Technology of the year

By Doug Dineley, InfoWorld |  Networking

Technology of the Year

The InfoWorld Test Center identifies the leading enterprise computing technologies of 2000 and presents its 20th annual awards for the year's most outstanding enterprise solutions

For 20 years, the InfoWorld Test Center has reserved a special issue in January to pay homage to the passing year's best enterprise computing solutions. This year we continue that tradition, but with a new twist. Looking back on 2000, we shift our focus away from boxed products and solutions to zero in on the technologies behind those products and solutions. Along with the change in focus, our annual Product of the Year awards take on a new name: Technology of the Year.

Don't get us wrong -- we certainly haven't forgotten the importance of packaged solutions. No technology stands on its own. It must be implemented in the form of products, services, or tools before it can do any good. As always, the Test Center continues to bring you reviews of the most important, cutting-edge solutions, and we continue to celebrate those that rise above their competitors.

But we also recognize that the world of enterprise computing has changed. The Internet has brought new opportunities, new challenges, and plenty of confusion to enterprises and their CTOs, CIOs, and other IT executives who must now solve technical problems and meet business objectives at the same time. As a rule, the problems are complex, time is short, the future is uncertain, and the stakes are high. Today's IT decisions can affect revenues, market share, and a corporation's ability to respond to market forces for years to come.

As strategic decision makers, today's IT executives must think beyond brands and vendor relationships and come to grips with the technologies on which the success of the enterprise will depend: the technologies that companies use to secure their e-commerce sites, to share knowledge throughout their organizations, and to reach out to their customers, suppliers, and business partners. For these and other applications, packaged solutions will surely be part of the mix, but whether you buy, build, or outsource, the technologies you bet on will determine your success.

Which technologies were IT executives betting on in 2000? In the following pages, we identify the technologies that had the most significant business impact on enterprises last year. We discuss how they were applied, what business problems they solved, which vendors led the charge, and what IT leaders should want or expect from these technologies in the future.

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