Evolution to the Strategic Technology Trends for 2014

This time of year is always a reflective time as we look back and look forward to the new year. As I've been thinking about thought leadership and some of the interesting webcasts we've hosted over the past couple of years (look to next post for a review of these), I was thinking about those trend predictions that emerge every year. I just recently watched Gartner's most recent webcast they offer each year on the "Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends" that enterprises should be planning for over the next 3 years.

Its interesting to note the evolution of not only the language used to describe the trends, but the consolidation of many of them into single trends in the comparison chart I created below from the past 3 years. As technologies have emerged from the Hype cycle's "Peak of Inflated Expectations" and start sliding down into the "Trough of Disillusionment" there seems to be some strategic consolidation and commodification as expected.

Gartner’s Futurist, David Cearley said: "We have identified the top 10 technologies that companies should factor into their strategic planning processes. This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the listed technologies, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.” 

He also added that the "Nexus of Forces – Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information – are driving these changes in technology." Take a look at this informative short video on the "Nexus of Forces" for a better understanding. We also have a previous blog post on this topic here.


Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends 2012-2014
2012 2013 2014 
1. Media Tablets and Beyond
1. Mobile Devices Battles
1. Mobile Device Diversity & Management
2. Mobile-centric Applications and Interfaces
2. Mobile Apps and HTML5
2. Mobile Apps & Applications
3. Contextual and Social User Experience
3. Personal Cloud
3. The Internet of Everything
4. The Internet of Things
4. The Internet Of Things
4. Hybrid Cloud & IT as Service Broker
5. App Stores and Marketplaces
5. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
5. Cloud/Client Architecture
6. Next-generation Analytics
6. Strategic Big Data
6. The Era of Personal Cloud
7. Big Data
7. Actionable Analytics
7. Software Defined Anything
8. In-memory Computing
8. Mainstream In-Memory Computing (IMC)
8. Web Scale IT
9. Extreme Low-energy Servers
9. Integrated Ecosystems
9. Smart Machines
10.Cloud Computing
10. Enterprise App Stores
10. 3-D Printing

Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014:

  1. Mobile Device Diversity and Management: Through 2018, the growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make "everything everywhere" strategies unachievable. The unexpected consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is a doubling or even tripling of the size of the mobile workforce. This is placing tremendous strain on IT and Finance organizations. Enterprise policies on employee-owned hardware usage need to be thoroughly reviewed and, where necessary, updated and extended. 
  2. Mobile Apps and Applications: Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment. The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. The next evolution in user experience will be to leverage intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.
  3. The Internet of Everything: The internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The problem is that most enterprises and technology vendors have yet to explore the possibilities of an expanded internet and are not operationally or organizationally ready. 
  4. Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker: Bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is an imperative. Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration/interoperability is possible. Hybrid cloud services can be composed in many ways, varying from relatively static to very dynamic. Managing this composition will often be the responsibility of something filling the role of cloud service broker (CSB), which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. 
  5. Cloud/Client Architecture: The cloud is the control point and system or record and applications can span multiple client devices. The client environment may be a native application or browser-based; the increasing power of the browser is available to many client devices, mobile and desktop alike. Robust capabilities in many mobile devices, the increased 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. However, the increasingly complex demands of mobile users will drive apps to demand increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity.
  6. The Era of Personal Cloud: The personal cloud era will mark a power shift away from devices toward services. In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about, although the devices will still be necessary. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.
  7. Software Defined Anything: Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As individual SDx technology silos evolve and consortiums arise, look for emerging standards and bridging capabilities to benefit portfolios, but challenge individual technology suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to true interoperability standards within their specific domains. 
  8. Web-Scale IT: Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions. Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are re-inventing the way in which IT services can be delivered.  Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. If enterprises want to keep pace, then they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers
  9. Smart Machines: Through 2020, the smart machine era will blossom with a proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems and public availability of early examples of autonomous vehicles. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT. New systems that begin to fulfill some of the earliest visions for what information technologies might accomplish — doing what we thought only people could do and machines could not —are now finally emerging. 
  10. 3D Printing: Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 75% in 2014 followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. While very expensive “additive manufacturing” devices have been around for 20 years, the market for devices ranging from $50,000 to $500, and with commensurate material and build capabilities, is nascent yet growing rapidly. The consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.



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