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Network World - Gartner analysts today whipped out their always interesting and sometimes controversial look at what the consultancy thinks will impact the IT arena in the near future.
Some of the technology trends are not new – The so-called Internet of Things and cloud computing for example, but there are some hot new areas – like 3D printing and Software Defined Networking that will be making an impact on IT sooner rather than later.
[RELATED GARTNER NEWS: Gartner: Top 10 future strategic IT predictions]
These changes are due in no small part to the fact that by 2020, there will be up to 30 billion devices connected with unique IP addresses, most of which will be products. “This creates a new economy. Gartner predicts that the total economic value add for the Internet of Things will be $1.9 trillion dollars in 2020, benefiting and impacting a wide range of industries, such as healthcare, retail, and transportation.”
Four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, continues to drive change and create new opportunities, creating demand for advanced programmable infrastructure that can execute at web-scale, said David Cearley, Gartner vice president and Fellow.
The Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014 as Gartner sees them are:
Mobile Device Diversity and Management: Through 2018, the growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make "everything everywhere" strategies unachievable. The unexpected consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is a doubling or even tripling of the size of the mobile workforce. Enterprise policies on employee-owned hardware usage need to be thoroughly reviewed and, where necessary, updated and extended. Most companies only have policies for employees accessing their networks through devices that the enterprise owns and manages. Companies need to set policies to define clear expectations around what they can and can't do. Balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements.
Developers should look for ways to snap together apps to create larger applications. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. The next evolution in user experience will be to leverage intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.
Software Defined Anything: Software-defined anything (SDx) incorporates various initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, the Open Compute Project and Open Rack, which share similar visions. As individual SDx technology silos evolve and consortiums arise, look for emerging standards and bridging capabilities to benefit portfolios, but challenge individual technology suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to true interoperability standards within their specific domains. While openness will always be a claimed vendor objective, different interpretations of SDx definitions may be anything but open. Vendors of SDN (network), SDDC (data center), SDS (storage), and SDI (infrastructure) technologies are all trying to maintain leadership in their respective domains. Vendors who dominate a sector of the infrastructure may only reluctantly want to abide by standards that have the potential to lower margins and open broader competitive opportunities, even when the consumer will benefit by simplicity, cost reduction and consolidation efficiency.