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Gartner: Tech trends converge in 2013

7th Nov 2012
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In its latest predictions, technology analyst Gartner Inc warned that a number of innovative and disruptive technologies will reach a point of revolutionary convergence in 2013, reports Gail Purvis.

Social, mobile, cloud and information trends were building up into a nexus of converging forces, according to Gartner vice president and fellow David Cearley. Innovative and disruptive on their own, the confluence of these forces would revolutionise business and society, undermine old business models and create the basis for a next wave of technology.

“This does not necessarily mean enterprises should adopt and invest in all of the listed technologies; but need to be making deliberate decisions about how they fit with their expected near future needs,” Cearley said.

The top 10 strategic technology trends identified by Gartner for 2013 include:

Mobile device battles By 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide, Gartner predicted. By 2015 more than 80% of handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones with only 20% of those likely to be Windows phones. By 2015 tablet shipments will reach around 50%, with laptops and Windows 8 likely be third behind Google’s Android and Apple iOS systems. The next year could bring to an end the era of Windows dominance, as the single platform approach is superseded by a more mixed IT culture. Gartner predicts a hard year ahead for Windows 8, Microsoft’s big play for bringing PC and mobile devices together. Enterprises won't be able to force users to give up iPads or prevent users adopting consumer-oriented Windows 8 devices. Instead of trying to maintain a standardized approach to PC and tablet hardware, organisations will need to adapt to the proliferation of operating systems and devices.

Mobile applications and HTML5 Gartner has identified six main mobile architectures: native; special; hybrid; HTML5; message; and no client. With wider adoption of HTML5, Gartner foresees a long term shift away from native mobile apps to web apps. But native apps won't disappear, as they will to offer better user experiences and most sophisticated features. Developers need to develop new design skills to deliver touch-optimised mobile apps that operate across a range of devices in a coordinated fashion.

Personal cloud Personal clouds will replace the PC as the place where individuals keep their personal content, access services and run their digital lives. These clouds connect the web of devices people use during different aspects of their daily lives. The personal cloud will combine different services, web destinations and connectivity tools so users experience a portable, always-available digital world. No one platform, form factor, technology or vendor will dominate. Managed diversity and mobile devices will be imperative.

Enterprise app stores Enterprises face a complex app future as some vendors attempt to limit their stores to specific devices, while users will force their organisations to deal with multiple stores, payment processes and licensing terms. Gartner predicts that by 2014 many organisations will deliver mobile applications to workers through private application stores. With enterprise app stores, IT departments will focus more on governance and brokerage services  and potentially a support ecosystem for their own app developers.

The internet of things The internet of things (IoT) describes how the net will expand as consumer devices and physical assets connect. Mobile devices will incorporate IoT elements including sensors, image recognition and contactless payment processes. Mobile no longer refers only to cellular handsets or tablets; it will show up in things like pharmaceutical containers and cars. Smartphones and intelligent devices don't just use the cellular network, they communicate via NFC, Bluetooth, LE and Wi-Fi to a wide range of devices and peripherals, including wristwatch displays, healthcare sensors, smart posters and home entertainment systems. The IoT enables a wide range of new applications and services while raising many new challenges.

Hybrid IT and cloud computing As employees are asked to do more with less, IT departments have a responsibility to improve the quality of diverserse and often complex cloud services for their internal users and external business partners. Like finance, the IT function will need to retain and build influence inside its organisation as cloud technology expands.

Strategic Big Data - Big Data, the buzz of 2012, is moving from individual projects to strategic information architectures across whole companies. The monolithic approach to enterprise data, where one database contains all information needed for decisions is being replaced by multiple systems, including content management, data warehouses, data marts and specialised file systems that are tied together with data services and metadata, as the "logical" enterprise data warehouse.

Actionable analytics Analytics will be increasingly delivered to users at the point of action and in context. Improvements in performance and costs mean that technology can support analytics and simulation for every action taken in business. Mobile clients linked to cloud-based analytic engines and big data repositories will empower more flexible decision-making whenever a business considers a new process or course of action.

In memory computing In memory computing (IMC) has shortened the time it takes for batch processes that used to take hours; now they can be pared down to minutes or even seconds, so the results are available in real-time or near real-time via cloud services. Millions of events analysed in a few seconds to detect correlations and patterns are more likely to uncover emerging opportunities and threats "as things happen." Running transactional and analytical applications at the same time will open “unexplored possibilities for business innovation”, Gartner predicts.

Integrated ecosystems The technology market is moving away from loosely coupled heterogeneous approaches to more integrated systems and ecosystems. Driving this the need for lower cost, simpler and more secure technology. Vendors will increasingly offer a complete solution stack in a controlled environment, without the need to provide any actual hardware. This approach will be seen in appliances combining hardware and software with software and services packaged for a particular infrastructure or application workload. Cloud-based marketplaces and brokerages will emerge to support the acquisition and use of capabilities from different suppliers. Apple, Google and Microsoft will all strive to achieve varying degress of control in the mobile word drive with end-to-end ecosystems extending.


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By accountsman
08th Nov 2012 21:31

Tech trends prediction

I'm glad I'm approaching retirement.

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