gartner’s top 10 complex techs for 2009

I just came across the Gartner release of the top 10 strategic technologies for 2009. Oooh, how important-sounding! I wonder if they’ve made them general enough to basically cover everything you can think of? 😉

1. Virtualization
2. Cloud Computing
3. Servers beyond blades
4. Web oriented architectures
5. Enterprise mashups
6. Specialized systems
7. Social software and social networking
8. Unified communications
9. Business intelligence
10. Green IT

What scares me is how complicated these items can be. And especially how interdependent they can be on itself and other parts. It used to be you needed a website, and your web admin had a series of basic tools to troubleshoot and support those technologies. Now, we either are placing that power in an external entity (Cloud, WOA, Mashups, Social software, even BI) that we pray will stay up and not change things, or we have to work through crazy interfaces that do the work for us, or so we hope (Virtualization, WOA, Specialized systems, UC).

It is a little scary to me to put so much dependence on complex systems, because we all know complex systems fail in complex ways, and without the knowledge or maybe even the opportunity to troubleshoot on a low level, we may suffer a negative renaissance for IT staff as we depend on others for the expert assistance. Or, at the very least, we see a gap widening between those geeks who Get It, and everyone else. I don’t think that is good for business stability.

To put it another way, the barrier of entry into a technical position can increase dramatically with almost every one of those bullet points above. And seriously, how many students come out of college (not including the nice technical institutions or hands-on post-high school orgs with better-than-basic coursework) being able to truly tackle most of those items?

This was their important-sounding but useless list last year (for 2008). Some of these just make me roll my eyes.

1. Green IT
2. Unified Communications
3. Business Process Management
4. Metadata Management
5. Virtualization 2.0
6. Mashups & Composite Applications
7. Web Platform & WOA
8. Computing Fabrics
9. Real World Web (say what?)
10. Social Software