is the technology with the potential for having the most “significant impact” on enterprises over the next three years, according to Gartner.

Every year the analyst firm highlights the top 10 technologies and trends it predicts will be strategic for most organizations.

Virtualization, which ranked fifth on Gartner’s list last year, has moved to the top slot for 2009.

Gartner defines "significant impact" as including factors such as high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

David Cearley, vice president at Gartner, said strategic technologies affect, run, grow and transform the business initiatives of an organization.

"Companies should look at these 10 opportunities and evaluate where these technologies can add value to their business services and solutions, as well as develop a process for detecting and evaluating the business value of new technologies as they enter the market," he said.

Cloud computing ranked second in the list, while servers came third.

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