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According to a study by IT analytics firm Info-Tech Research Group, 2011
will be the year of mass adoption for technologies the company said businesses
have been slow to adopt. The research includes predictions for six technologies
IT departments should consider in the coming year, including adoption of social
media strategies, cloud computing and virtualization, as well as mobile
applications and analytics tools.

"As budget freezes start to thaw out, end users and businesses are very
actively adopting new technologies, and maintaining status quo is no longer an
option for IT," said Andy Woyzbun, lead research analyst for Info-Tech
Research Group.  "IT shops will need to push the release of new and
innovative technologies in 2011 in order to continue widespread growth."

Research suggested marketing departments are integrating social media into
their plans without IT participation due to its rapid uptake by prospects and
customers, while larger organizations are also utilizing social media platforms
to improve the effectiveness of internal communications and
employee-to-employee collaboration, driving superior team productivity and
knowledge sharing. "IT must secure privacy and integrity by creating a
policy to manage organizational use of social media," the report noted.

Mobile devices with sophisticated capabilities such as smartphones and
tablets will enable organizational differentiation through unique apps, the
company predicted, noting marketing departments have already adopted the use of
mobile apps in their plans and are hiring third-party developers because many
internal IT departments lack the expertise to develop and deploy mobile

Enterprise content management
applications will help IT shops avoid chaos in the efficient storage, control
and retrieval of documents, e-mails and video, according to Info-Tech. "These
are growing in volume and business importance. The disciplines, such as control
and security, developed around operational databases must be extended to the
other data collected by IT," the report said.

In addition, the firm predicted desktop virtualization (VDI) would alleviate
shoulder pain for commuters and headaches for the IT worker. "As an easier
to support alternative to the traditional deployment of software on PCs, VDI will
allow workers to access their desktop from any computer," the report said.
"Early adopters say VDI payback is mainly operational (ex. Fast
provisioning of new desktops and centralized application management), but
licensing schemes and technology will make the VDI market ready for the next
wave of desktop refreshers."

Analytic tools, as a cost-effective option to business intelligence (BI)
platforms, are also seen as becoming more widespread in businesses in 2011, as
well as cloud computing platforms. "The cloud will provide an increasing
set of lower cost alternatives to in-house services, so organizations facing
the need to expand the range of IT services or to add capacity should examine
cloud alternatives to in-house solutions," the report predicted. "Whether
or not the Cloud makes sense in a particular situation, Cloud solutions will
become the benchmark for how management assesses the cost and quality of
services provided internally by IT."