Top 10 Tech Trends of 2011

What’s a trend? You could look at it as one of two things: a comparison of numbers, separated by time, or a tale about something that’s happening in the market. Which would you choose?

We all enjoy a good yarn, and certainly when it comes to media coverage, trends seem to be more of the latter variety. And that’s the approach we take with our annual survey of technology trends. What we’re trying to do is predict the near future—so you know what to prepare for, what to look at and what to avoid.

When it comes to trends, this process comes down to one simple question: What IT stories are going to be told next year? Finding the answer is a devilish proposition.

In September, we fielded a detailed survey to just under 400 managers in organizations having at least 100 employees, across all sectors in the United States and Canada. We asked them what their expectations were for various strategies and technologies at their workplace in 2011. We asked whether technology commitments were going to rise or fall, and, if so, by how much. We also asked which technologies the various stakeholders (IT, users, executives and finance/budget departments) supported most strongly.

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By comparing the results for each strategy or technology—both against one another and against last year’s responses—we gained a fairly clear picture of the 2011 landscape. And what we’ve done in the following pages is to relate what tales these comparisons tell.

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