Gartner takes leap into new millennium

When it comes to strategic planning, it's hard to see past the year 2000, so Gartner Group has released a number of forecasts stretching into the new millennium. Bob Hayward, Gartner Group's Asia-Pacific director, shared his ideas on the future with attendees at Cisco's Networkers 98 conference on the Gold Coast. He says even while planning for the future, we must get through the Y2K and EMU (European monetary unit) crunch. Both will be responsible for making retention and recruitment the largest global IT issue through 2000.

When it comes to strategic planning, it’s hard to see past the year 2000, so Gartner Group has released a number of forecasts stretching into the new millennium.

Bob Hayward, Gartner Group’s Asia-Pacific director, shared his ideas on the future with attendees at Cisco’s Networkers 98 conference on the Gold Coast last month.

He says even while planning for the future, we must get through the Y2K and EMU (European monetary unit) crunch. Both will be responsible for making retention and recruitment the largest global IT issue through 2000. Although 80% of systems will be operationally sustainable, the biggest public and private sector exposure will be YK2 non-compliance by trading partners. In addition, up until 2002 30% of strategic “soft ROI” investment projects are delayed 18 to 36 months.

Looking past YK2 and EMU, Gartner predicts that network computing will drive 70% of new business applications through 2002. However, network computing will merely extend, rather than replace, traditional enterprise application middleware.

“By 2003, 60% of enterprises will deploy Windows terminals and Java computers, across a discrete set of users,” says Haywood. “However, 90% of business users will use network-independent PCs as the primary computing device.”

Users will remain concerned about the scalability of Windows NT for the next five years, says Haywood. Although 70% of all new applications will target NT through 2003, reliability, scalability and manageability constraints will limit its penetration for enterprise-wide transaction-intensive workloads. However, computing platforms will continue to be whittled down.

“By 2002, Sun’s Unix and S/390 platform vendors will be the only major alternative to an Intel-based hardware architecture, utilising a Microsoft operating system.” Rationalisation will also occur in the enterprise applications market.

“By 2001, accelerating consolidation will produce an oligopoly of five dominant packaged application vendors, whose collective market share will approach 80%.” Hayward figures these to be SAP, Baan, PeopleSoft, Oracle and either SSA or JD Edwards, says Haywood.

And likewise for telecommunications, with Gartner predicting that by 2003, an oligopoly of five international carriers or consortia (led by AT&T, Worldcom/MCI, GlobalOne, NTT and BT) will control 60% of all worldwide business network services.

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