Astute observers will note that our last top 10 emerging technologies was in 2009 (in 2010, we felt that not enough had changed to warrant a top 10 refresh) -- which brings us to the big data trend. In 2009, we picked MapReduce as the No. 1 emerging enterprise technology, mainly because it promised something entirely new: analysis of huge quantities of unstructured (or semi-structured) data such as log files and Web clickstreams using commodity hardware and/or public cloud services. The big data choice this year was a no-brainer: Apache Hadoop, as the leading open source implementation of MapReduce has found its way into BI products from every major software vendor.
In hindsight, we should probably have included NoSQL databases too, even though they appeared on the 2009 list. The explosion of new technologies in this area of big data continues unabated, joined recently by Oracle NoSQL. For an InfoWorld Test Center comparison of Cassandra, CouchDB, MongoDB, Redis, Riak, Neo4J, and FlockDB, see "NoSQL standouts: New databases for new applications."
This article, "Picking the top 10: Trends vs. technologies," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.