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6. Next-generation analytics

Analytics will use historical and real-time data to predict what will happen in the future rather than just discover what happened in the past. CIOs will increasingly use analytics for simulation, prediction and optimisation rather than simply garnering information.

7. Big data

Traditional data management technologies cannot cope with the increasing size, variety of formats, and speed of delivery of new data that organisations may want to collect from the internet. Companies must therefore invest in new technologies if they are to manage the volume and complexity of this unstructured data.

8. In-memory computing

Running applications in-memory can improve their speed, performance and scalability. According to Gartner, the in-memory approach will become mainstream during 2012 and 2013.

9. Extreme low-energy servers

Low-energy servers, offered mainly by new entrants into the server market, will deliver 30 times more processors for the same amount of energy. However, these servers will only be suitable for tasks that require little power such as the delivery of static objects to a website.

10. Cloud computing

With cloud a firm favourite on Gartner's strategic lists for the past four years, the analyst believes that in 2012, companies will move from trying to understand the cloud to making decisions on implementing cloud services.

Hybrid cloud computing - the use of both private and public clouds by a business - will also be a major focus for IT departments in 2012, Gartner said.