The top tech trends for 2015 cover three themes: the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere and the technological impact of the digital business shift, said analysts at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, held in October in Orlando.
Gartner defines a strategic tech trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise within the next three years. “Significant” includes the high potential for disruption to the business, end users and IT, the need for major investment, or the risks brought on by late or failure to adopt.
“We have identified the top 10 technology trends that organizations cannot afford to ignore in their strategic planning processes,” said David Cearley, vice president & Gartner Fellow. “This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the trends at the same rate, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.”
Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015 are:
1. Computing everywhere
As mobile devices continue to proliferate, Gartner predicts an increased emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user in diverse contexts and environments, as opposed to focusing on devices alone.
“Phones and wearable devices are now part of an expanded computing environment that includes such things as consumer electronics and connected screens in the workplace and public space,” said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner fellow. “Increasingly, it’s the overall environment that will need to adapt to the requirements of the mobile user. This will continue to raise significant management challenges for IT organizations as they lose control of user endpoint devices. It will also require increased attention to user experience design.”
2. The internet of things
Gartner identifies four basic usage models — manage, monetize, operate and extend—that can be applied to any of the four “Internets.”
Enterprises should not limit themselves to thinking that only the Internet of Things (assets and machines) has the potential to leverage these four models. For example, the pay-per-use model can be applied to assets (such as industrial equipment), services (such as pay-as-you-drive insurance), people (such as movers), places (such as parking spots) and systems (such as cloud services). Enterprises from all industries can leverage these four models.
See also: Ex-IBM chief: Insurers must adapt or face the consequences
3. 3D printing
Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 98 percent in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016. 3D printing will reach a tipping point during the next three years as the market for relatively low-cost 3D printing devices continues to grow rapidly and industrial use expands significantly, Gartner says. New industrial, biomedical and consumer applications will continue to demonstrate that 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.
4. Advanced, pervasive and invisible analytics
Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise are analyzed.
Every app needs to have analytic tools. Big data will enable this trend, but the focus needs to turn toward big questions and big answers first, and big data second. The value is in the answers, not the data, Gartner says.
“Organizations need to manage how best to filter the huge amounts of data coming from the Internet of Things, social media and wearable devices, and then deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time. Analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere,” Cearley says.