Cloud Computing, Mobile Apps Among Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011

Gartner has identified what it believes will be the top 10 technologies that will impact the way we live and work over the next few years.

The research firm recently released its annual list of Top 10 strategic technologies, which it defines as technology with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years.

In no particular order, the top 10 strategic technologies are:

Cloud Computing: Encompassing private and public clouds, Gartner predicts a range of cloud service approaches that fall between the two ends of the spectrum, including various flavors of hybrid models. Vendors also will offer management services to remotely manage the cloud service implementation. Gartner expects large enterprises to have a dynamic sourcing team in place by 2012 that is responsible for ongoing cloudsourcing decisions and management.

Mobile Applications and Media Tablets: Gartner estimates that 1.2 billion people will use smartphones by the end of 2010, with that number expected to rise. The quality of the experience of applications on these devices is leading customers to interact with companies preferentially through mobile devices, which has led to a race to push out applications as a competitive tool to improve relationships and gain advantage over competitors whose interfaces are purely browser-based.

Social Communications and Collaboration: Social media can be divided into social networking, social collaboration, social publishing and social feedback. Gartner predicts that by 2016, social technologies will be integrated with most business applications. Companies should bring together their social CRM, internal communications and collaboration, and public social site initiatives into a coordinated strategy.

Video: Videos use as a standard media type used in non-media companies is expanding rapidly. Over the next three years Gartner believes that video will become a commonplace content type and interaction model for most users, and by 2013, more than 25 percent of the content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio.

Next Generation Analytics: Increasing compute capabilities of computers including mobile devices along with improving connectivity are enabling a shift in how businesses support operational decisions.

Social Analytics: Social analytics the process of measuring, analyzing and interpreting the results of interactions and associations among people, topics and ideas is riding the wave of social media to better help companies evaluate the impact, quality or effectiveness of a relationship through various online social-based resources.

Context-Aware Computing: Context-aware computing centers on the concept of using information about an end user or objects environment, activities connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end user. Gartner predicts that by 2013, more than half of Fortune 500 companies will have context-aware computing initiatives and by 2016, one-third of worldwide mobile consumer marketing will be context-awareness-based.

Storage Class Memory: Gartner sees huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. It also offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them.

Ubiquitous Computing: As computers proliferate and as everyday objects are given the ability to communicate with RFID tags and their successors, networks will approach and surpass the scale that can be managed in traditional centralized ways.

Fabric-Based Infrastructure and Computers: A fabric-based computer is a modular form of computing where a system can be aggregated from separate building-block modules connected over a fabric or switched backplane.

Companies should factor these top 10 technologies in their strategic planning process by asking key questions and making deliberate decisions about them during the next two years,” said David Cearley, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in a release.

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