Gartner, (market research and advisory firm providing information technology related insight) has once again come up with its roundup of technology forecasts. These forecasts have been officially released last October and continues to draw eyeballs from both large and small businesses.
In experts’ opinion, business owners who take note of these technology trends and strategize upon them early, will definitely hold a superior edge to their counterparts. Paraphrasing the words of Anthony Blake – Technology is constantly evolving and maturing. In such a dynamic state of things, it becomes difficult for businesses to devise strategies while technologies are speedily progressing from nascent state to matured stages.
Things have become more complex now with newer technologies such as smart devices, IoT, software-defined everything and 3D printing – making strong headway. Business owners are in a fix as to which to choose and which to leave. Moreover, while possibilities of all these technologies are endless, it is essential that businesses have a clear idea of each of these technologies to leverage them in the right way.
Taking excerpts from the original Gartner news and Forbes Blog, below enlisted is a summarized version of six technology trends which will impact every organization’s plans, programs and initiatives in 2016:
1. The Device Mesh
We are constantly surrounded by a network of mobile, wearable, consumer, home electronic, automotive and environmental devices. Most of these are smart devices because they have sensors embedded within them. These sensors capture data about our daily patterns and empower the devices to provide a more better and personalized service to us. While this concept is great, it only offers partial benefits because these devices are working independently. In Gartner’s prediction, with time these devices will break down the silos and work in unison to capture greater insights about our daily patterns and offer more comprehensive benefits.
2. 3D-printing Materials
Gartner has mentioned 3D-printing as one of the key technology trends for 2014 and 2015. The reason why it has listed it again in the Top technology trends for 2016 is because of the huge potential that it carries.
In Gartner’s opinion, although 3D-printing is a prospering concept, it has not yet reached the pinnacle of success. It will boom more massively in the future. And the onset of its popularity has already begun. For instance, 3D-printing has caught the attention of several top-shot companies who are are using it to build engine and rocket parts. In addition to the industrial usage, 3D-printing has got massive takers otherwise as well.
For instance, two students have showed the miracle of 3D-printing by using a 3D printer to create a wheelchair for a disabled kitten.
Gartner has particularly pointed out that 3D printing now is using a wide range of materials such as advanced nickel alloys, carbon fiber, glass, conductive ink, electronics, pharmaceuticals and biological materials. The growing range of 3D-printable materials is bound to result in a compound annual growth rate of 64.1 percent for enterprise 3D-printer shipments through 2019.
In the words of David Cearley (vice president and Gartner Fellow) – “3D printing will see a steady expansion over the next 20 years of the materials that can be printed, improvement in the speed with which items can be printed and emergence of new models to print and assemble composite parts.”
3. Information of Everything
According to Gartner, by 2020 approximately 25 billion devices that include systems, sensors and mobile devices will incessantly generate data at a compelling speed, volume and variety.
Businesses have to have optimal processing power, analytics capabilities, tools and skills to handle this constant flow of data. Proper handling of the big data will make businesses eligible for a 360-degree improvement. They will get insights, using which they can improve their customer service, optimize operations, reduce costs, improve productivity and capitalize on new sources of revenue. In short, businesses can realize greatest value from this tidal wave of information and leapfrog their biggest competitors, provided they have the right systems and models in place.
4. Advanced Machine Learning
Deep Neutral Nets will move beyond creating smart computing and information management systems. Instead they will create systems that are competent enough to not only collect information from multiple data sources, but autonomously learn based upon the data collected. These machines will be one step ahead of the regular smart machines and hence, will be attributed as ‘intelligent’. According to Gartner, DNNs enabled hardware or software-based machines will learn all the features in their environment, from the finest details to broad sweeping abstract classes of content.
Businesses who show promptness in applying intelligent machines will experience a competitive advantage in tackling ‘information of everything’ trend. Much of the data analysis that typically requires human intervention will be done by machines. So businesses will be better equipped to handle the explosion of data sources and execute the analysis of information.
5. Internet of Things Platforms
The Internet of Things (IoT) which defines the network of objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity is one of the most vital trends cited in Gartner’s list. Although it has found a place in Gartner’s list last year as well, this time Gartner has shared a different aspect about IoT. It has discussed how the providers of IoT platforms are fragmented which compels IT departments to opt for one-off IoT solutions.
While this problem will continue to exist, gradually IoT providers will come together in unison and create a better ecosystem where data is shared in a broader way. This will enable IT departments to procure integrated webs of IoT solutions that would serve them better, as opposed to standalone IoT systems.
6. Adaptive Security Architecture
Security will become a major area of concern for businesses. In Gartner’s opinion, traditional perimeter defense and rule-based security will not suffice the requirement. As businesses adopt cloud services and release open APIs, they will have to build security in all processes. They need to have more robust security systems that include traditional blocking as well as innovative security measures such as application self-protection and user and entity behavior analytics. Then only will businesses be able to detect and respond to threats on time.
“Gartner’s top strategic technology trends for 2016 will shape digital business opportunities through 2020. While every business will take note of these trends – how well are they acted upon will create the difference between the winners and the losers. So review these trends in detail, discuss with your core team, build ideas on how to leverage these and implement the plan of action.