Cloud computing, social networking, mobile applications and devices as well as video will be some of the top strategic technology trends in 2011, according to analyst firm, Gartner.
“These are the sorts of technologies that should be on a company’s radar over the next three years,” Gartner analyst, Nick Jones, told the audience at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Sydney. “These are the technologies that you should have a plan for - you may not adopt them all, but you must at least be aware of them and thinking about how they fit in your organisation and relate to all the other technologies.”
Jones said cloud computing was a vital part of any company's technology future, but there will be an evolution in how the technology is being used.
“We feel that for the next year or so, many enterprises will feel safer with private clouds than with the relatively uncontrolled public cloud because they’ll be safer, more manageable, easier to enforce things like compliance related to the location of data,” he said. “Private clouds are the expensive option and they don’t offer the same benefits of flexibility and scalability to the levels of what a public cloud would do.”
Jones indicated mobile devices and applications will have a huge influence on everything within the business such as hardware, architecture and tools.
“Mobile is introducing customers to new sorts of contextual applications and new sets of visualisation like augmented reality,” he said. “But the mobile market is going to be very complex and volatile. Devices, platforms and business models change fast.”
The analyst firm revealed the PC market was dwarfed by the handset market. It predicts by 2014 about 450 million mobile PCs will be shipped as well as 1.9 billion handsets.
“The iPad has brought new levels of usability to computing. As yet, most tablets are not a PC replacement. It’s for new applications or job roles where you don’t need the full functionality of a PC,” Jones said.
Since many mobile devices also feature video functionality, Jones said the market was beginning to see improved technology for collecting video.
“Even though the use of video technology has been problematic in the past, it’s becoming more mature and useful,” he said. “It also poses interesting challenges like eDiscovery, storage and content management, which will play a bigger role.”
Some of trends that were dropped from the list this year include green IT, datacentre reshaping, activity monitoring and virtualisation for the purposes of availability.
“It’s not to say they’re still not important, but what we are saying is that other technologies have become more important since last year and should be high up on the priority list,” Jones said.