Data is expected to grow by 800% over the next five years, and 80% of it will be unstructured data. This will prompt adoption of better management techniques such as tiering of data by its criticality to the business, as well as developing tools to make better use of it. "How can I take that content and get something out of it?" Cappuccio said.
3. Energy and green IT
This issue has been on the top of most IT lists for a number of years, and it's not shrinking, especially as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's interest grows. This includes improved automation and monitoring, which is about reducing the staff time needed to run routine operations, in particular.
4. Unified communications and collaboration
This trend is key as companies seek to meet the needs of young workers. For the new generation of employees, texting is how they "talk to each other. That is how they will continue to talk to each other," Cappuccio said.
5. Thinking horizontally
Creating an IT staff that isn't limited to vertical focus will be important. Employees who "know how to link things together," between tech and business will be critical.
6. Open source collaboration
Along with the trend of unifying communications internally will be the goal of utilizing external networks with which to collaborate.
7. Windows XP migration
Shifting away from Windows XP is critical as the end of support for XP and Office 2003 nears, Gartner says. ISVs may stop testing new versions of their software on Windows XP as early as this year, but it will be a common problem by 2012.
8. Computing and data center density
Density will continue to increase as users build up rather than build new data centers. This will be helped by the doubling of cores every two years and expanded use of liquid cooling.
Users will shift more services to cloud computing. "I'm convinced that over the next five years data centers will shrink," said Cappuccio, as users run out of data center space. IT managers "are kind of falling into this idea of split environments," he said.
10. Fabric computing
Fabric computing, or converged infrastructure, integrates server, storage and network systems. Cappuccio said that some may see it as a way for vendors to create a new lock-in model, but he doesn't believe that is true because, otherwise, users won't want it for the long term.