Top Ten 2012 Strategic Technology Trends

Changed Priorities Ahead

These top ten strategic technology trends will affect your organization in 2012.

Will you be prepared to take advantage of them?

Gartner’s analysts presented these trends at the October 2011 Symposium/ITxpo. They suggest that organization leaders should consider this list now in their strategic planning process.

Defining Strategic Technology

What is strategic technology?

According to Gartner analysts, strategic technology is one that:

  • Will have significant impact on the organization in the next three years
  • Has a high potential for disruptive innovation
  • If late to adopt causes organization to fall behind
  • May need major financial investment
  • Has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses
  • Offers opportunity for business advantage for early adopters
  • Will impact long-term plans, programs and services

Top 10 2012 Strategic Technology Trends

The top 10 strategic technologies for 2012 include:

1. Internet of Things (IoT)

Sensors and intelligence are continually being added to physical things such as consumer devices and appliances. These objects are then being connected to the Internet to identify, sense and communicate data. These are fast reaching a tipping point.

Examples include image recognition technologies, embedded sensors and near field communication (NFC) payments (smartphone owners waving their mobile devices in front of compatible readers, similar to mobile boarding passes).

Tip: More organizations need to prepare for mobile ecommerce. Look for new readers at events and annual meetings for attendees to use with mobile devices.

2. Contextual and Social User Experience

A contextually aware technology anticipates the user’s needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customized content, product or service. Context can be used to link mobile, social, location, payment and commerce.

Tip: Some savvy association management company is going to invest in contextually aware technology that can identify the longevity and potential spend of each of its members. Then staff can focus on developing programs and services that appeal to their economic buyers. The technology will also offer each member customized content, products and services based on their past activities, connections, interest, preferences and purchasing behavior.

3. In-Memory Computing

Gartner predicts huge advancements in use of memory in consumer, entertainment and other technology devices as well as new layers of memory in servers. Large amounts of in-memory apps result in improved transactional performance and scalability, lower latency (less than one microsecond), faster responses and more. Look for it to go mainstream as cost and availability reach tipping points in 2012 and 2013.

Tip: Budget now for IT increases for in-memory computing for 2012 and 2013 to improve your customers’ experience and your data processing and analytics.

4. Big Data

The single data warehouse will no longer be able to serve most organizations. The size, complexity, formats and speed of delivery exceed traditional data management technologies. Look for real-time in-memory data base management systems.

Tip: Data warehouses will bring together information from several sources in real time for important analytics.

5. Next-Generation Analytics

Enhanced business intelligence that delivers information and insights to leadership to improve decision making and optimize performance. In-line embedded analytics are integrated into operational applications and processes. These next-generation analytics will move from analyzing what happened (history) to analyzing real-time information to predict the future.

Tip: Look for an increased focus on real-time analytics for decision-making and collaboration. It will also provide simulation, prediction and various outcomes.

6. Mobile Computing (Smartphones, Tablets and Beyond)

No single platform or technology will dominate in the next three years. Organizations should prepare to manage diverse IT environments with two to four major mobile clients through 2015.

Tip: Organizations will need two mobile strategies: Business to Employee (B2E) and Business to Customer (B2C) which includes Business to Business (B2B).

7. User Interface Changing To Mobile

The way users interfaced digitally with organizations for the past 20 years is changing. Windows, icons, menus (including drop down), pop-up boxes and pointers are changing. It will be replaced by mobile-centric interfaces emphasizing touch, gesture, search, voice and video. By 2015, HTML5 and other advanced mobile web technologies will help organizations build Web apps instead of native apps.

Tip: Building user interfaces that span a variety of devices and vendors requires a fundamental understanding of fragmented building blocks, adaptable programming and user experience. The traditional website must morph into a mobile friendly site.

8. Apps Stores And Marketplace

By 2014 there will be more than 70 billion downloads from Apple and Android app stores. This consumer phenomenon will begin to shift to an enterprise focus. Look for a rise in enterprise app stores.

Tip: Organization leaders will have to manage a diverse approach to app stores and segment apps by risk and value.

9. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing will have a broad long term affect on most industries. Look for an increase in large enterprise providers providing a full range of options. Organizations will continue to move from understanding the cloud to decisions about which workloads to implement on cloud services.

Tip: 2012 will see a focus on hybrid cloud computing combining external public cloud services and private cloud services.

10. Low Energy Servers

Delivering 30 times or more processors like those in mobile devices with lower power consumption than typical servers. Good for non-compute intensive tasks such as delivery of static images on the web.

Tip: Most applications will require more processing power and the low energy servers increase management costs.

Which of these ten trends do you see affecting your organization now? Which is most or least likely to be adopted by your organization and why?

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