Gartner, a technology research and advisory company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, developed this report to highlight its findings on the top 10 technologies and technology trends that will make a significant impact on enterprises in the next three years. As Gartner includes large telecommunications firms, post-secondary institutions, utilities, and more, impacts of significance include the need for major financial or resource investment, risk of late adoption, and potential for disruption to company infrastructure.
Gartner identified the following trends.
Mobile device battles: The widely varied adoption of Windows 8, iOS, Android, and tablet devices means enterprises will be forced to support a wider range of mobile devices.
Mobile applications and HTML5: Enterprises must find balance between the development of native apps (using several of the supported tools) and providing web-based apps using HTML5.
Personal cloud: Increased demand for instant and constant access to the personal cloud means enterprises must be more agile in their support for these services.
Enterprise app stores: Some of the above trends mean app stores will impose limits of the types of devices and applications they carry. Enterprises engaging with app stores will need to deal with multiple providers and improve governance and brokerage.
The Internet of things: Mobile technology embedded in automobiles and pharmaceutical devices allow for the development of a wide range of services but also present challenges.
Hybrid IT/cloud computing: Many of the above trends, along with current world economic status means IT departments must do more with less. Cloud services combined with standard IT services allows for more efficiency.
Strategic big data: Huge volumes of data and demand for improved speeds is pushing the boundaries of traditional storage systems, moving toward multiple systems.
Actionable analytics: On-demand analytics give enterprises greater ability to act.
In-memory computing: Vastly improved speeds allow for real-time services to cloud-based users, improving the ability to innovate.
Integrated ecosystems: User demand for better security, lower cost, and simplicity drive enterprises to create packages to allow for near-immediate access and a streamlined process.
Although informative, the Gartner report deals heavily with large business ventures rather than educational institutions. The day-to-day teacher or professor is unlikely to be involved in high-level IT infrastructure planning – rather, they act as the consumer or user mentioned in the Gartner report. The first three trends (mobile device battles, mobile apps and HTML5, and the personal cloud) seem to be the most useful and understandable of the report. For an instructor developing courses for student consumption, understanding the need to provide access for multiple devices on multiple operating systems is essential for ensuring as many students as possible have access.
Technology specialists, whether they work for educational institutions, or large or small enterprises, are faced with the same need to provide choice and flexibility while making do with less (see the trend hybrid IT and cloud computing). The need for non-traditional solutions also requires that technology specialists continue to receive education to stay relevant in the field.
As a business professional, I am already seeing how some of these trends shape the business and force change. I may pursue future additions of this support, if only to gain some definition of the forces at work in the business.