Gartner has released its list of Top Strategic Technologies for 2010, technologies that could potentially have a big impact on enterprise computing in the next three years: those that could be highly disruptive, warrant significant financial investment or handicap late adopters. Topping the list is cloud computing, which has been the breakout technology for a while, or, if you follow the tech press, the one that’s most often broken, Microsoft’s Sidekick debacle, losing millions of customers’ data being the latest cloud fail du jour. Larry Ellison should be happy that, however positive strategists are about the cloud, the biggest press comes after failures, which means that companies have a lot of work to do turning around public sentiment before their products have a chance for significant adoption.

This makes vendors’ jobs that much more difficult. While the public and technology are there, media sentiment is overwhelmingly negative, which could lead to enterprise hesitation.

Also on Gartner’s list:

Advanced Analytics: maximizing business processes and decision-making through analysis and simulation.

Client Computing, which might be hurt by the fact that Windows-based enterprises appear to be really eager for Windows 7, but could explode if Windows’ new OS is as disappointing as Vista.

Green IT. E-documents and telecommuting are gaining momentum, but there are a lot of other simple steps that enterprises could be taking.

Reshaping the Data Center. Gartner suggests that companies are still following an outdated model, setting up their data centers for 15-20 years growth, while in reality they need to only plan for five to seven. Building your data centers too big can be a major detriment to your IT financial future.

Social Computing. Taking advantage of social media tools to build community, something which a good deal of companies are hesitant to do.

Security-Active Monitoring. Real-time, active security, with an emphasis on monitoring as opposed to simply blocking information and dataflow.

Flash Memory. Gartner believes that, as prices for flash memory continue to fall, it will grow more than 100 percent annually for the next three years.

Virtualization for Availability. Costs need to fall and virtualization needs to become less complicated, according to Gartner, in order for enterprises to adopt virtualization platforms.

Mobile applications. This has been the real mover in the top ten, as the mobile applications market has grown from almost nil to overflowing in the last year. Unlike a lot of other technologies on the list, there is a very healthy crossover between the enterprise and consumer markets.

By Mark Alvarez