The era of the smart machine is upon us, and it will be the most disruptive in the history of IT, according to information technology research and advisory firm Gartner. The prediction was just one of the top 10 technology trends identified by the firm at its Gartner Symposium/ITxpo being held in Orlando this week.
"We have identified the top 10 technology trends organizations cannot afford to ignore in their strategic planning processes," said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the trends at the same rate, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years."
According to Cearley, the top trends for 2015 cover three themes: the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere, and the technology impact of the digital business shift. Any of those developments have the potential to affect business decisions in the next few years.
Apart from autonomous, self-learning machines capable of understanding their environment, several other developments threaten to overtake chief technology officers that fail to pay heed.
The proliferation of mobile devices will require organizations to increasingly serve the needs of mobile users in multiple contexts and environments. "Phones and wearable devices are now part of an expanded computing environment that includes such things as consumer electronics and connected screens in the workplace and public space," Cearley said.
Similarly, more items will become interconnected as the Internet of Things (IoT) spreads. Four basic usage models, which Gartner describes as Manage, Monetize, Operate and Extend, will become applicable to a range of goods and services.
Worldwide shipments of 3D printers, meanwhile, are expected to grow 98 percent in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016. The technology will reach a tipping point in the next three years as the market for relatively low-cost 3D printing devices continues to grow rapidly and industrial use expands.
Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics
Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise are analyzed. "Every app now needs to be an analytic app," Cearley said. "Organizations need to manage how best to filter the huge amounts of data coming from the IoT, social media and wearable devices, and then deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time. Analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere."
Context-rich systems will be another major disruptor. The ubiquitousness of embedded intelligence combined with pervasive analytics will drive the development of systems that are alert to their surroundings and able to respond appropriately. Security systems that are aware of the context they operate in are one example of the trend, but Gartner says others will continue to emerge.
The convergence of cloud and mobile computing, meanwhile, will promote the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device. In the future, games and enterprise applications alike will use multiple screens and exploit wearables and other devices to deliver an enhanced experience.
More applications and infrastructure, such as networking, storage, data centers and security, will come to be software-configurable, either through rich APIs or other rules, models and code that can dynamically assemble and configure all of the elements needed from the network through the application.
Web-scale IT, in which cloud service providers deliver capabilities within an enterprise, will continue to evolve over time as commercial hardware platforms embrace the new models and cloud-optimized and software-defined approaches reach mainstream.
Finally, as organizations realize 100 percent network security is an impossible goal, they will be able to apply more sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools. In addition to existing perimeter defenses and firewalls, every app will need to be both self-aware and self-protecting.
Posted: 2014-10-09 @ 3:22pm PT
Couldn't agree more - and I believe we underestimate the pervasive nature of this disruption and the mountains of data that may never be analysed for true value!