The strategic planning and investment decisions CIOs need to make was a primary focus this week at Gartner's Symposium ITxpo  2009 in Orlando.

Gartner Global Head of Research Peter Sondergaard told attendees many of the primary challenges were budgetary. "2010 is the year IT needs to demonstrate true line of sight to the business objectives for every investment decision."

Sondergaard said the impact of the financial crisis was evident in many IT decisions. For example, aging hardware is proliferating as cash-strapped companies push back server and PC replacement.

"Our equipment is getting older," he said. "This year, 1 million servers worldwide will have their replacement delayed. If replacement cycles do not change, almost 10% of server install based will be beyond scheduled replacement by 2011. That will impact enterprise risk."

Elsewhere, Sondergaard said technologies, such as cloud computing, will have big budget implications. "IT costs will become scalable with the business," he said. "Therefore, CIOs need to model the overall financial impact of IT on the organization."

Gartner's Top 10 strategic technologies are listed below:

1. Cloud computing

2. Advanced analytics

3. Client computing

4. Green IT

5. Reshaping Data Center

6. Social Computing

7. Security

8. Flash memory - SSDs

9. Virtualization

10. Mobility

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