Gartner Discovers Potential IT Biggies In Making

by CXOtoday Staff    May 05, 2005

As companies try to deal with the increasing complexity of technology, Gartner, Inc. has highlighted seven technology providers it calls “cool vendors” that are developing emerging technologies to address these challenges.

Gartner analysts said XenSource, a new software company formed to promote the Xen hypervisor, is possibly Microsoft’s greatest challenge. The hypervisor is a thin layer of software that runs at the hardware level of a system. This thin layer of Open Source software allows for operating systems to run on top of it, thus fully emulating the system platform and thereby allowing multiple operating environments to run in parallel on a single system.

“XenSource’s technology threatens to loosen Microsoft’s grip on the PC market, and open up the PC for non-MS software that runs in conjunction with Windows. It’s like an operating system for operating systems, and it can run multiple environments simultaneously, said Martin Reynolds, group vice president and Gartner Fellow.

Hypervisors provide the necessary security and partitioning to run multiple operating environments in parallel on a single system. “Hypervisors will pervade all computing environments during the next five years, improving security, flexibility, and manageability,” added Reynolds.

Exavera Technologies, Dust Networks and Impinji have technologies important to the development of sensor networks and location technologies. “Sensor networks will drive the number of network-connected devices up by one or two orders of magnitude during the next decade. The companies are all developing intellectual property and market segments that will naturally draw them to location-aware networks, said Reynolds.

Meanwhile, ZealCore is a company that has tools that can assist in debugging complex software environments. These tools are important when implementing service-oriented architectures. Gartner analysts said these new architectures will be needed to deal with the data provided by sensor networks.

Teranode is a company that applies design automation to life sciences. Its technology allows scientists to better understand biochemical reactions. Clairvoyante has innovative display technologies that can deliver more visual information at lower costs, improving the ways in which people interact with computers. The company has developed enhanced technologies for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that allow LCDs to use fewer pixel cells to deliver identical visual resolutions.

Anne-Marie Roussel, research vice president and “cool vendors” lead Gartner analyst, defines these technology providers as “small companies that offer technologies or products with three key characteristics. First they are innovative, they must enable users to do things they couldn’t do before; impactful they have or will have business impact; and, intriguing they have caught Gartner’s interest or curiosity in approximately the past six months.”