There is no denying 2009 has been a dramatic year in the world of Australian ICT. And as the year draws to a close we thought it was time to recognise the people, products, organisations, trends and events that had the greatest influence throughout the year on the ICT industry and community by launching the inaugural Computerworld Top 10 Most Influential.
Computerworld will count down to the winner over the next two weeks with one article each day identifying from 10th place to number one. (We started yesterday with #10 - CSIRO's wireless patent win).
Then, it’s over to you for the readers' choice award. We will open up the voting so you can decide the most influential person, product, organisation, trend or event for 2009.
We’ll publish the results on the website and in the February/March issue of Computerworld magazine.
See the 10th place getter article — CSIRO's wireless patent win — that kicked things off yesterday.
Today it's our 9th place getter — Virtualisation.
#9 – Virtualisation
As anyone familiar with mainframes will tell you, virtualisation has been around for a long time.
But in recent years there is no denying its influence on data centres and ICT strategies across the globe. With the server sprawl often getting out of control, virtualisation and in particular that of the server variety has helped organisations consolidate hardware and save on power and cooling costs.
In 2009 while many ICT budgets were suspended, projects frozen and confidence in the macro-economic situation began to slip away, virtualisation continued to be an avenue for CIOs and IT managers to do more with less. In short, unlike many of its technology peers, virtualisation retained its power to influence and transform the way we use ICT.
Analyst firm, IDC noted that while a lot of hardware spend was put off during the economic downturn, those organisations looking to cut costs out of their operations more often than not looked to adopt a virtual infrastructure.
Unlike many other IT purchasing decisions, virtualisation was seen as more amenable to CFOs who were demanding a better return on investments.
Across the economy various organisations announced their virtualisation intentions including: Allianz; the Victorian Government; the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM); Dell; Australian Crime Commission; University of Sydney; UNSW; Suncorp; and a host of others. All did so despite (or arguably because of) a flagging economy and greater pressure from CFOs.
Additionally, analyst firm Gartner contends virtualisation software (and data integration tools) will have the fastest CAGRs in the next five years in the infrastructure software category. “IT infrastructure remains the biggest area for IT spending within Australian organisations and it also represents the biggest opportunity to drive operational efficiencies and minimise costs,” Gartner managing vice president Matthew Boon said in April this year.
And it was this sentiment along with the fundamental change virtualisation can bring to organisations, it's impact on the cloud computing trend, and the simple fact it remained top of mind for many IT managers and CIOs that led the Top 10 Most Influential panel to select virtualisation as its #9 place getter for 2009.
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