2011 Tech Predictions: Cloud Computing, Tablets and Social Communications Top the List

4 minute read
David Roe avatar

With only two months left to run in 2010, the first slew of predictions of the top technologies named by Gartner have arrived. While social computing, cloud computing and mobile applications make the list,so do the less glamorous areas ofstorage and analytics.

Devised over the course of Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo earlier this month, strategic technologies are those technologies that will have “significant impact” on the enterprise over the next three years. Whether that impact is on IT or business operations, companies need to invest or they risk being left behind by their competitors.

And what should companies do with Gartner’s list? Whether companies decide to ignore the technologies on it, continue investing in them or aggressively deploy them is a matter for individual companies decide. Gartner says that one thing companies do need to do however, is asses the technologies in terms of strategic goals and then decide what to do. Ignoring them is not an option.

So here’s the list as they appear on the Gartner list:

1. Cloud Computing

Over the next three years, Gartner sees vendors offering cloud implementations that will range from public cloud service technologies, which can be delivered inside consumer’s enterprises, to private clouds. Many will also start offering cloud service implementations with larger enterprises, creating cloud sourcing teams by 2012 to govern cloud strategy.

2. Mobile Applications

No real surprise that these made it onto the list. Gartner estimates that by the end of this year 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce, providing an ideal environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web.

Because the quality of many of the applications is so good, many users are choosing to interact with companies through mobile devices. The result is an ongoing competition to push out better and better applications to interact with companies.

3. Social Computing

Gartner predicts that by 2016, social technologies will be integrated with most business applications and that companies should, if they haven’t done so already, bring their internal communications and collaboration technologies, social CRM technologies and public social site initiatives into one coherent and coordinated strategy

4. Video

With new technologies constantly being developed for the Web, social software, unified communications and internet-based television, video, which is not a new technology, but which was limited in use, will enter the mainstream. Over the next three years, video will become a common content type. In fact, predictions indicate that by 2013, 25% of content viewed in a day will be dominated by video.

5. Next Generation Analytics

Analytics, on both computers and mobiles, will be able to provide real-time support for each and every business action, in addition to the ability to predict future outcomes. This will require a change in operational and business intelligence infrastructure. The potential of these technologies will provide significant improvements to business results and will make changes irresistible.

Learning Opportunities

6. Social Analytics

Social analytics measure, analyze and interpret the results of interactions among people and associations. Social analytics is an umbrella term that includes a number of specialized analysis techniques such as social filtering, social-network analysis, sentiment analysis and social-media analytics. If you don’t already have it, you will within three years!

7. Context-Aware Computing

Context-aware computing takes information about an object’s environment, activities, connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with an end user. Gartner predicts that by 2013, more than half of large enterprises will have these kinds of computer initiatives up and running, while by 2016 one-third of worldwide mobile consumer marketing will be context-awareness-based.

8. Storage Class Memory

Gartner sees flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems becoming more prevalent in computers. With it, enterprises get a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers will see key advantages -- space, heat, performance and ruggedness, to name a few.

9. Ubiquitous Computing

A third wave of computing is also on the way, one where computers are invisibly embedded into the world. As a result, networks will approach and surpass the scale of being managed in a traditional and centralized way. This will lead to the important trend of imbuing computing systems into operational technology, whether done as calming technology or explicitly managed and integrated with IT.

10. Fabric-Based Infrastructure and Computers

A fabric-based computer is a modular form of computing. A system can be created from separate modules and connected over a fabric or switched backplane. In its basic form, a fabric-based computer comprises a separate processor, memory, I/O, and offload modules (GPU, NPU, etc.) that are connected to a switched interconnect and the software required to configure and manage the resulting systems.

Those are the top 10 for 2011.If you want to see a video of the symposium you can find it on the website.


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