The cloud, mobile, IBM, Oracle-Sun, SAP, the death of the tactical CIO, HP's CEO shuffle, Apple's rise in the enterprise, and optimized systems were all among 2010's top tech stories. Here's the full list with links to more than 150 analytical and opinionated columns.

Bob Evans, Contributor

December 8, 2010

5 Min Read

#3: HP Ousts Mark Hurd. Immediately after former HP CEO Mark Hurd left the company under an embarrassing cloud in early August, the world's largest IT company entered a period of intense external scrutiny and second-guessing centered on its strategic positioning for the future, its ability to move as fast as smaller competitors, and its relatively small software business. Then, in late September, HP surprised the IT world by picking former SAP executive Leo Apotheker to be its new CEO, clearly betting that his long-time tenure in sales at SAP would compensate for his glaring lack of success as a CEO. Just 10 months ago, when SAP ousted Apotheker, founder and chairman Hasso Plattner said the change was necessary because SAP had clearly lost its way in the market, seemed unable to get vital new products out the door, and was frighteningly out of touch with its customers, and was saddled with a disenchanted workforce. And on top of that self-diagnosis from Plattner, SAP was also getting sand kicked in its face in the market by Oracle.

#2: Apple And The iPad Rock The Enterprise. In Apple's most-recent earnings call, the company disclosed three pieces of news of extraordinary significance to the technology world: first, that Apple's quarterly revenue had for the first time topped $20 billion; second, that the iPad and iPhone are achieving unprecedented penetration within the Fortune 500; and third, Steve Jobs openly and quite bluntly attacked Google's mobile strategy and its Android technology as un-open (if not fully closed), overly complicated for developers, and self-serving and disingenuous. The comments from Jobs are vital not just because of his status as CEO of one of the world's most-successful and iconic brands, but also because Apple's products and philosophies have jumped species—from the consumer world to the enterprise—and are having profound repercussions on how CIOs shape their own strategies for the next few years.

#1: The Surge To Optimized Systems. IBM invented them, Larry Ellison supersized them, SAP has revolutionized them, HP is promising them, and just about every single major IT vendor is rushing into the market for appliance-like systems that have shown great potential in redefining the types of business value that truly innovative IT can offer.

The new wave of highly optimized and deeply integrated hardware-software combinations known as optimized systems rushed to the forefront of IT innovation in 2010, promising the seductive combination of dramatically improved performance and sharply reduced customer-side integration, tuning, and tinkering.

These new hardware-software combos are being aimed at everything from OLTP to data warehousing to analytics to Exchange servers to middleware, BI, security and beyond, pushing well past the valuable but narrow niches—primarily data warehousing—that until recently were about the only areas in which appliances and purpose-built systems operated.

Because these optimized systems can offer such significant improvements in speed, performance, throughput, power, and range of capabilities, and because they can also significantly reduce the amount of time and effort IT organizations have to devote to tinkering, tuning, tweaking, wiring, and integrating, the rise of these new purpose-built systems is my choice as the #1 development in our list of the Top 10 Tech Stories Of The Year.


That's it for this year's list, and I'm sure that next year's will be even more compelling, challenging, and fun—this business is certainly not for the faint of heart.

RECOMMENDED READING: Global CIO: Global CIO: Larry Ellison And IBM Lead Surge In Optimized Systems Global CIO: Global CIO: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison On The Future Of IT Global CIO: Global CIO: Oracle Needs More Than Ellison's Talk To Beat IBM's Systems Global CIO: Global CIO: IBM Claims Hardware Supremacy And Calls Out HP's Hurd Global CIO: Global CIO: Oracle's Larry Ellison Declares War On IBM And SAP Global CIO: Global CIO: Larry Ellison's IBM-Slayer Is Oracle Exadata Machine Global CIO: Global CIO: Oracle Reveals Strategy And Customers For White-Hot Exadata Global CIO: Global CIO: Microsoft Joins Oracle & IBM In Rise Of The Machines Global CIO: Global CIO: IBM Doubles Down On Red-Hot Optimized Systems Global CIO: Global CIO: Larry Ellison And The New Oracle Rock The Tech World Global CIO: Global CIO: Oracle's Fowler Says Systems Performance About To Explode Global CIO: Global CIO: Gunning For IBM & Oracle, HP Plans Optimized-Systems Blitz Global CIO: Global CIO: Resurrecting Mark Hurd: Larry Ellison's War With IBM Global CIO: Global CIO: Larry Ellison's Acquisition List: Who's #1? Global CIO: Global CIO: IBM Top Product Exec Discusses Strategy, Systems, & Oracle Global CIO: Global CIO: Larry Ellison's Hardware Boasts Are Nonsense, Says IBM Global CIO: Global CIO: Larry Ellison's Top 10 Priorities At Oracle Open World Global CIO: Global CIO: Oracle Launches 'Cloud In A Box' And New Cloud Business Global CIO: Global CIO: EMC Taking Plunge Into Red-Hot Optimized Systems Market Global CIO: Global CIO: Inside Steve Jobs' Head: The Supremacy Of Software GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at [email protected].

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Bob Evans


Bob Evans is senior VP, communications, for Oracle Corp. He is a former InformationWeek editor.

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