Gartner’s IT “discontinuities”


I read with interest anything emanating from the Gartner information technology research and advisory group, and recently read the views of one of its vice-presidents, Tom Austin, about five factors – “discontinuities” – changing the way that IT organizations operate:

  • Web 2.0-style applications
  • software as a service (SaaS)
  • global-class computing
  • “consumerization” of IT, and
  • open source software.

According to Austin (see October 2007 news release):

“The five major discontinuities have the potential to completely disrupt vendor business models, user deployment models, whole market segments, and key user and vendor brand assumptions…. These emerging discontinuities reinforce each other, and their combined effort will prove far stronger than each individual trend.”

On SaaS, the release continues:

“Hosted software delivery, or SaaS, is already allowing business units to act independently of IT strategies. It’s enabling globally available online systems that companies can use to scale IT operations. SaaS is also changing the competitive field for software vendors. Systems that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, such as Google’s online office software, have the potential to upset the balance of power between IBM and Microsoft in messaging services….”

The full release is well worth a read, particularly by those working with IT departments which try to apply a “one size fits all” service or try to support and manage all the IT systems that workers use. Users can take personal responsibility for IT, Austin argues.

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