The Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends According to Gartner

Yesterday at the Gartner Symposium, David Cearley listed the top ten technology trends that Gartner believes will impact Human, Business and IT Experiences in the coming year.

Human Experience:

1-      Media tablets: Cearley expects people will increase their use of phones and media tablets and no single platform, form factor, or technology will dominate. This would mean that although Windows may grow in absolute numbers its share of client devices will shrink steadily.

2-      Mobile-centric applications and interfaces :  will have much more than just  touch and gesture support, but search, voice, and video as inputs. However there might be a lag time between when things are possible and when they actually happen due to social acceptance and other reasons.

3-      Contextual and social user experience especially in using features like time, location, social networks, identity and sensors like GPS devices and near-field communications will become important particularly in 2012 and 2013. Beyond 2014, Cearley said, this will lead to pervasive context like “context brokers” that track and analyze everything users do to enable new interactions.

Business Experience:

4-      The Internet of Things: Cearley said 50 percent of Internet connections are “things” as opposed to humans and this trend is growing due to the lower costs of electronic connections. He gave an example on the concept of parking meters that broadcasted whether the spot was available.

5-      Apps store and marketplaces will lead the way in 2012 for enterprise app store adoption, and will likely become more mainstream in 2013 and 2014. For consumers the experience will be improved with easy app discovery and search, as for the enterprise needs, it will improve things like license management and verification. Cearley gave an example of using an app store as a way of enforcing governance rules for organizations or particular groups.

6-      Next-generation analytics is improving the way organizations make decisions in turn driving business intelligence to more people within these organization. As analytics move from historic research to predictive analytics the use of pattern recognition to optimize, simulate, and predict will become more popular.

IT Department Experience:

7-      Big data with the concept of a single data warehouse is not working and will need multiple warehouses stored as a virtual data warehouse.  Cearley highlighted the Apache Hadoop open-source project which is often connected to more proprietary robust distributed file systems.

8-      In-memory computing : Cearley said we will see huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment devices, equipment and other embedded IT systems. Flash memory is getting cheaper and the move to cloud-based services is making Flash more acceptable on the client. On the server, flash offers a new layer of the memory hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages with space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them. Cearley said users and IT providers should look at in-memory computing as a long-term technology trend that could have a disruptive impact comparable to that of cloud computing.

9-      Extreme low-energy servers—Server technologies are going to change to handle big data, using Atom or ARM-based chips to create solutions with slow but tiny servers. Imagine turning 10 virtual machines in one box into 40 slow physical servers that are tiny and use very low amounts of energy; this type of computing could handle big data. Cearley gives an example where thousands of these little processors could work on a Hadoop process. Moving the application from 10 images to 40 slower, less capable machines will only deliver on that promise if the software will perform the same.

10-   Cloud computing although at the bottom of the list it’s still important particularly the emergence of marketplaces and brokerages as well as hybrid security, management, and governance. Cearley said Cloud Computing will become the next-generation battleground for the likes of Google and Amazon. But as more companies move to the cloud, we’ll see the cloud failing to live up to its hype.

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