Research firm Gartner is holding its annual business technology confab this week in Orlando, Florida and since IT is in the middle of an epic transition brought on by the one-two punch of consumerization and the cloud, expect to hear lots of updates on the latest tech trends and what it means for the future of IT budgets, IT jobs, and how to lead a 21st century IT department.

I’ll be at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2011 all week and I’ll be reporting on the most important presentations and tracking the most critical emerging trends. Although I don’t tend to agree with all of predictions and prognostications from Gartner analysts, I always find Symposium is a great chance to see all of the data and research Gartner has been collecting throughout the year and it’s a great way to pow-wow with a lot of IT decision-makers about what they’re seeing out in the trenches — both across the U.S. and from around the globe.

This week I’m going to especially have my eye on the following trends:

  • Big data analytics – Arguably, the hottest topic in IT right now is big data and a new wave of analytics/dashboards that can make sense of all of it in much faster and more intelligent ways.
  • Real cloud – We’ve all been hearing about “the cloud” ad nauseum for the past two years. I’m interested in seeing Gartner’s research on where the cloud is getting implemented in the real world. I’m also going to attack this topic by getting peppering attendees and vendors with questions on this topic.
  • Social enterprise – Lots of companies are integrating social into everyday business. I’m going to be tracking research and advice on how IT departments can take advantage of social to move their agendas forward and become more effective at communicating.
  • Tablets in business – Another trend that a lot of tech professionals are already growing weary of is the tablet question. I’m going to be searching out presentations and feedback on real world tablet implementations, and there are lots of Gartner sessions planned on this topic.

Check back here at Tech Sanity Check throughout the week for stories from Gartner Symposium.