Gartner, Inc. has been circling the globe talking about the technologies that will shape the IT landscape over the next five years. Dubbed the “Gartner Emerging Trends and Technologies Roadshow,” the traveling program was in Australia and China earlier this summer.

The company’s top ten list of trends includes products (and even terms) that are relatively new to the world’s business lexicon, like “web mashup,” “cloud computing,” and “social software.” These and other emerging IT phenomena made the list of “disruptive technologies,” according to Gartner because they “cause a major change in the accepted way of doing things, including business models, processes, revenue streams, industry dynamics and consumer behavior.”

The list for 2008-2012:

  • Multicore and hybrid processors
  • Virtualization and fabric computing
  • Social networks and social software (Provide a platform that encourages participation and feedback from employees and customers)
  • Cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms (Enable users to purchase various aggregated third-party computing capabilities/resources on-demand)
  • Web mashups (Mix content from publicly available sources into a single dashboard or application)
  • New user interfaces (Present information via devices such as organic, light-emitting displays, digital paper, holographic and 3D imaging and smart fabric)
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Contextual computing
  • Augmented reality: (Not the 60’s version)
  • Semantics

What to do with all this? According to Gartner, CIO’s who hope to survive in this brave new world should act now and “establish a formal mechanism for evaluating emerging trends and technologies, set up virtual teams of their best staff, and give them time to spend researching new ideas and innovations, especially those that are being driven by consumer and Web 2.0 technologies.”

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