12 Hot IT Management Trends for 2009

By CIO Update Staff

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In 2009, expect a strong focus on IT management initiatives that deliver measurable cost savings in a tight economy; the continued deployment of technologies that enable IT to be managed as a business; and new management challenges introduced by the growth of emerging technologies.


"While there are obvious concerns surrounding the global economy, we expect that IT management initiatives will continue to gain corporate support and have a positive impact on the business performance of the enterprise,? said Dan Twing, COO at Enterprise Management Associates. "Emerging technologies like virtualization and cloud computing will certainly mature during the coming year, but don't count out the importance and business value of tried-and-true IT stalwarts like the service desk, IT security and IT governance.”


What follows are 12 hot IT management trends that the EMA roster of analysts has identified for 2009:


1. CMDBs will mature into integrated systems with a heightened focus on federation, resulting in faster time-to-value. Look for maturing CMDB system deployments that encompass application discovery, provide better metrics and closely link to related architectures like process automation. These federated CMDB Systems will consist of components targeted at unique constituencies (e.g., network managers, asset managers), increasing IT flexibility and speeding the realization of benefits from a core CMDB investment.


2. Widespread proliferation of virtualization will continue to present formidable management challenges. Following exuberant and largely under-managed virtualization deployments, EMA predicts that comprehensive management of virtual systems will be the most important success factor for virtual environments in 2009.


3. Increased adoption of technologies that facilitate management of IT as a business. IT organizations are moving beyond technology management and expanding into the business of IT—including strategy, marketing, staffing, suppliers, service portfolio and investment. EMA expects an increase in application of service catalog, service portfolio, business service management (BSM) and other technologies that help companies manage the business of IT to deliver greater value at lower cost.


4. Role of the service desk to transform and gain importance. The pressure to run IT as a business will further move the help desk front-and-center as a key customer facing discipline. EMA expects traditional help desks to evolve into modern service desks that will shoulder broader responsibilities and become part of companies' larger IT Service Management (ITSM) strategies.


5. Forecast for cloud computing calls for rough weather. Perhaps the most hyped technology of 2008, cloud computing will undoubtedly continue its reach into the enterprise during the coming year. However, EMA predicts that savvy IT professionals will demand credible answers to growing concerns around reliability, security and compliance before adopting cloud computing as a viable approach for mission-critical applications.


6. Green IT investments will be fueled by cost savings vs. environmental altruism. Although some won't admit it publicly, "Green IT” is not purely about environmental sustainability and corporate altruism. More so, employing Green practices and technologies will be driven by ROI and reductions in IT power consumption in both the data center and on the desktop. With spiking energy costs and a tight economy, EMA predicts that Green IT will be all about dollars and common sense in 2009.


7. IT governance initiatives will help enterprises weather the economic storm. IT is rightly seen by many as a potential savior for organizations trying to weather the economic storm. Along those lines, EMA predicts that organizations will increasingly turn to IT governance initiatives, such as project and portfolio management (PPM), resource management and financial control to create an edge in these tough economic times.


8. Significantly increased threats, new approaches to IT management, and economic pressures will keep IT security in the forefront. An explosion in threats, organized cyber crime, unresolved questions about the security of virtualization and cloud computing and the global economic crisis will keep IT security front and center in 2009. EMA predicts that these factors will put new pressure on business executives to recognize IT risk management as a central aspect of IT governance, with new emphasis placed on improving the effectiveness of complementary IT management and security operations.

9. Solid state disk to emerge as new first tier of storage in the data center. With breakthroughs in nanotechnology, solid state disk (SSD) solutions promise to deliver greater capacity at much less cost. In 2009, EMA predicts that SSD will emerge as the new first tier of storage in the data center.


10. Economic pressures to drive strategic (but quantifiable) investments in automation. With the economy facing challenges of historic proportion, IT organizations are under intense pressure to reduce expenses while continuing to improve the strategic value of IT by providing flexible, dynamic and efficient IT services that drive business success. EMA believes that organizations will increasingly turn to automation as a means of doing more with less especially in the data center and storage arena.


11. Video growth will push unified communications management to the forefront. Accelerating growth in video traffic will expose service delivery infrastructure issues that had only started to appear with prior deployments of VoIP, ICT and mobility. EMA expects that IT operations and planning professionals (especially those focused on the network) will need to re-tune and optimize their environments to handle this demand in 2009.


12. Changing organizational roles will escalate demand for new management technologies. As IT silos become more integrated along a service management model, the need for new technologies to support cross-domain collaboration and more cohesive views of infrastructure-to-service interdependencies will become paramount. The politics of collaboration will reach well beyond finger pointing to higher levels of automated diagnostics, process automation and shared access to information. This will in turn reduce IT operational costs. 


"The role of IT management continues to rise in value and importance within the enterprise as organizations turn to technology as a means of driving business success and competitive advantage,” concluded Twing.