In every aspect of our lives—sports games, businesses’ fiscal years, academic careers–, we learn that the fourth quarter is just as important as the first. The first quarter sets the tone, while the last quarter yields the potential to change the game. A prominent term coined in sports competitions for game changers in the fourth quarter is “clutch”. Examples of popular “clutch” athletes would be Lebron James, Tiger Woods, and Eli Manning.
Well, the fourth quarter of 2016 is commencing and Gartner, a leading IT research and advisory company, has published the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016. This analysis conducted equips IT businesses and professionals with the right tools to end this year with “clutch” moves. With many disruptive technologies entering the industry in just the past decade, it is critical for IT businesses and professionals to understand and prepare their business models for the trends that are continuing to help evolve in the industry.
The Device Mesh
What: The device mesh encompasses all devices, individuals, information, and services to expand the means of human interaction. Examples of the device mesh devices include mobile, wearable, consumer, home electronic, automotive, and environmental devices.
Expectations: The device mesh is expected to expand greater connection and interaction models. Additionally, substantial innovation will lead to an increase in devices within the next five years.
Challenges: The expansion in the range of devices enabling humans to remain interconnected has increased the challenges of managing IT security. IT companies and users will need to heighten the security of their usage and information shared through their interconnected and integrated networks and devices
Ambient User Experience
What: With the foundation of the device mesh, consumers are able to engage in the ambient user experience. This form of digital experience permits users to have a continuous social contact across different devices, time, and space.
Expectations: New mechanisms will be added to the user experience utilizing different sensory channels such as audio, video, touch, taste, olfactory, Internet of Things, and few others. The additional sensory channels will extend beyond the capabilities of human beings.
Challenges: The new experience will require more extensive privacy policies and permission parameters that manage the integration across the time, space, and devices.
What: 3D- Printing Materials is a recent phenomenon that allows consumers and businesses to send materials, objects, products through printing machines. Currently, the type of materials has expanded to include nickel alloys, carbon fiber, glass, conductive ink, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and biological materials. The expansion of utilizing more materials has enabled additional industries such as aerospace, medical, and automotive to take advantage of the benefits of 3-D printing.
Expectations: The materials of 3D- printing are increasing annually and directly increasing the growth rate for shipments as well. The growth rate of 64.1% for enterprise shipments is said to compound annually for at least the next 3 years. Advancements in 3D-printing are transforming industries and processes such as manufacturing, supply chains, and biology.
Challenges: since this recent phenomenon is unprecedented, neither politicians nor the public can comprehend the benefits or repercussions of 3D-printing.
Information of Everything
What: As a consequence of new sources of information, advanced algorithms, a networks’ capacity to be everywhere at the same time, and smaller computer devices, information is everywhere and can be accessible at any time. The amount of information that is accessible has greatly surpassed any amount of information that could be retrieved in the past decade.
Expectations: The growth of information will expand with the introduction and infiltration of smart devices, algorithmic business, semantic approaches, and information analysis techniques.
Challenges: Collecting and binding the large influx of information will require organizations to hire human capital with higher levels of expertise to comprehend and manage sensory and contextual information.
Advanced Machine Learning
What: The development of advanced machine learning addresses the predictable challenges of the information of everything trend. The machine learning is capable of performing self-autonomous tasks, which is of a higher level than the previously used algorithmic solutions.
Expectations: The advanced learning machines are expected to behave in a similar fashion as humans. These machines will have the ability to learn, change its future behaviors, and provide new insights on previously unsolved issues.
Challenges: The usage of these machines will greatly increase a companies’ ability to solve solutions, innovate, and disrupt the industry. IT companies need to learn how to use this form of technology before their competitors to acquire a competitive advantage.
Will you be the next IT business to develop the newest disruptive business model or technology? Will your business be proactive and sustainable against the disruptors in the industry? Will you as an IT professional and leading IT company be “clutch” in the fourth quarter of 2016?
If you responded yes to all of the questions above, stay tuned for Part Two of Gartner’s research.
A full review of Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016 can be found at: Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends
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