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11/9/2010
01:30 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Global CIO: Top 10 Stories Of 2010: New Strategies, Platforms, & CEOs

Our list of this year's top IT issues sheds some bright light on the technologies and companies CIOs will be betting on in 2011.

Even if 2010 didn't deliver anything quite as spine-tingling as the Year of the LAN, it wasn't exactly a snoozer, either. (And who can forget the Year of Unix?)

This year's huge gains in cloud computing, mobility, real-time solutions, predictive analytics, and optimized systems are will ensure that 2011 is a watershed year in IT's transformation from back-office cost center to enterprise-wide source of competitive advantage and growth.

I think 2010 will also be remembered as a time when the vast majority of CIOs stepped forward and actively drove changes in not only they types of responsibilities they hold but also the types of expectations to which they are held: more focus on the front office, more engagement with customers, more contributions to revenue, and more pressure to spend less on maintenance and more on innovation.

Among some leading IT vendors, 2010 was a time of significant breakthroughs, such as IBM's hardware resurgence and rise to preeminence in analytics, or Apple's swarming of the enterprise with its iPad and iPhone, or Oracle leveraging its Sun acquisition into leadership in optimized systems.

For others, the year that's about to end will be remembered for unplanned turnover the CEO suite. For SAP, the two co-CEOs who took over the company in February have completely reinvigorated the company while leading a sweeping transformation.

But for HP, the CEO changes have, at least so far, been steeped far more in melodrama and distractions than in customer-centered innovation. Former CEO Mark Hurd's now at partner/rival Oracle, and his replacement, Leo Apotheker, is the same CEO who (a) was ousted by SAP in February after just seven months on the job, and (b) joined HP just as a he has emerged as a central figure in a high-profile lawsuit involving his former tenure at SAP.

Against that backdrop, where will the smart CIO's be spending their money in 2011? What new technologies will emerge as significant game-changers for CIOs eager to contribute to their companies' growth and innovation in the coming year?

And which IT companies will assemble the right package of new technologies, business models, and knowledge exchange to move to the top of their customers' lists of most-admired and most-desired tech partners?

Well, to try to answer at least a few of those questions, I've combed through the developments in the business-technology field over the past 12 months and have culled out a list of to the Top 10 Tech Issues For 2010 that will become even more prominent and disruptive in the coming year.

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And over the next couple of weeks, I'll be rolling out overviews of those Top 10 issues, along with extensive listings of related material.

We'll start today with #10 plus a bonus entry (it's really just #11, but "bonus entry" sounds so much more loaded, doesn't it?). The overviews will come first, followed by extensive "Recommended Reading" lists for each that highlight key developments in each field throughout the year. Here are #11 and #10:

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