"Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly in Asia. But not every meeting needs to be face to face..." -- Gartner's Steve Prentice

The challenge of current world economic conditions is set to drive uptake of video telepresence in the next three years, with the travel industry losing out, according to Gartner Inc. Gartner analysts predict that high-definition based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry $3.5 billion per year.

Speaking at the annual Gartner Predicts 2009 briefing in Sydney this morning, Gartner Fellow Steve Prentice said companies must educate themselves on the scope and capabilities of telepresence systems.

"The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organization revisit the need for face-to-face meetings," said rentice. "Telepresence is not the answer in every circumstance and there will always be strong cultural and other reasons for face to face encounters, particularly in Asia. But not every meeting needs to be face to face and there is no doubt that telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration such as Immersive Workspace, which is built on top of Second Life, or yet to be released solutions will provide a real alternative for many businesses. Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies."

Gartner's Top 10 Predictions for 2009

Gartner publishes an annual top 10 list of broad technology predictions selected from more than 100 predictions that its analysts present and review every year. The remaining predictions in this year's top 10 are:

  • From 2009 to 2013 the server virtualization software market will grow with a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent, rising from US$1.8bn to US$6.2bn. Virtualization's impact on the IT industry has been dramatic and will continue to be the catalyst for change in infrastructure and operations until 2013. Organizations are looking at ways to cut costs, better utilize assets and reduce implementation/management time and complexity. Virtualization addresses all of these concerns. Gartner recommends organizations openly evaluate and implement virtualization at both server and desktop level to save money and remain competitive.
  • By 2011, 30 percent of consulting and systems integration revenue will be delivered via 'cloud computing,' a style of computing where massively scaleable IT-enabled capabilities are delivered 'as a service' to external customers using Internet technologies. Gartner analysts said organizations should consider cloud-based delivery options from their Consulting and Systems Integration provider as it will enable the delivery of a potentially more cost effective solution.
  • By 2012, as many as one in three of the top 20 business process outsourcing (BPO) providers will no longer exist. The market will witness a shake out of its competitive landscape over the coming months as providers are swept up in the economic crisis, exposed to loss-making contracts on their books and an inability to adapt to standardized business models. As the BPO market moves from adolescence into maturity, the economic crisis comes at a critical time for many providers who will need to improve service levels while taking cost out of the business. Contracts which today rely on significant front-end transition investment and time will likely give way to standardized services utilizing cloud-oriented approaches. Providers, large or small, who cannot adapt to offer the delivery of this style of comprehensive services, or maintain profitability will increasingly struggle. According to Gartner, companies must evaluate potential BPO providers in the light of their recent activities, set time aside for strategic discussions and to prepare contingency plans in case of consolidation.
  • By 2012, successful enterprises will actively encourage and reward more failures in order to find the optimal approach they want more quickly. Unfortunately, for many reasons, most business managers lack