It’s always interesting to know what’s coming out from Gartner around this time of the year to see roughly what vendors will be populating their slides with for the next few months. Here’s your chance to be one step ahead of them!
Here is Gartner’s top 10 strategic technologies for 2013 a la Susanne-style with lots of links so you can go off and explore them further:
Mobile device battles – where we watch devout supporters of the ‘I’m a Mac vs. I’m a PC‘ take it upon themselves to argue their respective corners as Microsoft and Apple do battle once more (*yawn*). The rest of us will hopefully be focusing on what matters most: Are they accounted for under our managed services contract? Are they secure? Have all mobile users understood and signed up to their corporate policies? And, how can we ensure that we maximise productivity through them without compromising their personal lives?
Sensible facts* about mobile which you can wow your friends with at dinner parties:
By 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. By 2015 over 80% of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones, and only 20% of those handsets are likely to be Windows phones. By 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50% of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will likely be in third place behind Android and Apple. The net result is that Microsoft’s share of the client platform (PC, tablet, smartphone) will likely be reduced to 60% and it could fall below 50%. The implications for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is one of a variety of environments IT will need to support.
Mobile apps and HTML5 - Where BYOD meets BYOA much to the displeasure of the retro IT administrator. He realises he’ll need to educate his users about how they can’t just download their favourite file hosting service and expect their employer to be okay with them using it to store company-sensitive data. Keep an eye on HTML5 as the demand for Web Apps grows and start a new affection for loving developers as they put in the hard graft by learning new design skills.
Personal cloud – Oh joy, as Microsoft moves off cloud in love with their ‘new era‘ terminology, we’re left picking about with words to stick on ‘cloud’ to keep the general public interested. Look up the term using your preferred choice of web browser to figure out how you want to apply to this trend.
The Internet of things – This is the phrase from 1999 that will still raise eyebrows with the most tech-cynical boardroom members in 2013. Now coined for today’s world to encompass everything with a digital heartbeat that can communicate with another over the web. The problem with it is that it could risk overshadowing some very important topics such as Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication if we’re not able to explain it fully (remember how “cloud” became a cute word for something quite complex?). My English teacher would definitely not be happy I’m back using the word ‘things’ so often but that’s what you get operating in an industry that operates a firehose explosion of trends every year!
Hybrid IT and cloud computing – Not new for those at the front of the Innovation Curve but one still evolving and allowing many to engage in more strategic conversations around their IT infrastructure. Worth looking up with CSB means and how it may offer opportunities for delivering a more consultative service as part of an IT specialist’s repertoire.
Strategic BIG data – Yes, I capitalised the word ‘big’ for emphasis and to also help some of you spot the BIG revenue opportunity this offers. I don’t mean you should get your clients whipping out their cheque books to buy some gargantuan data warehouse where you can install super-expensive software just so you can create beautiful pivot tables. But instead, you should start thinking about how you can help those at the top of your client organisations start to think about how they can effectively mine the data available to them to make decisions that make long-term competitive sense. If they expect their hardware at work to operate like it does at home, it won’t be long until they’ll be asking for corporate data in the same way that they can click on ‘I’m feeling lucky!’ using Google Search.
Actionable Analytics – Along the same lines as the above point but it also means getting the right software in place. Be it a PSA system combined with a suitable RMM system that evolves with your business, a reliable and adaptable CRM or ERP system, or something you know works best for you. Just remember that if your clients are interested in dipping into this, even with just a toe, they’ll need someone like you to guide them through how to build processes and procedures around it.
Mainstream in-memory computing – You remember when you thought your digital watch was high-tech and now you laugh at the thought of its processing power compared to your mobile? Well things are about to get a lot smaller and faster. Just be sure to pick a reliable vendor before you go changing your mission-critical hardware over.
Integrated ecosystems – In our world of hungry hungry hippos where businesses are being bought and sold in an effort to gain or retain market share, we’ll now be observing vendors consider and reconsider what it is their ‘essence’ is and then settle on their own version of the Microsoft ‘stack’. It won’t always make sense to those on the outside but it will tend to rotate around appliances, cloud-based ‘things’, and mobile which could all be one and the same if some vendors had their own way.
Enterprise app stores – See many of the points made above about people wanting the same experience they get in their personal lives at work causing senior management to freak out. Make friends with the CTOs in your client base as they look to create their own private application stores so their staff use the same applications for work and nobody gets to download Angry Birds.
You could wrap this list up into three points to help kick-start conversations with your clients:
- Big Data
- Bring Your Own
- And, the third which wasn’t featured above – 3D printing. It’s too interesting not to use as an in-road.
A version of this list with a more sensible comprehensive explanation of these trends can be found here. It may be more interesting but it’s likely you’ll remember more of what I typed above if asked in a spur of the moment kind of thing.
And if you believe your business might be sticking around in 2020, you could have a read of this article too.
Then, when you’ve gone back and presented this to your staff so they know what to say to their clients, you could put it together in your very own whitepaper kind of thing, upload it to your corporate website for prospective customers to download in exchange for their details. Susie’s very good at helping you here if you like. Just a thought (that works).
*adapted from here