Budget and vendor optimization, along with compliance, are key words for next year when it comes to IT strategy, as most technology projects seem to focus on one of these hot-button issues. Reaching the next level of efficiency, and cost savings, typically means an investment in new technology.

While not predicting investment or adoption levels, Gartner recently unveiled its list of "Technologies You Can't Afford to Ignore for 2010," suggesting companies should factor these technologies into their 2010 strategic planning process:

1. Cloud computing, which Gartner says is maturing with an emphasis placed on public cloud service consumption, private cloud environment development and Web/cloud application development.

2. Advanced analytics, a driver of data management strategy.

3. Client computing, which can help banks avoid large software deployments.

4. IT for green. Reducing energy consumption is part of improving data centers and containing costs.

5. Reshaping the data center.

6. Social computing, which the research firm says will mature over the next five years.

7. Security/activity monitoring-a component of fighting internal fraud.

8. Flash memory, a boost for data storage and transfer projects.

9. Virtualization for availability-also a component of new data strategies, according to Gartner.

10. Mobile applications. Gartner says that the growth of mobile applications reflects an increasing importance and maturing of end-user devices and applications, which are expanding into new demographics.

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