Rahul Me­her Leon Com­put­ers

Gart­ner’s anal­y­sis of the top ten tech­nol­ogy trends for the com­ing year

CRN - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH KU­RANDA

As 2013 wraps up, fo­cus has al­ready shifted to 2014. Sur­vey­ing the IT land­scape, Gart­ner an­a­lysts take a look at up-and-com­ing tech­nol­ogy trends. Strate­gic so­lu­tion providers must fac­tor these tech trends to plan their fu­ture busi­ness growth strate­gies.

3D print­ing

Gart­ner sta­tis­tics pre­dict 3D print­ing to grow 75 per­cent in 2014 alone, with the num­ber of unit ship­ments doubling in 2015. While it is a cool tech­nol­ogy, what is the im­pact for the chan­nel? Gart­ner says that the buzz in 3D print­ing’s con­sumer base will lead to it be­com­ing a busi­ness so­lu­tion that helps cut costs, im­proves prod­ucts and speeds up man­u­fac­tur­ing. Chan­nel part­ners are pretty mixed so far on the adop­tion of 3D print­ing into their own businesses, but some are op­ti­mistic about its pos­si­bil­i­ties for open­ing up new high-mar­gin prod­uct lines.

Smart ma­chines

Smart ma­chines, from self-driv­ing cars to com­put­er­ized per­sonal as­sis­tants, will be the most dis­rup­tive in the his­tory of IT through 2020. For that rea­son, there is a lot of suc­cess to be found for those who jump on board the trend early, it said. This ap­plies for both in­di­vid­u­als and en­ter­prise users. De­spite con­sumer­iza­tion, smart de­vices will have a big im­pact on both the en­ter­prise and con­sumer seg­ments be­fore ul­ti­mately set­tling in the con­sumer space.

Web-scale IT

What Gart­ner is call­ing Web-scale IT is chang­ing the value chain in the cloud space through com­pe­ti­tion from big cloud play­ers like Ama­zon and Google. Gart­ner said that en­ter­prises should look to model them­selves off of these cloud lead­ers, from de­sign­ing the data­base cen­ter and fa­cil­i­ties to ar­chi­tect­ing the cloud it­self. Through a top-to­bot­tom im­i­ta­tion of large cloud play­ers, en­ter­prises can at­tempt to achieve the same scale, speed and agility.

Soft­ware-de­fined any­thing

As soft­ware-de­fined any­thing (SDx) grows, Gart­ner pre­dicts that more and more stan­dards and reg­u­la­tions will pop up over 2014. The re­search firm ex­pects ven­dors in par­tic­u­lar will be re­luc­tant to adopt stan­dards that will af­fect the bot­tom line. How­ever, on the bright side, it said the end con­sumer will be the bene­fac­tor of sim­pler and more ef­fi­cient prod­ucts at a lower cost.

The era of per­sonal cloud

In what Gart­ner calls the shift to the era of the per­sonal cloud, the PC will no longer take the lead in de­vices.

In­stead, users will bal­ance a va­ri­ety of de­vices that are con­nected through a per­sonal cloud. The job of the so­lu­tion provider will be to man­age and se­cure the user’s herd of de­vices through the cloud, Gart­ner said.

Cloud/client ar­chi­tec­ture

In­creas­ing de­mand for the cloud is shift­ing the bal­ance be­tween the cloud and client ar­chi­tec­ture mod­els.

The in­creased pres­sure on net­works is caus­ing en­ter­prises to shift the load to cloud and re­duce stor­age foot­print. Go­ing into 2014, businesses will be look­ing to lever­age the client de­vice to re­duce the net­work strain.

Hy­brid cloud, cloud ser­vice bro­ker

Hy­brid is the name of the game for cloud in 2014. Even if work­ing in the pri­vate cloud, en­ter­prises should make sure they are ready to go hy­brid in the fu­ture. Step­ping in to take charge of this tran­si­tion in 2014 will be the Cloud Ser­vices Bro­ker (CSB). The 2014 hy­brid cloud will be pretty static, but will get more and more dy­namic as the mar­ket evolves and CSBs grow in the mar­ket­place.

The In­ter­net of Ev­ery­thing

The In­ter­net has its ten­drils in al­most ev­ery piece of our lives, from our ap­pli­ances to our mo­bile de­vices to our cars. John Cham­bers, CEO, Cisco, said he saw the In­ter­net of Ev­ery­thing as a $14.4 tril­lion op­por­tu­nity. The prob­lem, Gart­ner said, is that the en­ter­prise has yet to fully jump on board with the trend. It rec­om­mends that en­ter­prises to im­prove their businesses by adopt­ing four ba­sic us­age mod­els—man­age, mon­e­tize, op­er­ate and ex­tend.

Apps

For mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion en­vi­ron­ments, Gart­ner pre­dicts the fu­ture lies in HTML5 and the browser due to con­tin­ued JavaScript per­for­mance im­prove­ments. With more and more users want­ing to work across mul­ti­ple de­vices, Gart­ner rec­om­mended app de­vel­op­ers work to cre­ate build­ing blocks that can be as­sem­bled to fit the needs of dif­fer­ent de­vices. Over­all, it pre­dicted that for 2014 there will be more pop­u­lar­ity in smaller, more tar­geted apps than more com­pre­hen­sive, one-size-fits-all apps.

Mo­bile de­vice di­ver­sity, man­age­ment

A side ef­fect of in­creas­ing mo­bile tech­nol­ogy, BYOD is doubling or tripling the mo­bile work­force, the Gart­ner study said. As a re­sult, en­ter­prises need to re­visit their BYOD poli­cies to adapt to a chang­ing tech­nol­ogy en­vi­ron­ment in the workplace. The study rec­om­mends putting poli­cies in place but stay­ing flex­i­ble as mo­bile continues to adapt.

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