Each year, Gartner compiles a list of the top technology trends that have the potential to affect individuals, businesses and IT organizations during the next three years. Gartner's 2015 top 10 strategic technology trends are the prime enablers behind new digital business opportunities. Their disruptive power stems from merging virtual and physical worlds, the growth of intelligence everywhere, and the emerging new realities of IT.
David Cearley, Gartner VP & Gartner Fellow, discusses the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015.
19 November 2014
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The data lake concept promises a centralized pool of disparate data sources in one location, and treats alignment as a technical exercise. Information management leaders should understand the gaps in this concept — such as semantics, governance and security — and take the necessary precautions.
28 October 2014
Cloud/client computing flips the model popularized by client/server computing decades ago. CIOs must plan for a future where the cloud-led model changes the nature of applications and opens digital business opportunities.
17 October 2014
When Web-scale IT is described to IT organizations, there is near-universal desire for this capability within the enterprise. I&O leaders need to determine what is preventing adoption of Web-scale IT in their organizations.
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When you look at the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015, the most fundamental theme behind it is this shift to digital business, which is driving a lot of the activity around technology today. Within the top 10 trends you have 3 overarching themes that support that move to digital business.
The first of those is the merging of the physical and the virtual world. What we have in reality is this theme that we've talked about for many, many years, but it's reaching critical tipping points. The first tipping point is the move to computing everywhere. It's not just simply about a move to mobile computing, but it's a move beyond those mobile devices to an age where we look at "mobile" meaning "mobile people." We have those mobile devices, devices on desktops, devices on our wrists, devices on our heads, devices in our clothes, our cars are devices, there are screens all around us. The world is our computer and we are walking around within that. That extends to the Internet of Things, so it's all of the industrial equipment and the sensors in the world that extend this idea of the world being the computer. With a third trend here, 3D printing, reaches out into the real world to instantiate something from the virtual world and the real world. So that's the virtual and real worlds coming together.
Behind the scenes we have a second theme, which is intelligence everywhere. Three linked trends here. The first of which is advanced, pervasive, and invisible analytics, so every application becomes an analytic application, whether it's traditional analytics or things where analytics is invisible behind a security product. It's just analyzing user behavior and user context to give you better security. You don't know it's an analytical application. In fact, all this analytics leads to context-rich systems so systems can respond based upon analytic patterns to different contexts of the user, and what's happening at a given time. This leads all to smart machines. Smart machines breaks down into robotics, autonomous vehicles, drones, and semi-autonomous vehicles, and also artificial intelligence software robots, if you will, the simplest of which you can see with personal digital assistants. But much more sophisticated systems, such as those you see with IBM's Watson, provide really rich, intelligent capabilities. So intelligences of the world behind us, everything in the world is a computer, and all of those lead to our third theme, which is the IT implications.
In the IT world we need new models. It's a cloud-client model. All applications become cloud-centric. It doesn't mean outside public cloud. It might be private cloud, but it's the attributes of cloud. The cloud becomes the control-point for client-based components. We synchronize things across different components and ultimately the application doesn't go down to one individual client, but that application spans all of those devices in that complex world that I described earlier. To make that a reality we have software-defined infrastructure and applications. We've got to model that infrastructure world. This becomes web-scale IT, which is the fundamental way we build IT systems in the future. Behind the scenes all roads lead to security. If you can do one thing next year in security, it's to recognize perimeter defense is not an adequate defense and you start looking at security-aware applications and also application self-protection mechanisms so that the applications themselves can be more inherently secure.
Each of these trends has both a near-term and a long-term impact. For example, when you look at the cloud-client application architecture and these computing-everywhere models, the near-term impact is that you've got to look at applications that are on multiple devices and how you synchronize content across those devices. The long-term model is fundamentally rethinking the application so it's not tied to a specific client, but can operate across multiple devices at the same time. To deal with these trends, you need skills across the IT department, however, a particular area to focus on is enterprise architecture. Your enterprise architecture group should be the group looking at these disruptive and strategic trends, where they're going in the future and how it drives future business outcomes and the world of digital business. Looking at disruptive technologies is a critical function for enterprise architecture.