Six Top Tech Trends for 2010

ARMONK, N.Y. ( TheStreet) -- From secure cloud computing to tablets and green IT, 2010 will be a busy year for the tech sector. Here are the trends investors need to look out for:

Cloud Computing Changes Shape

Cloud computing has been one of the tech sector's biggest catchphrases of the last couple of years, with companies like IBM ( IBM), Cisco ( CSCO), EMC ( EMC) and VMware ( VMW) scrambling to boost their cloud initiatives.

Cloud services offer computer power or data storage via the Internet. IBM claims to be breaking new ground in this space with the launch of its Smart Analytics Cloud, a set of technologies for firms that want to compile information across their organization. And the sector has been gaining momentum with companies like Microsoft ( MSFT) and Savvis ( SVVS), which are all pushing the technology as a way for firms to avoid the upfront costs of hardware and software.

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There are, however, question marks hanging over the cloud concept. Security and loss of data control have been cited as the biggest issues with the technology.

"There's skepticism among IT practitioners," said Kevin Bocek, director of product marketing at systems specialist Thales. "It's an opportunity, but it's also a challenge."

In an effort to help make the technology more secure, internet giant Amazon ( AMZN) has started offering virtual private network (VPN)-based access to its services. Companies like AT&T ( T) and VMware ( VMW) are pushing security as a major selling point of cloud technology, having recently announced a major cloud computing partnership.

Service provider Savvis is also driving home the security story, having recently expanded its alliance with Cisco ( CSCO) to deliver what it describes as the "first enterprise-class Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC)."

This message may be getting through. The Economist recently ran an online debate, "This house believes that the cloud can't be entirely trusted." More than half of respondents to the poll disagreed with the motion, spelling good news for cloud vendors in 2010.

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