Gartner: Top 10 Strategic IT Trends For 2015

Gartner Sym 2014 LogoGartner Symposium/ITExpo is under way in Orlando. As always, their IT experts have identified what they believe to be the top-ten information technology trends for the year ahead. Strategic technology trends are defined as having potentially significant impact on organisations in the next three years. Here is a summary of the trends:

1. Computing Everywhere

With the continued advancement in smart-phone technology, Gartner assesses that an increased emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user in diverse contexts and environments, as opposed to focusing on devices alone. Gartner posits that smart-phones and wearable devices are part of a broader computing offering to include connected screens in the workplace and in public spaces. User experience design will be of critical importance.

2. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things will continue to expand, propelled by the ubiquity of user-oriented computing. Gartner posits that this will be replicated both in industrial and in operational contexts, as it will be the focus of digital business products and processes. Embedding technology more deeply will create touch points for users everywhere. This will form the foundation of digital business.

3. 3D Printing

The cost of 3D printing will decrease in the next three years, leading to rapid growth of the market for these low-cost machines. Industrial use will also continue its rapid expansion. Gartner highlights that expansion will be especially great in industrial, biomedical and consumer applications, highlighting the extent to which this trend is real, proving that 3D printing is a viable and cost-effective way to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.

4. Advanced, Pervasive, Invisible Analytics

Analytics will continue to advance due to the Internet of things and the embedded devices that trend will continue to foster. Vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside organizations will continue to be generated. Gartner points out that every app will need to be an analytic app. The analysis also concludes that big questions and big answers are more important than big data.

5. Context-Rich Systems

Embedded intelligence that is ubiquitous combined with pervasive analytics will foster the development of systems that are alert and responsive to surroundings. Gartner highlights that context-aware security is an early application of this trend, but that others will emerge.

6. Smart Machines

Analytics combined with an understanding of context will usher in smart machines. Advanced algorithms will lead to systems that learn for themselves and act upon those learning’s. Gartner notes that machine helpers will continue to evolve from the existing prototypes for autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors. The analysis goes on to speculate that the smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.

7. Cloud/Client Architecture

Mobile computing and cloud computing continue to converge and lead to the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device. Gartner notes that cloud computing is the foundation of elastically scalable, self-service computing for both internally and externally facing applications. Apps that use intelligence and storage of client device effectively will benefit from lowering bandwidth costs, coordination and management will be based on the cloud. The analysis goes on to note that over time applications will evolve to support simultaneous use of multiple devices. In the future, games and enterprise applications alike will use multiple screens and exploit wearable’s and other devices to deliver an enhanced experience.

8. Software-Defined Infrastructure and Applications

Agile development methods for programming of everything from infrastructure basics to applications is essential to enable organisations to deliver the flexibility required to make the digital business work. Software defined networking, storage, data centres and security are maturing. Application programming interface (API) calls render cloud services software configurable, and applications have rich APIs to access their function and content programmatically. Gartner notes that in order to deal with the rapidly changing demands of digital business with demand shifts both up and down require computing to move away from static to dynamic models.

9. Web-Scale IT

Gartner notes that more companies will think, act, and build applications and infrastructure in the same way that technology stalwarts like Amazon, Google, and Facebook do.  There will be an evolution toward web-scale IT as commercial hardware platforms embrace the new models and cloud-optimised and software-defined methods become mainstream. Gartner notes that the marriage of development and operations in a coordinated way (referred to as DevOps) is the first step towards the web-scale IT.

10. Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection

Lastly, the analysis concludes that security will remain an important consideration through this evolution toward the digital future, but it should not be so heavy-handed as to impede progress. As many companies have recognized that 100 percent security solutions are not feasible, this will become more mainstream, and more sophisticated methods of risk assessment and risk mitigation from a process and tool perspective will be implemented. Gartner notes that perimeter defence will be broadly recognized as inadequate, and multi-faceted approaches will be devised.  Security aware application design, dynamic and static application security testing, and runtime application self-protection, combined with active context-aware and adaptive access controls will all be necessary.

 

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Samsung Futurescape Event

SamsungFuturescape

Samsung Futurescape 2014

I had the pleasure of being asked to attend the Samsung ‘Future of Work’ event last week in London.

The event itself was a showcase of Samsung’s current and planned developments that they see entering the marketplace of the future.
They covered everything from wireless meeting rooms to how the worker of the future will split their work/life balance including the tools they may be using to achieve the optimal balance.
The work/life balance was an often covered theme and Samsung highlighted how their technologies and devices will enable the ‘working from anywhere’ theme but with the power of and capability of technology you would normally expect when working in an office.

The Future of Work whitepaper that was discussed at the event was created in partnership with Ovum Analysts.
It highlighted the ever-shortening bridge between personal and workplace technology preferences, with applications taking force in the world of work and up to 78% of people using their own devices for work.
Samsung’s own Business Enterprise operation research details key opportunities for employers as smartphone penetration reaches 75% of the market, and the worker-consumer relationship blurs. Continue Reading →

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Samsung Business Discovery Day Panel

Thats me on the far left stool

That’s me on the far left stool

I was delighted to be asked by Samsung to speak on a panel at their initial Samsung Business Discovery Day in St Paul’s last week – www.samsungbusinessdiscovery.com for event info and #BizDiscovery on Twitter for some soundbites from me on the panel.
You can also click here to see the full panel session on YouTube.

The panel discussed how mobile technologies are changing the role of the CIO and how the CIO can empower the business through their use.
It was a lively, stimulating and fun discussion which included a good number of live questions from the floor.

The official detail of the event was as follows:

We are entering a new paradigm of technology in business.  The rapid adoption of consumer technology can truly liberate our most precious resources – our people – and free them to spend more time with customers and consumers.  In every sector, companies are discovering that mobile technology presents new opportunities for customer discovery – transforming service, support and ultimately improving sales.

At the Samsung Business Discovery Day we will hear how companies are putting mobile technology at the centre of their technology strategy.  Leveraging new platforms based on consumer technology to add more speed and flexibility to current business operations.  We will explore these new paradigms, share implementation experiences and generate dialogue and debate to help your organisation leverage the power of customer discovery in your business.

We believe that innovators in the technology or IT departments should be driving a new agenda – building business platforms that are mobile first and built on consumer technology.  In this mobile first world – businesses can accelerate the adoption of technology and ensure that their employees spend more time working for and on behalf of their customers.  It sparks new debate, a fresh look at the consumerisation and BYOD trends – addressing matters like enterprise security from a people centric view – allowing your employees to embrace new technology.

 

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How to Structure Your Agile Enterprise

Build new businessFirst of all… this is a really, really, really big topic. If we are lucky, we’ll get a start and maybe lay a foundation for future conversations. My goal in the next 1000 words or so is to at least introduce the foundational concepts, and frankly… help me see where I want to go with this. So… with all my pre-qualifications in place, let’s see what we can do.

Over the last few posts, we’ve talked about what it takes to do Scrum well and explored many of the anti-patterns that cause Scrum to fail. One of the biggest challenges to adopting Scrum is the ability to form complete cross-functional teams. Before we get into how to solve the problem, let’s first explore why it’s so hard to begin with.

Continue Reading →

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The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2014

Businessman and business sketchCIOs have never had such a glorious—and challenging—opportunity to deliver significant, enduring, and transformational business impact and customer value as they do today.

But it’s not a job for the faint of heart. Any CIO pining for a return to the good old days of bonuses based on server-uptime and SLA enforcement should consider swapping out the CIO title for a new one: senior director of infrastructure.

Continue Reading →

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Is the Internet always right?

internetrightWhen I was younger (showing my age here), when I wanted to find something out I either asked a parent/teacher or opened up a book. Both young and old people now just search for it on Google – in fact ‘Google it’ is now a part of our everyday language. This got me on to thinking, when somebody does Google something (other search engines are available…) they more or less believe whatever the answer or search results they are presented with tell them.
In these times of instant everything and the whole world having been indexed and digitised, should we believe everything the Internet tells us (crackpots and lunatics aside)?

When was the last time you opened up an encyclopaedia (remember those) and verified an answer to a pressing issue you searched for? Do you even have access to an encyclopaedia?

An encyclopaedia has been through a number of people prior to being published and again in most major revisions but more or less anybody can post something on the Internet and tag or SEO it accordingly.
I’m far from saying that self-publishing or the advent of the Internet opening up the world to new content is a bad thing (indeed, it means I can write and publish myself) but it does make you think.

The response when I challenged a few people about this topic ranged from, ‘the answers I get seem more or less right, so I run with them’ to ‘it must be true, it’s on Google isn’t it?’ I found most of the responses I got to be a little bit frightening when I sat down and thought about them.

We are all busy people leading hectic lives but the rushed culture we live in leads us to also accept rushed answers and the mantra of something sounding more or less right has prevailed.

The ways in which we consume and use information both analogue and digitally fascinates me, as does the possibilities of how we will do so in the future but from now on I will just linger a bit longer on my search results before finally accepting what they tell me.

This piece has also been posted on:
The Business Value Exchange in my position as CIO ‘Thought Leader’ and Featured Contributor

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