Gartner's Top 10 strategic technologies for 2012

As reported in Business Cloud News, Gartner announced its top ten strategic technology trends for 2012 this week. Interesting list. We'll comment on this ongoing and at the Telco 2.0 event next month:

Media Tablets - The true rise of the mobile computing platform. As Gartner states, in 2012 "IT leaders will need a managed diversity program to address multiple form factors, as well as employees bringing their own smartphones and tablet devices into the workplace."

Mobile-Centric Applications and Interfaces - User Interfaces (UI) with windows, icons, menus, and pointers will be replaced by mobile-centric interfaces emphasising touch, gesture, search, voice and video.

"Applications themselves are likely to shift to more focused and simple apps that can be assembled into more complex solutions. These changes will drive the need for new user interface design skills."

Contextual and Social User Experience - "Context-aware computing" uses information about an end-user or objects environment, activities, connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end-user or object.

Context can be used to link mobile, social, location, payment and commerce. It can help build skills in augmented reality, model-driven security and ensemble applications.

Internet of Things - The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes how the Internet will expand as sensors and intelligence are added to physical items such as consumer devices or physical assets and these objects are connected to the Internet.

Gartner believe that by 2015 companies will need unified oversight of all of their Internet-connected technologies, but CIOs will need to orchestrate, not own, this data. For now, companies should get into a "what if" mindset, thinking about what the company can do with all the available data.

App Stores and Marketplaces - Gartner forecasts that by 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. App Stores are expected to become a key component in line with the enterprise shift to SaaS and cloud computing.

Next-Generation Analytics - In 2012, analytics will increasingly focus on decisions and collaboration. The new step is to provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, not simply information, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action.

Big Data - The big issue. As our increasing reliance on data grows, so does the problem of how to manage it. As Gartner states, "the size, complexity of formats and speed of delivery exceeds the capabilities of traditional data management technologies."

"Analytics has become a major driving application for data warehousing, with the use of MapReduce outside and inside the DBMS, and the use of self-service data marts. One major implication of big data is that in the future users will not be able to put all useful information into a single data warehouse. Logical data warehouses bringing together information from multiple sources will replace the single data warehouse model. "

In-Memory Computing - Gartner sees huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, it offers a new layer of the memory hierarchy in servers that has key advantages -- space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them. Besides delivering a new storage tier, the availability of large amounts of memory is driving new application models.

Extreme Low-Energy Servers - Further projects to develop low-power servers in line with the increasing implementations of big data are expected in 2012. As environmental pressures continue to take hold, Gartner expects many top data centre providers to start delivering "radical new systems" to combat the issue of server energy output.

Cloud Computing - Last but not least...Cloud Computing is obviously a disruptive force, and its continuing implementation will lead to dramatic changes in IT infrastructure for many global enterprises. As Gartner puts it so well:

"While the market remains in its early stages in 2011, 2012 will see the full range of large enterprise providers fully engaged in delivering a range of offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services".

For further analysis of Gartner's strategic technologies for 2012, visit www.gartner.com