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Gartner: Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013

Michael Cooney | Oct. 24, 2012
If some of the top 10 strategic technology trends going into 2013 look familiar it's because quite a few -- like cloud computing and mobile trends -- have been around for awhile but are now either morphing or changing in ways that will continue to impact IT in the next year.

Personal cloud: The emerging area of what's called personal cloud will replace the personal computer era. The thing to remember here is that the world for users isn't just about businesses but increasingly it's about communities, families and activities that are more outside the professional realm than in. The personal cloud will entail the unique collection of services, Web destinations and connectivity that will become the home of their computing and communication activities. Users will see it as a portable, always-available place where they go for all their digital needs. The personal cloud shifts the focus from the client device to cloud-based services delivered across devices.

In the emerging mobile and personal cloud world end users will use many devices and platforms and IT often can't enforce strict standards. In this world no one platform, form factor, technology or vendor will dominate, and managed diversity and mobile device management will be an imperative. This increasing complexity client world makes the need for a client/cloud model an imperative. Core services are defined as highly standardized server based solutions which are delivered "as a service" to a plethora of client devices. 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.

The Internet of things: The Internet of things is not a future item but one that has been changing rapidly. Key elements of this trend are the number of technologies that are being embedded in a variety of mobile devices include sensors, image recognition technologies and NFC payment. As a result, mobile no longer refers only to use of cellular handsets or tablets. Cellular technology is being embedded in many new types of devices including pharmaceutical containers and automobiles. Smartphones and other intelligent devices don't just use the cellular network, they communicate via NFC, Bluetooth, LTE and Wi-Fi to a wide range of devices and peripherals, such as wristwatch displays, healthcare sensors, smart posters and home entertainment systems. The trend will enable a wide range of new applications and services while raising many new challenges. For example, objects will increasingly act as "users" of other systems. Imagine a scenario where a warehouse robot interfaces with the ERP system for self-replenishment or a truck schedules its own maintenance. IT will increasingly have to consider how these scenarios impact issues such as software licensing.

Hybrid IT and cloud computing: Hybrid IT and cloud computing we have been talking about in one way or another for about four years, but we continue to see evolution that makes it ever more important for enterprise to develop a strategic approach to it. A recently conducted Gartner IT services 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 inherently distributed, heterogeneous and often complex cloud services for their internal users and external business partners. The internal CSB role represents a means for the IT organization to retain and build influence inside its organization and to become a value center in the face of challenging new requirements relative to increasing adoption of cloud as an approach to IT consumption.


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