Changing Priorities in 2008

Opinion: Today's tech priority list looks very little like 2001's.

What are your top seven technology priorities for 2008? And how many of those priorities did not even exist in 2001?

EMC Chairman Joe Tucci recently provided a list of CIO priorities drawn from the companys customer contacts and research. I think the list does reflect 2008 business technology priorities. Im comparing it against 2001, as that was when Tucci was named EMCs president and CEO. Heres the list, along with my thoughts on each items importance to IT.

Virtualization. While it would be easy to dismiss EMCs championing of this technology—after all, it hit a financial home run by buying VMware—virtualization may be the hottest business technology right now. New and established vendors are falling all over themselves to get on the virtualization bandwagon. Developing a virtualization strategy should be high on the 2008 CIO priority list.

Storage. Again, EMC is obviously championing a technology in which it is a leader. However, its also true that storage is the fastest-growing business technology requirement. Storage of structured data and unstructured rich data continues to outpace budgets and IT strategies.

Security. It may not be the No. 1 priority, but security remains the one aspect of business IT where a mistake on your part can put your company out of business.

VOIP. Most companies I meet with are well along in planning for a VOIP-based infrastructure but are behind in developing the new applications that will run on digital voice networks.

Enterprise 2.0. This category includes software offered as a service and social networks in a business environment. Although many IT executives are comfortable with the idea of service-based applications such as, they are far less comfortable when it comes to social network applications running within their companies technology confines.

Software in the cloud. While Google may run in that digital cloud, and enterprises are content with using hosted applications, the idea of running entire IT operations in the digital cloud—relying on storage, e-mail and servers offered on a subscription- or an ad-based model—is still a big stretch for corporate technology execs.

Green computing. This one is for real, and the cost savings and environmental benefits it offers become more apparent each day. Of Tuccis seven 2008 priorities, Id guess that only storage and security would have made the 2001 priority list—something to consider for anyone who contends that business technology moves too slowly.


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