With 2014 in full swing, focus shifts to the trends that will impact business strategies throughout the coming year. Take a look at the 10 technology trends that Gartner analysts recommend to stay on top of for 2014:
- Mobile Device Diversity and Management
Gartner suggests that through 2018, the growing variety of devices, user contexts, and computing styles will make “everything everywhere” strategies unachievable. As an unintended consequence of bring your own device (BYOD), Gartner estimates the size of the mobile workforce to increase by two or three times inadvertently straining IT and financial organizations. As a result, enterprise policies on BYOD need to be adapted to the changing technology environment.
- Mobile Apps and Applications
- The Internet of Everything
Although the Internet has its tendrils in almost every aspect of our lives, Gartner says that the enterprise has yet to fully jump on board with the trend. Because most enterprises have yet to fully explore the possibilities of an expanded Internet, Gartner recommends that businesses adopt what are referred to as the four basic usage models, manage, monetize, operate and extend.
- Hybrid Cloud and IT as a Service Broker
Gartner suggests that bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is essential. Even if working in the private cloud today, Gartner says that enterprises should be ready to go hybrid in the future. Essential for this transition in 2014, will be the Cloud Services Broker (CSB); as the number of CSBs grow in the marketplace, so too will the hybrid cloud becoming more dynamic as the market evolves.
- Cloud/Client Architecture
As the power and capability of mobile devices increases, the growing demand on networks, the cost of networks, and the need to manage bandwidth use “creates incentives, in some cases, to minimize the cloud application computing and storage footprint, and to exploit the intelligence and storage of the client device.” Because mobile users continue to demand more complex uses for their mobile technologies, the need for higher levels of computing and storage capacity will continue to expand throughout 2014 leading Gartner to suggest that businesses will be looking to leverage the client device in order to reduce strain on the network.
- The Era of Personal Cloud
In what Gartner calls the shift to the “era of the personal cloud,” the PC will no longer take the lead and users will instead, balance a variety of devices that are connected through a personal cloud. Gartner says it will be the job of the solution provider to secure and manage the user’s multiple devices through the cloud.
- Software Defined Anything
As software-defined anything (SDx) grows in the marketplace, Gartner predicts that standards and regulations will increase throughout 2014. Although, dominant vendors will be reluctant to adopt standards that will affect competition and margins, Gartner says that the end-user will benefit from more simplistic and efficient products at a lower cost.
- Web-Scale IT
With large cloud services providers Amazon, Google, and Salesforce.com reinventing the way in which IT services are delivered, Gartner points out that the capabilities of these companies exceed the “scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility.” Gartner also says that IT organizations should align with and imitate the processes, architectures and practices of these leading cloud providers to model themselves after to achieve the same scale, speed and agility.
- Smart Machines
Gartner predicts that “the smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.” Through 2020, it will blossom with the proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems, and the availability of autonomous vehicles. Gartner says that despite consumerization, smart devices will have a big impact on both the enterprise and consumer levels before ultimately settling in the consumer space.
- 3D Printing
Gartner suggests that “the consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact that 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.” With the growth of 3D printers projected to be 75 percent in the coming year, 3D printing will become a business solution that helps cut costs, improve products and accelerate manufacturing.