Last week, on their symposium in Orlando, Gartner analysts presented their Top 10 Technology Trends for 2014, which will be of strategic importance for many companies.
A strategic technology is defined by Gartner as “one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote 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.”
Although not always really new, the predicted top trends are expected to unfold their full effect on businesses next year. So take a look at Gartner's top ten trends for 2014:
1. Mobile Device Diversity and Management
Mobile devices will continue to diversify and even more user contexts and interaction paradigms will arise. The number of employees who will use mobile devices will double or even triple, with incalculable consequences for models such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), placing tremendous strain on IT and Finance organizations.
2. Mobile Apps and Applications
3. The Internet of Things (and more)
Gartner refers to it as "The Internet of Everything", because not only will things be linked but also people, information and places. Companies should therefore think outside the box expanding the Internet beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions to unlock full potential.
4. Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker
The experts at Gartner predict that personal cloud and external private clouds will grow together. There will be the need for Cloud Service Brokers (CSB), which take on the aggregation, integration and customization of cloud services. Offers e. g. for private infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will emerge.
5. Cloud/Client Architecture
The client in a cloud/client architecture is an application on a networked device, the server is a combination of different services that run on an increasingly flexible and scalable cloud computing platform. The cloud is central checkpoint and applications can extend to multiple clients/devices, whereas the clients can be both native applications and browser-based. The increasing demands of mobile users require a constantly increasing server side computing power and more storage space.
6. The Era of Personal Cloud
End devices are facing a time of dwindling importance and no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role, which will be used by a variety of different devices.
7. Software Defined Anything (SDx)
Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that summarizes the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to private cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As a collective, SDx also incorporates various initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, the Open Compute Project and Open Rack, which share similar visions.
8. Web-Scale IT
Large cloud providers like Amazon, Google and Facebook have shown the way to apply scalability not only to size but also to agility and speed. Companies that want to remain competitive in that sense must be able to operate IT and emulate architecture, processes, and applications accordingly.
9. Smart Machines
By 2020, we will be surrounded by smart machines that take on basic tasks with a proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems and public availability of early examples of autonomous vehicles. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT, according to Gartner.
10. 3-D Printing
The sale of 3D printers will rise in 2014 by 75% and even double again in 2015. Companies have understood that 3D printing is an applicable, efficient, cost- effective way to achieve better design at a lower cost, as well as efficient prototyping and rapid manufacturing processes.
“We have identified the top 10 technologies that companies should factor into their strategic planning processes,” said David Cearley. “This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the listed technologies, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.”
The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo provides indeed valuable insight into how organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.