Last October, the US technology consulting firm Gartner held its annual event called Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 in Orlando. At this meeting, which brings together CIOs and top Senior IT Executives, there was a session in which David W. Caerley, Gartner Vice President and fellow, revealed what the 10 strategic technology trends will be for 2016, according to the consulting firm.
The company defines these strategic trends as those with the potential to have a significant impact on organizations, due to their ability to be disruptive or because companies that ignore the trends are at risk of missing the boat in their respective industries.
In this post we will review Gartner's decalogue of trends that will set the standard that companies must follow to remain at the forefront of technology in the coming year:
This post is also available in Spanish.
Trend 1: The Device Mesh
The rise of mobile technology and its incorporation into all types of technology (vehicles, cameras, electrical appliances ...) is now a solid reality. According to Gartner, the evolution this technology is having in 2015 will achieve a new level of interaction between devices next year. Technologies that will benefit most from this interaction include wearable devices and virtual and augmented reality devices.
Trend 2: Ambient User Experience
All our interactions with the digital world can be synchronized to offer a digital environment and ongoing experience, which preserves our experience beyond devices, time or space in which we interact. According to Gartner, this new user experience paradigm will give rise in 2016 to a mix of physical, virtual and electronic environments. Thanks to this merge of environments, companies will be able to collect real time information from the context of where each user is, and provide each of them an experience adapted to the environment at all times and wherever they are.
Trend 3: 3D-Printing Materials
New materials will arise with the developments in the field of 3D printing, including advanced nickel alloy, carbon fiber, glass, conductive ink or other electronic, pharmaceutical or biological materials. This new generation of materials and the increasing possibilities of combining them will open new possibilities for 3D printing, covering, among others, the aerospace, medical and military industries or the automotive and energy ones.
Trend 4: Information of Everything
The amount of information generated is increasingly incomprehensible. In 2016 organizations will have to face the challenge of selecting which information can provide them a strategic advantage, and which is the best way to access it and make it available to their businesses by applying algorithms.
Trend 5: Advanced Machine Learning
Intelligent machines are not only able to understand concepts that occur in their environment, but they also are able to learn. For example, analysis of databases of medical cases by machines with advanced capabilities of learning -and, therefore, with the ability to learn- will be able to lead to new findings on the effectiveness of different treatments. Again, in 2016 this trend will mean a competitive advantage for those companies who pay attention to it.
Trend 6: Autonomous Agents and Things1
As a result of advanced learning mentioned in trend number 5, next year we can expect a wide range of applications for these smart machines: robots, driverless vehicles, virtual personal assistants ... In many cases, the latter are called upon to replace the user interfaces: instead of guiding ourselves with the mouse through menus, forms and buttons, we will only speak to a new generation of Siris with a much higher capacity compared to the popular Apple assistant.
Trend 7: Adaptive Security Architecture
The increasing complexity of digital businesses and the economy based on algorithms, combined with the rise of cyber attacks, means that organizations face more and greater security risks. In 2016 IT managers will face the need to detect, prevent and respond to changing threats, which therefore require solutions with high adaptability.
Trend 8: Advanced System Architecture
The high requirements in terms of architecture imposed to organizations by the digital grid and smart machines will require companies to use neuromorphic architectures, characterized by being highly efficient. Technologies called field-programmable gate-arrays, (FPGAs) will work as real human brains. And this will give rise to higher speeds and greater energy efficiency.
Trend 9: Mesh App and Service Architecture
In 2016 mesh apps and service architectures will be the only formula for online applications and services to be as dynamic and flexible as required by the ubiquitous digital mesh. Under the premise of meeting the users' expectations, even when they change, this architecture will combine different sources of information, devices, applications, services and microservices in a flexible way in order to provide a continuous digital experience that consumers increasingly demand.
Trend 10: Internet of Things Architecture and Platforms
The Internet of Things will increasingly require own platforms and own architectures to exploit its unlimited potential when it comes to communicating and controlling devices in a safe environment.
Although it is highly likely that some of these trends are right now inscrutable or still light years away from the concerns your company's IT department currently has, sooner or later they will all be on the agenda for sure.
Gartner will celebrate its Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona on November, 8 - 12 2015.
This post is also available in Spanish.
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1. The trend numer 6 - autonomous agents and things - has made us think of the movie Her, in which a man falls in love with an operating system.