Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014

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Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As a collective, SDx also incorporates various initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, the Open Compute Project and Open Rack, which share similar visions. As individual SDx technology silos evolve and consortiums arise, look for emerging standards and bridging capabilities to benefit portfolios, but challenge individual technology suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to true interoperability standards within their specific domains.

While openness will always be a claimed vendor objective, different interpretations of SDx definitions may be anything but open. Vendors of SDN (network), SDDC (data center), SDS (storage), and SDI (infrastructure) technologies are all trying to maintain leadership in their respective domains, while deploying SDx initiatives to aid market adjacency plays. So vendors who dominate a sector of the infrastructure may only reluctantly want to abide by standards that have the potential to lower margins and open broader competitive opportunities, even when the consumer will benefit by simplicity, cost reduction and consolidation efficiency.

Gartner, Inc. recently highlighted the top ten technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2014. Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

“We have identified the top 10 technologies that companies should factor into their strategic planning processes,” said David Cearley. “This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the listed technologies, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.”

Mr. Cearley said that the nexus of forces, the convergence of four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, continues to drive change and create new opportunities, creating demand for advanced programmable infrastructure that can execute at Web-scale.

Be sure to check out the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015.


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