October 2011: Gartner announced the top 10 IT strategic technologies of 2012 at the annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo held at Orlando. As per Gartner, these technologies have a great potential to have a great impact on enterprises in the coming years. These can be in the form of disruption of IT or business, need for a heavy investment, risk of being the late to accept etc.
Gartner is world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. The firm provides technology-related insight essential for its customers helping them to make the right decisions every day. This event was organized to gain insight into how global organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve their operational efficiency. Organisations can benefit heavily from this expo in both business and professional areas. With this insight, organisations can improve their competitiveness, investment opportunities and reduce IT costs enabling them to have a clear Strategic IT direction for the company. These top 10 technologies would be strategic for organisations in the coming years.
Media tablets and beyond
At this age of Mobile computing revolution, IT leaders should take appropriate steps to address the issues with mobile computing. Employees bringing their own smart phones and tablet devices into the workplace are increasingly becoming a current trend. For this, organizations have to consider two strategies to address mobile computing devices:
- Business to employee (B2E) – To consider social goals, financial goals, business goals, and risk management goals.
- Business to consumer scenario (B2C)- to support customers, surfacing and managing API’s to access enterprise information systems, integration with third party applications and integration with search and social networking, and delivery through app stores.
Mobile centric applications and interfaces
As per Gartner research, with the mobile computing revolution, the user interface paradigm is experiencing a shift from icons, menus, pointers UI’s etc. The shift is towards a more mobile centric interface such as gesture, touch, search, voice and video. This will demand need for new UI design skills in the near future. Application UI design for dissimilar device types from different vendors requires an understanding of an adaptable programming structure. Mobile consumer application platform tools and mobile enterprise tools are emerging to make cross platform development easier. HTML5 is considered to address some of the cross platform issues. Advancement in mobile web technologies is expected through 2015 and by then, native apps would be delivered as Web apps.
Contextual and social user experience
Context aware computing improves the quality of interaction between an end user or object by the information about his environment, connections, circumstances, preferences etc. It can help build skills in augmented reality, model-driven security and ensemble applications. According to Gartner, by 2013 context aware applications will appear in mobile, social, location, payment and commerce. Social information is also becoming a vital source of contextual information to augment delivery of search results.
Internet of Things
Internet of things [IoT] – expansion of internet into sensors, intelligence added to consumer devices or physical assets and these devices connected to internet. Though this concept existed for years, there is an increase in volume and type of internet connected devices now. The technologies for identifying, sensing and communicating are also advancing each day. In Gartner’s view, these technologies are reaching public and an economic tipping point in the next few years. The key factors of IoT includes :
- Embedded sensors
- Image recognition
- Near field communication payment
App stores and market places
Apple and Android market places are providing massive quantity of applications to mobile consumers. Gartner predicts that by 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. In future, this will shift from a consumer-only phenomenon to an enterprise focus. The role of IT would shift from that of a centralized planner to market manager who can offer governance and brokerage services to users. This will potentially build up an ecosystem for supporting entrepreneurs. According to Gartner, enterprises should use a managed diversity approach to focus on app store efforts and segment apps by risk and value.
Next generation analytics
According to Gartner, by 2012, collaborative analytics would provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics bringing in more flexibility for business processes in organizations. Analytics is growing from traditional offline analytics to
- In- line embedded analytics that focus efforts in the past
- Analysing historical and real time data from multiple systems to help predicting future
- Analytics focussing on collaborative decision process that brings multiple people together to analyze brainstorm and make decisions.
Data growth is a big challenge that organizations are facing now. The data had grown exceeding the capabilities of current data management technologies, demanding new technologies to address this issue. According to Gartner, one major implication of this growth is that in the future, users will not be able to put all useful data into a single data warehouse. The single data ware houses will be replaced by logical data warehouses bringing together information from multiple sources as needed.
In memory computing
There is a huge increase in the use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment devices and other embedded IT systems, as observed by Gartner. This would demand new application models that would include in-memory analytics, in-memory application servers, event processing platforms, in-memory data management and in-memory messaging. Redesigning the existing applications with in-memory approaches can result in improved transactional application performance, lower latency application messaging, scalability, dramatically faster batch execution and faster response time in analytical applications. The in-memory approach will enter the mainstream, as cost and availability of memory intensive hardware platforms reach tipping points by 2013.
Extreme low energy servers
Currently there is an increase in the systems that are built in low power processors, used in mobile devices. This will be beneficial only for non-compute intensive tasks such as map / reduce workloads, delivery of static objects to a website, etc. However, in Gartner’s view, most of the applications would be requiring more processing power. The low-energy server model would potentially increase management cost and other overheads.
Cloud computing would continue to influence the IT industry in the coming years. Large enterprise service providers have now fully engaged in delivering a range of services to build cloud environments and deliver cloud-based services. IBM, Oracle and SAP all have major initiatives to deliver a broader range of cloud services over the next few years. Microsoft is also expanding its cloud offering. As these major players expand cloud based service offerings, clients will see an increasing competition in the cloud service arena. According to Gartner, hybrid cloud computing will be a major focus for 2012. However, the security perspective of cloud-based services will be the main priority for service providers. On the private cloud front, challenge lies in bringing operations and development groups closer using “DevOps” concepts. This would help the private cloud environments achieve the speed and efficiencies of public cloud environments.
All these top 10 technologies trends would boil down to the key word – Mobility. This research would give organisations one good opportunity to tune their business strategies with respect to the future trends.
Imagine, how tuned are your company’s strategy?