December 31, 2010, 9:08 AM — The worst of the recession is over, but don't think the challenges facing IT are going to get any easier. The long budget drought has left a software and hardware deficit estimated at $500 million, and server virtualization is stalling, despite having been long seen as the solution to out-of-control power costs and underutilized data centers. IT will step into the breach as health care and publicly traded companies struggle to meet mandated deadlines for the deployment of electronic health care records and XBRL-based financial reports. As if that weren't enough, users will force IT to cope with the manifold security risks of Web-based email and social networking tools in the enterprise, as well as the easy-to-miss risk of URL-shortening services.
Of course, it's not all bad news. On the positive side, Apple has quietly become a key enterprise technology provider, a major Internet security hole has been plugged, and a new Ethernet standard promises to save money through greater energy efficiency.
Those are the nine top technology stories of 2010 you probably haven't heard about -- but should have. Our writers, editors, and contributors have scoured the landscape, pinged their sources, and sorted through all the hype and noise to uncover the underreported critical developments in the information technology industry.