Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015

Since 2007, Gartner has been predicting the top strategic tech trends for the coming year; not an easy task considering the unpredictable nature of the IT market.

In this year’s report, Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015, the analysts describe their focus this way:

“Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.”

Here is a breakdown of Gartner’s list:

1. Computing everywhere (first year on list) – Mobile-device saturation is an obvious trend. Gartner believes there will be a shift in focus from devices, to how the user and device interact in different environments and contexts.

2. Internet of Things (fourth year on list) – Gartner has chosen to reemphasize its four basic “usage” models: Manage, Monetize, Operate, and Extend. It also reiterates: Do not focus too closely on the IoT, but take in the entire picture. Hung LeHong, vice president and Gartner fellow said, “This expanded and comprehensive view of the internet is what Gartner calls the Internet of Everything.”

3. 3D printing (second year on list) – Businesses must be alert and reevaluate their market position based on what impact 3D printing will have on their products and cost structure.

4. Advanced, pervasive, and invisible analytics (first year on list) – Gartner said that embedded systems (IoT) will only add to the crush of structured and unstructured data already filling company databases. The amount and variety of data will demand more advanced analytics than are currently available. A Gartner researcher said, “The value is in the answers, not the data.”

5. Context-rich systems (first year on list) – Gartner thinks the next step will be to ingrain intelligence into IoT devices that will interact with the advanced analytics mentioned earlier, resulting in systems that will not only report, but also respond to environmental conditions. According to Gartner, “Context-aware security is an early application of this new capability, but others will emerge.”

6. Smart machines (second year on list) – The combination of advanced analytics and context-rich embedded systems will evolve into smart machines. This can fuel the delivery of prototypes of autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, and the like will bring in the most disruptive smart-machine era in the history of IT.

7. Cloud/client computing (sixth year on list) – “Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing, and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style,” Cearley said.

8. Software-defined applications and infrastructure (second year on list) – Expanding the digital environment to include the entire physical world will require flexibility — something existing hardware-controlled networks don’t have. Software-defined networks, storage, data centers, and security will be required to make it all work.

9. Web-scale IT (second year on list) – Gartner believes that organizations will start incorporating global-class computing into the company setting. “The first step should be DevOps — bringing development and operations together in a coordinated way to drive rapid, continuous incremental development of applications and services.”

10. Risk-based security and self-protection (first year on list) – Gartner is following the lead of security pundits and reassessing what security means. Gartner and others suggest security positioning through risk assessments is a more realistic goal – and it won’t impede progress. Gartner also brought up an interesting concept: “Perimeters and firewalls are no longer enough; every app needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.”

For the complete report, go here.


(HT: Michael Kassner)

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