Analysts Examine Disruptive Discontinuities During Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007, October 7-12, in Orlando
Five major discontinuities are combining and will force IT organizations to change long-standing practices for procuring and managing IT, according to Gartner, Inc. The intensity of these trends will grow through 2011, according to Gartner, Inc.
The five discontinuities include - Web 2.0, software as a service (SaaS), global-class computing, the consumerization of IT and open-source software. Gartner analysts discussed how the trends relate to one another at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007, which is taking place here through October 12.
“The five major discontinuities have the potential to completely disrupt vendor business models, user deployment models, whole market segments and key user and vendor brand assumptions,” said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “These emerging discontinuities reinforce each other, and their combined effect will prove far stronger than each individual trend. IT managers who oversee applications must incorporate these trends into their long-term planning.”
These five major intersecting discontinuities amplify each other and any one of them can upset the balance of power between users and their IT organization. When the five come together, they intensify each other’s dislocating impact and can cause major disruption that creates pain for some and opportunity for others.
SaaS is already empowering business units to act independently of corporate IT strategies. Global-class systems, built on tera-architectures (as in Google Apps), threaten to upset the careful balance of power between IBM and Microsoft in messaging, and more importantly, they introduce entirely new ways to implement and scale applications. “Consumerization” and users’ clamor for IT organizations to be as responsive as Internet vendors are giving many IT departments headaches. Web 2.0 communities are bonding people in ways many people do not fully understand. Community members are doing business in ways that most enterprises had never even considered as they laid out their communications strategies. Open source is a hidden “secret” that enables many elements of the other four discontinuities to develop.
Gartner recommends five actions that can help IT managers take advantage of, rather than just react to, these five trends.
“For the IT organization, the greatest consequence of the five trends may be that — for better or for worse — they will give business units and selected users more independence to set their own IT direction. In addition, business models, marketing and distribution will shift radically,” Mr. Austin said. “As a result, companies will embrace some powerful new ways of using IT to implement their business strategy.”
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