Windows 7, Desktop Virtualization, Unified Communications Rank as Top Fast-Growth Technologies for 2010

July, 2010

(Irvine, Calif.) While IT spending may have yet to recover from the severe downturn over the past two years, a few technologies are emerging as winners in the current environment.

The Computer Economics Technology Trends 2010/2011 study shows Windows 7, desktop virtualization, and unified communications are set to make substantial gains over current adoption levels in the coming year.

Each of these technologies has a substantial number of current investors compared to the percentage that have the technology in place. Windows 7 adoption is primed to make the most substantial gains.

While only a scant 3% of IT organizations had the technology in place at the beginning of the year, 31% of organizations included funds in 2010 spending plans to begin or expand their migration to Microsoft Corp.’s latest desktop operating system, the survey of more than 200 IT organizations found.

“We were mildly surprised, given the slowdown in capital spending and general lack of investment in new systems,” said John Longwell, vice president of research for Computer Economics, an IT research and advisory firm based in Irvine, Calif. “Companies are beginning to migrate to Windows 7 in a big way.”

In a related finding, the study found organizations are also embracing desktop virtualization. Only about 15% of IT organizations have the technology in place today, but 29% are currently investing in the technology. “While this is still an emerging technology, the uptake appears rapid,” Longwell said. “Companies are having a very positive economic experience with early implementations and many are finding deployment costs are less than expected.”

Unified communications is a slightly more widely adopted technology that continues to make gains. While 27% of organizations have adopted unified communications solutions, 40% are investing in UC solutions in their current fiscal year.

Other findings in the study indicate organizations are once again investing in ERP systems, as well as revisiting legacy application renewal and application consolidation strategies. Meanwhile, data center consolidation, a big area of focus in recent years, seems to be cooling off in the current environment, and RFID systems, open source business applications, and 10G Ethernet remain stalled at the gate in the enterprise market.

The message seems to be that IT executives are willing to invest in technologies that deliver solid economic returns while requiring low upfront investments. IT organizations also seem willing to open the purse strings for investments deemed necessary, such as ERP systems and desktop upgrades, despite the prospect for limited returns. There is little appetite, however, for making big bets on emerging technologies with uncertain economic benefits.

These findings are abstracted from our recently published Technology Trends 2010/2011 study, the full version of which can found on our website at The study, which examines adoption trends and economic characteristics of 19 selected IT initiatives, is based on a survey of more than 200 IT organizations conducted during the first half of 2010.