Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013
Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 21-25
Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. -- October 23, 2012
Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that will
be strategic for most organizations in 2013. Analysts presented their findings
during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 25.
Gartner defines a strategic technology 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
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.
“We have identified the top 10 technologies that will be strategic for most
organizations, and that IT leaders should factor into their strategic planning
processes over the next two years,” said David Cearley, vice president and
Gartner fellow. “This does not necessarily mean enterprises should adopt and
invest in all of the listed technologies; however companies need to be making
deliberate decisions about how they fit with their expected needs in the near
Mr. Cearley said that these technologies are emerging amidst a nexus of
converging forces - social, mobile, cloud and information. Although these
forces are innovative and disruptive on their own, together they are
revolutionizing business and society, disrupting old business models and
creating new leaders. As such, the Nexus of Forces is the basis of the
technology platform of the future.
The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013 include:
Mobile Device Battles
Gartner predicts that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most
common Web access device worldwide and that by 2015 over 80 percent of the
handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones. However, only 20 percent
of those handsets are likely to be Windows phones. By 2015 media tablet
shipments will reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will
likely be in third place behind Google’s Android and Apple iOS operating
systems. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s big bet and Windows 8 platform styles should
be evaluated to get a better idea of how they might perform in real-world
environments as well as how users will respond. Consumerization will mean
enterprises won't be able to force users to give up their iPads or prevent the
use of Windows 8 to the extent consumers adopt consumer targeted Windows 8
devices. Enterprises will need to support a greater variety of form factors
reducing the ability to standardize PC and tablet hardware. The implications
for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform
will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is just one of a variety of
environments IT will need to support.
Mobile Applications and HTML5
The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex
with well over 100 potential tools vendors. Currently, Gartner separates
mobile development tools into several categories. For the next few years, no
single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to
employ several. Six mobile architectures – native, special, hybrid, HTML 5,
Message and No Client will remain popular. However, there will be a long term
shift away from native apps to Web apps as HTML5 becomes more capable.
Nevertheless, native apps won't disappear, and will always offer the best user
experiences and most sophisticated features. Developers will also need to
develop new design skills to deliver touch-optimized mobile applications that
operate across a range of devices in a coordinated fashion.
The personal cloud will gradually replace the PC as the location where
individuals keep their personal content, access their services and personal
preferences and center their digital lives. It will be the glue that connects
the web of devices they choose to use during different aspects of their daily
lives. The personal cloud will entail the unique collection of services, Web
destinations and connectivity that will become the home of their computing and
communication activities. Users will see it as a portable, always-available
place where they go for all their digital needs. In this world no one
platform, form factor, technology or vendor will dominate and managed
diversity and mobile device management will be an imperative. The personal
cloud shifts the focus from the client device to cloud-based services
delivered across devices.
Enterprise App Stores
Enterprises face a complex app store future as some vendors will limit their
stores to specific devices and types of apps forcing the enterprise to deal
with multiple stores, multiple payment processes and multiple sets of
licensing terms. By 2014, Gartner believes that many organizations will
deliver mobile applications to workers through private application stores.
With enterprise app stores the role of IT shifts from that of a centralized
planner to a market manager providing governance and brokerage services to
users and potentially an ecosystem to support apptrepreneurs.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes how the Internet will
expand as physical items such as consumer devices and physical assets are
connected to the Internet. Key elements of the IoT which are being embedded in
a variety of mobile devices include embedded sensors, image recognition
technologies and NFC payment. As a result, mobile no longer refers only to use
of cellular handsets or tablets. Cellular technology is being embedded in many
new types of devices including pharmaceutical containers and automobiles.
Smartphones and other 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, such as wristwatch displays, healthcare sensors, smart
posters, and home entertainment systems. The IoT will enable a wide range of
new applications and services while raising many new challenges.
Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
As staffs have been asked to do more with less, IT departments must play
multiple roles in coordinating IT-related activities, and cloud computing is
now pushing that change to another level. A recently conducted Gartner IT
services survey revealed that the internal cloud services brokerage (CSB) role
is emerging as IT organizations realize that they have a responsibility to
help improve the provisioning and consumption of inherently distributed,
heterogeneous and often complex cloud services for their internal users and
external business partners. The internal CSB role represents a means for the
IT organization to retain and build influence inside its organization and to
become a value center in the face of challenging new requirements relative to
increasing adoption of cloud as an approach to IT consumption.
Strategic Big Data
Big Data is moving from a focus on individual projects to an influence on
enterprises’ strategic information architecture. Dealing with data volume,
variety, velocity and complexity is forcing changes to many traditional
approaches. This realization is leading organizations to abandon the concept
of a single enterprise data warehouse containing all information needed for
decisions. Instead they are moving towards multiple systems, including content
management, data warehouses, data marts and specialized file systems tied
together with data services and metadata, which will become the "logical"
enterprise data warehouse.
Analytics is increasingly delivered to users at the point of action and in
context. With the improvement of performance and costs, IT leaders can afford
to perform analytics and simulation for every action taken in the business.
The mobile client linked to cloud-based analytic engines and big data
repositories potentially enables use of optimization and simulation everywhere
and every time. This new step provides simulation, prediction, optimization
and other analytics, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and
place of every business process action.
In Memory Computing
In memory computing (IMC) can also provide transformational opportunities. The
execution of certain-types of hours-long batch processes can be squeezed into
minutes or even seconds allowing these processes to be provided in the form of
real-time or near real-time services that can be delivered to internal or
external users in the form of cloud services. Millions of events can be
scanned in a matter of a few tens of millisecond to detect correlations and
patterns pointing at emerging opportunities and threats "as things happen."
The possibility of concurrently running transactional and analytical
applications against the same dataset opens unexplored possibilities for
business innovation. Numerous vendors will deliver in-memory-based solutions
over the next two years driving this approach into mainstream use.
The market is undergoing a shift to more integrated systems and ecosystems and
away from loosely coupled heterogeneous approaches. Driving this trend is the
user desire for lower cost, simplicity, and more assured security. Driving the
trend for vendors the ability to have more control of the solution stack and
obtain greater margin in the sale as well as offer a complete solution stack
in a controlled environment, but without the need to provide any actual
hardware. The trend is manifested in three levels. Appliances combine hardware
and software and software and services are packaged to address and
infrastructure or application workload. Cloud-based marketplaces and
brokerages facilitate purchase, consumption and/or use of capabilities from
multiple vendors and may provide a foundation for ISV development and
application runtime. In the mobile world, vendors including Apple, Google and
Microsoft drive varying degrees of control across and end-to-end ecosystem
extending the client through the apps.
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