Experts pick technology to watch in 2009

Social networking predicted to be the most significant for charities

Social networking will be the most important area of technology growth for charities in 2009, a group of charity IT experts has predicted.

The round-table discussion between IT specialists from suppliers, charities and umbrella bodies brought together by IT company Iris also highlighted the potential of virtualisation - whereby one computer server does the job of several.

Virtualisation offers not only economic benefits, but also security, versatility and energy-efficiency, they said.

The group also predicted growth in 'software as a service', where many computers can use the internet to access one copy of a particular application rather than having it installed on each machine.

"One common theme of all these areas is making sure that your employees can access the data and programs they need efficiently and cost-effectively," said Peter Lumb, IT officer at the Royal College of Radiologists.

"Organisations often have the tools employees need to do a job, but they're difficult to access, or no one knows about them."

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