Enterprise Technology Slideshow: 10 Products CIOs Should Be Looking Forward to In 2011

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 01-04-2011

10 Products CIOs Should Be Looking Forward to In 2011

1. RIM BlackBerry PlayBookRIM's BlackBerry Playbook is scheduled to hit store shelves toward the beginning of 2011. And when it does, the 7-inch-display-equipped device will be attempting to captivate enterprise customers with a new OS and BlackBerry Enterprise Server support. Whether will be successful depends on whether you and your colleagues see value in it.

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2. Cisco CiusNext year, you will have some serious decisions to make in the tablet space. Aside from the BlackBerry PlayBook, you'll also be able to choose the Cisco Cius. The device will boast a 7-inch display, run Android 2.2, and feature all kinds of security features. It will also integrate with other Cisco products. Moreover, unlike the BlackBerry PlayBook, Cisco doesn't seem to have any desire to appeal to consumers.

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3. Android UpdatesAndroid has yet to provide a viable experience to enterprise customers. The operating system is still designed for consumers and fails to offer all the functionality you and your colleagues covet. Next year, expect some serious updates to Android. And in the process, Google might just deliver more enterprise-friendly versions of its mobile software.

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4. A New iPhoneThis year was an interesting one for CIOs. Whereas in previous years you and your colleagues never thought twice about deploying the iPhone, this year you gave it serious consideration. But when you heard about the device's antenna problems, you balked. In 2011, that could change. If Apple delivers a more viable iPhone next year, it might not be long before you bring it to your operation.

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5. Windows 7Windows 7 was a big question mark this year as you determined if it was really a viable upgrade over Windows XP or yet another disappointment like Vista. Many in your position decided it was in fact a winner. Next year will be defined mainly by your intention to start deploying Windows 7 or optimizing it for your operation. In any case, Microsoft will play a major role in your decision-making next year.

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6. Office 365When Microsoft announced Office 365 this year, the company made it clear that the software would deliver on many of the things enterprise customers are looking for, including the ability to get work done with top versions of Office, as well as access the Web and continue editing documents with the help of the company's Office Web Apps.

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7. Chrome OSGoogle's Chrome OS platform is widely considered one of the most anticipated releases of 2011. The operating system is Web-based, and allows users to perform all the tasks they do now offline in an online environment. Will it work? That's anyone's guess. But it seems highly likely that it'll be something you'll at least considering looking at next year.

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8. Better Security ProductsThe fight for better security is one that will never go away. Malicious hackers around the world are spending their time trying to break into your corporate networks to steal sensitive data and capitalize on you. That's why you'll likely spend a lot of time next year examining the latest and greatest security products. They might not necessarily solve all your problems, but hopefully they will help you become just a little bit safer.

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9. A New iPadApple's iPad was one product you considered deploying this year. But maybe you opted against, deciding instead to wait and see what other companies would bring to the table. You'll probably be anxiously awaiting the iPad 2. For now, Apple has been tight-lipped about the device's features, but it will almost undoubtedly boast some upgrades that will make it more compelling than ever to corporate customers.

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10. More Lightweight NotebooksApple's iPad might have started a tablet craze, but that doesn't mean that lightweight notebooks won't also catch your attention. These devices, which are slightly more powerful than their netbook counterparts, will likely come in a similar footprint and feature-level to Apple's MacBook Air. They will attempt to combine the mobility of a tablet with the functionality of a notebook. They aim to make users more productive than on tablets. And as you know all too well, productivity is extremely important.

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