Which technologies and trends will dominate in 2013? Gartner Inc. recently published its predictions on that front, and the forecasts highlight areas partners should be aware of as they help their customers plan for change. These forces are innovative and disruptive on their own, Gartner said, but together are revolutionizing business and society. To that end, here’s what Gartner says to expect in the coming year.
1. Mobile Device Battles. Gartner predicts that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. By 2015 more than 80 percent of the handsets will be smartphones, but only 20 percent will run Windows. Similarly, by 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments with Windows 8 likely to be in third place behind Googles Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems. As a result, enterprises will need to support a greater variety of form factors and operating systems in this post-PC era.
2. Mobile Applications and HTML5. Gartner says 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.
3. Personal Cloud. The personal cloud shifts the focus from the client device to cloud-based services delivered across devices. The personal cloud gradually will replace the PC as the location where individuals keep their personal content and center their digital lives. In this world no one platform, form factor, technology or vendor will dominate.
4. Enterprise App Stores. As some vendors limit their app stores to specific devices and app types, enterprises will be forced to deal with multiple stores, payment processes and sets of licensing terms. That will prompt many organizations to open private app stores, shifting the role of IT from that of a centralized planner to a market manager, providing governance and brokerage services to users and potentially an ecosystem to support “apptrepreneurs.”
5. The Internet of Things. In the Internet of Things, cellular technology is embedded in new types of devices such as pharmaceutical containers and automobiles. At the same time, smartphones and other intelligent devices won’t only use cellular network, but also NFC, Bluetooth, Low Energy and Wi-Fi to connect to a wide range of devices and peripherals, such as wristwatch displays, health care sensors, smart posters and home entertainment systems.
6. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing. A recent Gartner 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 distributed, heterogeneous and often complex cloud services for their internal users and external business partners.
7. Strategic Big Data. Dealing with data volume, variety, velocity and complexity is leading organizations to abandon 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.
8. Actionable Analytics. Analytics is increasingly delivered to users at the point of action and in context. The mobile client linked to cloud-based analytic engines and Big Data repositories potentially enables simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, to empower decisions making at the time and place of every business process action.
9. In-Memory Computing. IMC enables hours-long batch processes to be squeezed into minutes or even seconds, allowing businesses to more detect correlations and patterns pointing at emerging opportunities and threats in real time or near real time. Numerous vendors will deliver in-memory-based solutions over the next two years driving this approach into mainstream use.
10. Integrated Ecosystems. User demand for lower cost, simplicity and greater security is driving a shift to more integrated systems and ecosystems and away from loosely coupled heterogeneous approaches. Examples include appliances combining hardware and software to address an infrastructure or application workload or cloud-based marketplaces to facilitate purchase, consumption and/or use of capabilities from multiple vendors.