and irrevocable shifts in the information technology landscape,” according to David Cearley, a Gartner Research VP. “Service-oriented architecture, open-source software and IT utility together drive a fundamental change in how applications are built and delivered,” he explains, adding that voice/data convergence and global sourcing will also be disruptive forces in the IT industry.

These findings, published in “Gartner’s Positions on the Five Hottest IT Topics and Trends in 2005,” reveal that IP telephony and VoIP will drive voice/data convergence in more than 95 percent of major companies by 2010, leading to new classes of business applications. By 2010, according to the report, 40 percent of companies will have integrated their entire voice and data networks into a single network, and more than 95 percent of large and midsize companies will have at least started the process.

As for the SOA findings, the report predicts that developers will shift their focus away from software functionality to business processes, a trend that is already taking shape. By 2006, more than 60 percent of the $527 billion market for IT professional services will be based on Web services standards and technology. And by 2008, Gartner says, 80 percent of software development projects will be based on SOA. In addition, according to the report, the distinction between software integrators and vendors will blur as packaged applications are broken apart and delivered as service-oriented business applications.

Open-source software will play its role by moving revenue streams from license fees to services and support. By 2008, the report forecasts, 95 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have formal open-source acquisition and management strategies, and open-source software applications will directly compete with closed-source products. By 2010, IT organizations in Global 2000 companies will consider open-source products in 80 percent of their infrastructure-focused software investments and in 25 percent of their business software investments.

IT utility computing will allow companies to rely more on “pools” of multifaceted resources instead of having to dedicate resources to specific roles and processes. This will make it possible for large organizations to reduce IT hardware costs 10 to 30 percent and labor costs 30 to 60 percent, the report states. By 2010, large companies typically will fulfill 25 percent of application demands from shared, rather than dedicated, sources, and 30 percent of their software will be delivered by external pay-as-you-go providers.

Then there’s global sourcing. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 30 percent of traditional professional IT services jobs will be delivered by people based in emerging markets, such as India, China, Russia and Brazil. It further expects that labor rates for application services in India will rise 40 to 60 percent by 2008.

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at freelancewriter@gates-works.com.

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