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Recap: Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015

The theme of the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2015, held last week in Orlando, FL, was Rise to the Challenge, and session topics ranged from strategies and tools to lead the next generation of IT to new approaches to create and maintain a digital organization and culture.

A true highlight of the conference, however, was vice president and Gartner Fellow, David Cearley’s discussion on the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends. Cearley shared three categories for this year’s trends: the digital mesh, smart machine and the new IT reality.

The Digital Mesh:

Trend 1: The Device Mesh

According to Cearley, Gartner expects significant development in wearables and augmented reality as connection models expand and greater cooperation between devices emerge.

Trend 2: Ambient User Experience

Because our digital interactions can become synchronized into a continuous and ambient digital experience, organizations will need to consider their customers’ behavior journeys to shift the focus on designing single apps into an entire mesh of products and services involved in the user experience.

Trend 3: 3D-Printing Materials

3D-printing technology will continue to advance in a wide range of industries including biological materials, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, energy, military and more.  This progressive tool, however, may hit a few road blocks while transitioning from a theory to reality as much of the public doesn’t have a full understanding of the implications, according to Cearley.

Smart Machines:

Trend 4: Information of Everything

Because we are surrounded by the “digital mesh”, organizations must learn how to identify what information provides strategic value. They also must understand how to access data from different sources and how to leverage algorithms to fuel new business designs.

Keynote speakers Peter Sondergaard, head of research, Mary Mesaligo, vice president of research and analyst Frank Buytendijk also discussed in length the importance of algorithms and how IT organizations should think more about how to innovate through them during their Monday morning session.

Trend 5: Advanced Machine Learning

This area of technology is evolving quickly, according to Cearley. Advanced machine learning, or what makes smart machines appear “intelligent”, is an area organizations must assess. Specifically, how they can apply these technologies to gain a competitive advantage.

Trend 6: Autonomous Agents & Things

Advanced machine learning has given rise to autonomous agents and devices like self-driving cars and virtual personal assistants which feeds into the ambient user experience. Truly intelligent devices that allow users to venture away from menu interaction and focus on utilizing speech to make commands are on the rise.

The New IT Reality

Trend 7: Adaptive Security Architecture

Thanks to complexities of the digital business landscape, IT leaders much focus on detecting and responding to threats quickly, as well as utilizing new measures to prevent attacks.

Trend 8: Advanced System Architecture

Smart machines require intense computing architecture demand to make them viable for an organization to use. These systems will get this added boost from ultra-efficient neuromorphic architectures like field-programmable gate-arrays (FPGAs) that are suited for deep-learning.

Trend 9: Mesh App and Service Architecture

The mesh app and service architecture are what enables delivery and services to dynamic environment of the “digital mesh”. This architecture brings together the many information sources, apps, services and devices into one flexible system that can coordinate smoothly with one another across multiple endpoints, producing a continuous digital experience.

Trend 10: Internet of Things (IoT) Architecture & Platforms

 IoT platforms exist behind the service and mesh app architecture, and form a base set of capabilities for communicating, managing and securing endpoints in the IoT.

Cearley’s in-depth dive into the top ten strategic technology trends proves that the digital landscape is always evolving. Want to learn more about these trends? Check out video replay of this Gartner Symposium/ITxpo presentation is available on Gartner Events on Demand.

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