Burton Group’s (now Gartner) Three Executive Trends for 2010 Planning. A look into the next 18 months, from the Executive Advisory Blog of Burton Group VP and executive analyst Chris Howard:

Several macro trends exist at very high levels in IT organizations, but Burton Group has established baseline trends for 2010 IT planning. Not surprisingly the state of the economy will dominate executive’s decisions in 2010 as they seek out and capitalize on new opportunities. Trends specifically impacting enterprise IT are grouped into three related categories: externalization of IT, consumerization of IT, and democratization of IT.

The Externalization of IT

Externalization plays an important role in IT economics, prompting value assessments of what capabilities should be treated as commodity. Enterprises are refocusing their efforts on core business capabilities while examining alternatives for the non-core activities. The benefits of IT externalization include the potential of reduced cost, renewed focus on the core, and strategic partnership with the business. A growing number of options for externalizing IT, including the cloud, holds the promise of streamlined and efficient operations, demand elasticity, and more effective business-driven priorities.

The Consumerization of IT

The average person has become a sophisticated technology user and this is reflected in the desire for individual choice of devices and applications for maximum personal productivity. The growing trend of allowing information workers to choose their own equipment imposes significant burdens on the enterprise; it`s hard to secure equipment you don`t own, and it`s hard to manage and support a very diverse hardware and software base. IT innovation, once emanating from internal IT out, is now predominantly driven inward by employees and customers.

The Democratization of IT

Democratization is evident in the rise and importance of social networks within and outside the modern enterprise which changes the “ways of work” and challenges traditional organization structures and schema. The challenge to the organization is to facilitate the coexistence of hierarchical and democratic styles of communication and choice-making. Democratization is being forced by generation Y`s familiarity with technology, and new social networking solutions within the enterprise.

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