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October 24, 2012

Mobile Device 'Battles,' Personal Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Top Strategic Tech Trends: Gartner

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

Mobile device battles, personal cloud and hybrid cloud are among the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2013, according to Gartner (News - Alert). The IT research firm defines a strategic technology as “one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years.”

While these primary trends may not apply to all organizations, IT decision makers need to look at how they may fit into their potential future needs, according to David Cearley, vice president and fellow at Gartner.

“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,” Cearley said. “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 future.”

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. According to Cearley, the Nexus of Forces is the basis of the technology platform of the future.

And without further adieu, Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013 are the following:

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 more than 80 percent of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones. 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 (News - Alert) iOS operating systems. Enterprises will need to support a greater variety of form factors reducing the ability to standardize PC and tablet hardware.

Mobile Applications and HTML5

The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. 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. 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.

Personal Cloud

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. According to Gartner, “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. 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.

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. Gartner said the IoT will enable a wide range of new applications and services while raising many new challenges.

Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing

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 toward 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, Gartner said.

Actionable Analytics

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. Numerous vendors will deliver in-memory-based solutions over the next two years driving this approach into mainstream use.

Integrated Ecosystems

The market is undergoing a shift to more integrated systems and ecosystems and away from loosely coupled heterogeneous approaches. 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 (News - Alert) drive varying degrees of control across and end-to-end ecosystem extending the client through the apps.




Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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