For Infrastructure and Operations (IO) Professionals, 2010 will be a critical year as the global economy begins its long road to recovery and the post-recession era takes hold. Businesses want to put the last decade behind them and come out of the starting gate of the new decade fast with new applications and new market initiatives. For our IO clients that translates into three major imperatives: (1) build an IO technology plan for the new decade, (2) plan and prioritize the critical infrastructure projects that were either postponed, delayed or cancelled during the recession and (3) execute on those plans with a sharp focus on controlling costs and improving efficiency.

In 2009, we completed an in-depth, outside-in “role deep dive” study to better understand what our IO clients want and don’t want from us in 2010. It will drive our research efforts and make what we do more relevant to you in your daily work lives. In the New Year, we’ll be hosting a free webinar to outline our plans and get your feedback. I do hope you’ll be able to join us and share your thoughts. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll hear. In 2010, the Infrastructure and Operations team will:

  • Stay focused on key IO initiatives in consolidation, virtualization, automation and cloud. Our role deep dive study told us loud and clear to stay focused on the key initiatives that consume IO professionals and to spend more time helping our clients understand how to optimize and mature their efforts. Virtualization is a prime example of this and we will continue to build out our virtualization maturity models and tools to ensure that you get the maximum payoff from virtualization investments. IT service management and cloud computing are key areas that also lend themselves to this approach.
  • Develop new research around organizational issues and skills. The IT to BT transformation is on and this new mandate — where every business activity is enabled by technology and every technology decision hinges on a business need — will have an enormous impact on IO professionals. For many of us, technical expertise must now be supplemented with business awareness, financial acumen and vendor management skills.
  • Build new IO metrics to measure, monitor, and improve performance. Effective measurement of your environment is critical and is the best path towards greater efficiency. This year, we will develop new best practice research to define the KPIs that matter, understand how to measure them and translate the results into insight that IT and business leaders can understand and apply. 
  • Focus on transforming IO from tech-silo to service delivery organization. ITIL, BSM, and ITSM are all technologies and frameworks to help transform IO from a technology silo led function into a vehicle for delivering high value, high quality services to the business. In our role deep dive, clients told us that we need to lead them down this path, not just keep up, and that’s what we plan to do this year.

I hope you found this helpful. As you think about your own priorities in 2010 and beyond, I’d be interested in any other ways you think Forrester can help. Feel free to comment here, or contact me directly at