Gartner Announces Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2012
In October 2011, Gartner – the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company – compiled its annual list of the top 10 strategic technology trends that have the potential to affect individuals, businesses and IT organizations in 2012. Now that we’re nearly half-way through the year, we thought it would be appropriate to revisit this list and see how things are stacking up.
Before we dive into the list itself, let’s do a brief refresher on what exactly is meant by strategic technologies. Strategic technologies, as defined by Gartner, are those with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that represent significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.
A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
The top 10 strategic technologies for 2012 include:
Media Tablets and Beyond Users have a world of options when it comes to mobile computing. No single platform or technology will dominate and companies should be poised to manage a diverse environment with two to four intelligent clients through 2015. IT leaders will need a managed diversity program to address multiple form factors, as well as employees who bring their own smartphones and tablet devices to the workplace.
Mobile-Centric Applications and Interfaces The user interface (UI) paradigm in place for more than 20 years is changing. UIs with windows, icons, menus, and pointers will be replaced by mobile-centric interfaces emphasizing touch, gesture, search, voice and video. Applications themselves are likely to shift to more focused and simple apps that can be assembled into more complex solutions. These changes will drive the need for new user interface design skills.
Contextual and Social User Experience A contextually aware system anticipates the user’s needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customized content, product or service. Context can be used to link mobile, social, location, payment and commerce. Through 2013, context aware applications will appear in targeted areas such as location-based services, augmented reality on mobile devices, and mobile commerce.
Internet of Things The Internet of Things (IoT) concept describes how the Internet will expand as sensors and intelligence are added to physical items such as consumer devices or physical assets, and these objects are connected to the Internet.
App Stores and Marketplaces Gartner forecasts that by 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. This will grow from a consumer-only phenomena to an enterprise focus.
Next-Generation Analytics Analytics is growing along three key dimensions – from traditional offline analytics to in-line, embedded analytics; from analyzing historical data to explain what happened to analyzing historical and real-time data from multiple systems to stimulate and predict the future; and over the next three years, analytics will mature along a third dimension, from structure and simple data analyzed by individuals to analysis of complex information of many types (text, video, etc.) from many systems supporting a collaborative decision process that brings multiple people together to analyze, brainstorm and make decisions.
Big Data The size, complexity of formats and speed of delivery exceeds the capabilities of traditional data management technologies, requiring the use of new or exotic technologies simply to manage the volume alone. Logical data warehouses bringing together information from multiple sources as needed will replace the single data warehouse model.
In-Memory Computing Running existing applications in-memory or refactoring these applications to exploit in-memory approaches can result in improved transactional application performance and scalability, lower latency (less than one microsecond) application messaging, dramatically faster batch execution and faster response time in analytical applications. As cost and availability of memory intensive platforms reach tipping points in 2012 and 2013, the in-memory approach will enter the mainstream.
Extreme Low-Energy Servers The adoption of low-energy servers – the radical new systems being proposed, announced and marketed by mostly new entrants to the server business – will take the buyer on a trip backward in time. These systems are built on low-power processors typically used in mobile devices. The potential advantage is delivering 30 times or more processors in a particular server unit with lower power consumption vs. current server approaches.
Cloud Computing And last, but certainly not least, a topic that BCG Systems speaks frequently on – cloud computing. The cloud is a disruptive force and has the potential for broad long-term impact in most industries. While the market remains in its early stages in 2011 and 2012, it will see the full range of large enterprise providers fully engaged in delivering a range of offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services.
After reviewing Gartner’s list, which trends are you seeing play out in 2012? Comment and let us know.