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Gartner: Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013

From mobile device battles to enterprise app stores, the challenges in the coming year are at hand, Gartner says

By , Network World
October 23, 2012 01:50 PM ET

Network World - ORLANDO, Fla. -- If some of the top 10 strategic technology trends going into 2013 look familiar it's because quite a few -- like cloud computing and mobile trends -- have been around for awhile but are now either morphing or changing in ways that will continue to impact IT in the next year.

That was but one of the conclusions emanating from Gartner's annual "Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013" presentation here at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.

"Consumerization is backdrop of the forces of much of these changes," said Gartner's David Cearley.

MORE: Gartner: 10 critical IT trends for the next five years

From Cearley's presentation, these are the top 10 strategic tech trends for 2013:

Mobile device battles: The key here is that no one tech form factor will dominate this area. We think Microsoft will be successful here but if they fail to deliver hardware capabilities in their smartphone and tablet, if they don't fix issues when they come up, then we could see them run into some serious issues.

By 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. By 2015 over 80% of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones, and only 20% of those handsets are likely to be Windows phones. By 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50% of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will likely be in third place behind Android and Apple. We believe the net result is that Microsoft's share of the client platform (PC, tablet, smartphone) will likely be reduced to 60% and it could fall below 50%. The implications for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is one of a variety of environments IT will need to support.

Consumerization will mean enterprises won't be able to force users to give up their iPads or prevent the use of Windows 8 to the extent consumers adopt consumer targeted Windows 8 devices. Enterprises will need to support a greater variety of form factors reducing the ability to standardize PC and tablet hardware. The implications for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is just one of a variety of environments IT will need to support.

Mobile apps and HTML5: How enterprise deal with multiple development technologies will be key here. For example, enterprises should plan to exploit at least three different mobile architectures for B2C and B2E applications. Six mobile architectures -- native, special, hybrid, HTML5, Message and No Client -- will remain popular. However, there will be a long-term shift away from native apps to Web apps as HTML5 becomes more capable. Nevertheless, native apps won't disappear, and will always offer the best user experiences and most sophisticated features. Developers will also need to develop new design skills to deliver touch-optimized mobile applications that operate across a range of devices in a coordinated fashion.

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