Rahul Meher Leon Computers
Gartner’s analysis of the top ten technology trends for the coming year
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.