On October 24, research and advisory company Gartner
put out a list of 10 technology trends it thinks will be strategic to enterprises in 2013. Not surprisingly, most revolve around what has come to be called SMAC, (social, mobile, analytics and cloud), their convergence and the disruptions this could potentially create in organisations.
Gartner predicts that by 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common device to access the web globally. By 2015, tablet shipments will account for 50 per cent of laptop shipments. The growing number of mobile form factors and consumerisation of IT will mean that companies will increasingly need to support a larger number of form factors.
Over time, people will also ditch the PC as a storage destination in favour of the cloud. "The personal cloud will gradually replace the PC as the location where individuals keep their personal content, access their services and personal preferences, and centre their digital lives. It will be the glue that connects the web of devices they choose to use during different aspects of their daily lives," Gartner said in a release.
Other cloud trends spotted by Gartner include the growth of enterprise app stores and hybrid IT - the co-existence of private cloud and public cloud services within an organisation.
Gartner's list also mentions the Internet of Things (IoT) - a new concept that looks at the interaction of devices connected to the Internet. The research firm thinks IoT will result in a new range of applications and also raise challenges.
"Key elements of the IoT, which are being embedded in a variety of mobile devices, include embedded sensors, image recognition technologies and NFC (near field communication) 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, LE and Wi-Fi to a wide range of devices and peripherals, such as wristwatch displays, healthcare sensors, smart posters, and home entertainment systems," says Gartner.
The heartening part is that most large and mid-tier Indian IT services companies such as TCS
, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and Mindtree have already identified these trends and are readying their organisations to cash in when they go mainstream. The new technologies are also opportunities for startups. For instance, cloud and analytics have already seen a spate of them in the country. These are Gartner's top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013:
1. Mobile Device Battles
2. Mobile Applications and HTML5
3. Personal Cloud
4. Enterprise App Stores
5. The Internet of Things
6. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
7. Strategic Big Data
8. Actionable Analytics
9. In Memory Computing
10. Integrated Ecosystems