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NEW YORK (
TheStreet) -- It was a busy, rollercoaster year for the technology sector, marked by
enterprises' return to tech spending, a slew of M&A in storage and security,
Cisco's(CSCO - Get Report)sector-wide setback and, lest we forget, the debut of
Apple's(AAPL - Get Report)iPad, which juiced the over-promised/under-delivered tablet market.
"I think that 2010 was the year when everyone was surprised at how the iPad went," said Andy Mulholland, global CTO of consulting firm
Capgemini, adding that users are now exploring the devices' full potential. "It still surprises me the number of people that say 'we have iPads and we want to know how we can do more with them.'"
After conquering the consumer market, tablets are now gearing up to launch a major assault on the corporate sector.
Other key trends for 2011 include an enhanced, corporate-tinged version of social media, a renewed focus on storage and, an overhang from this year, cloud computing security.
"Cloud computing is going to be part of our reality," Mario Leone, CIO of technology distributor
Ingram Micro(IM) told
TheStreet. "That's something that most CIOs will have to grapple with."
"I think that most people thought that the cloud compute [market] would move faster, but I think that a lot of the infrastructure was not there," said Jim McCluney, CEO of switch specialist
Emulex(ELX). "These transitions always take longer than people think, but, in 2011, we will see a lot of the momentum there."
Read on for more details about next year's tech trends and what companies are best positioned to exploit them.