Enterprise IT… Vegas Style

Industry consultant and author Bill Jenson once said, “Simplicity is the new competitive advantage.”

The same may said about Jupitermedia’s inaugural Enterprise IT Week event at cdXpo.

The four-day exhibition and conference, which is produced by the parent company of this Web site, is expected to draw between 3,500 and 6,500 attendees and about 50 exhibitors when it opens on Monday in Las Vegas.

The event at the new 1.8 million square foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center and hotel campus, will include representatives from industry legends like IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Computer Associates, Sun Microsystems, Siemens and AMD; all bent on putting aside the bells and whistles of the dot-com past and getting down to some good ‘ole fashioned business.

The convention is extremely timely. The recovery in IT spending is underway, with a solid return to growth expected in 2004 and 2005, according to tech research firm Gartner. But the data also shows that, while “strong single-digit growth over 2003 levels” is expected, growth rates will vary widely by technology sector. Also pacing the recovery, Gartner added, will be a “tremendous skills shift within the IT workforce, impacting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of workers.”

But instead of the classic “irrational exuberance” of Las Vegas shows past, Jupitermedia CEO Alan Meckler said his conference takes a more vertically focused approach.

“The computer and IT industries require a dynamic exhibition and conference that covers the expansion of technology from computers to the numerous digital devices that are driving today’s information technologies, and that is assured of being in place this November,” Meckler said.

The opening day of the first Enterprise IT Week conference covers three major trends in information technology: the growing strength of Open Source and Linux in the enterprise; the globalization of IT services; and the new generation of 64 bit CPUs both in the data center and on the desktop. During the day, senior executives from Hewlett Packard, IBM, SuSE, Sun Microsystems and Oracle will describe how closed, proprietary software systems are being replaced by Open Source alternatives and open standards, foreshadowed by the historic success of the World Wide Web. Managers from IT service firms in South Asia, Russia, Australia, Canada and the U.K. join key U.S. IT executives in discussing the implications of the exploding global market for software and services and examine the commercial, cultural and political implications. Top developers and analysts offer perspectives on how the next generation of 64 bit hardware, pocket computers and embedded systems deliver enormous new computing power to the enterprise and push IT out of the data center and off the desktop to a world of “digital ubiquity” where every business and every person is on-line all the time.

Tuesday, the conference focuses on the software and systems that are creating a new computing environment including the rise of On-Demand Computing, also called utility computing, and new technologies for self-managed systems; the growth of Web Services, the new software infrastructure based on open standards; and important new technologies for displaying and securing digital content. Veteran industry analyst Amy Wohl will lead a full-day discussion with pioneers in this area as developers offer case studies of successful Web Services deployments, discuss the critical importance of XML and open standards, and describe best practices for managing this important new line of software development. Experts will also be on hand to analyze the implications for business of Microsoft’s new Longhorn operating system, the introduction of revolutionary Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, and vendor initiatives for trusted computing platforms and digital rights management.

Day three covers management, wireless access and user interface developments. These include new perspectives on managing IT; important developments in mobile computing and digital ubiquity; and the best practices and major trends in user interfaces. After years of boom and bust, top industry analysts and executives from Sun Microsystems, Maxtor, Logitech, Intellinet and Purdue University will discuss key management topics like the PC refresh cycle, managing IT in tough times and profitably leading the migration to Web Services. Mobile innovators from Sybase, Sandbridge, Intervoice and Microsoft discuss emerging trends in Software Defined Radio, RFID, PDAs, mobile phones and high density 802.11 LANs. Usability gurus and innovators from IBM, Intervoice and Microsoft discuss emerging trends for multimodal user interfaces, voice access, video and audio and offer an interactive clinic outlining best practices for web development and electronic commerce interfaces.

The final day of Enterprise IT Week wraps up with important technologies and management ideas such as the many layers and approaches to IT security, including spam controls and biometrics; new advances in storage, messaging, broadband and artificial intelligence; and management issues in privacy, compliance and ROI.

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