Forget about 3G mobile, grid computing, 64-bit desktops, on-demand services, Bluetooth, and worries about IP Version 6, for now, 3,000 delegates at the Gartner annual symposium in Cannes were told last week.
As Gartner analysts laid out their technology roadmap for the next three years Steve Prentice, Gartner chief of research, said, "It is important for companies to realise which technologies can really deliver value today, and which, although promising, should be monitored rather than bought.
"We are encouraging businesses to evaluate migrating their telecom services to IP virtual private networks, refresh their desktops, and outsource IT services offshore right now." They should also check out web services, server and storage virtualisation and some wireless services, he added.
"But there is a lot of hype surrounding on-demand computing, 3G, 64-bit desktops, grids and artificial intelligence, which we think enterprises should forget about until at least 2008," Prentice said.
Gartner's advice for users was:
- Adopting IP VPNs and moving away from Frame Relay, ATM and leased-line-based networks could save 30% in total costs of ownership.
- Firms building enterprise networks should avoid total reliance on Cisco because the premium paid for the convenience of using a complete Cisco network is now too high: adopting best-of-breed solutions could save 20%.
- Companies should adopt flat PC screens as price and recycling costs have fallen significantly.
- Wireless Lans should be introduced to prevent departments and staff starting to use their own wireless kit, creating management and security risks.
- Outsourcing can deliver big savings but there is a 50% chance that a service provider would be taken over within 18 months of a contract being signed, which means users will need strong contract and contingency plans.