Gosh, is it already time for 2012 top 10 prediction lists? I guess so since Gartner recently released their list of the top 10 technologies and trends they think will be strategic for most organizations in 2012.
Gartner's top 10 are:
1. Tablets: No great shock here, tablet sales are booming.
2. Mobile-Centric Applications and Interfaces: Good quote on why this is important - "The user interface (IU) paradigm in place for more than 20 years is changing. UIs with windows, icons, menus, and pointers will be replaced by mobile-centric interfaces emphasizing touch, gesture, search, voice and video."
3. Contextual and Social Experience: Fancy name for computers and programs being aware of the user's context and using that information to improve the experience or results. Local search is an example. The program knows your location and uses that information to improve search results.
4. Internet of Things: Describes a connected world where most man-made things have sensors or some form of a computer chip and are connected to the Internet. This trend's been on everyone's list for at least the last decade - maybe this year will be the year.
5. App Stores and Marketplaces - Where you buy your mobile-centric applications to use with your smartphones and tablets.
6. Next-Generation Analytics: Another good paragraph from Gartner: "In 2011 and 2012, analytics will increasingly focus on decisions and collaboration. The new step is to provide simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, not simply information, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action."
7. Big Data: To do next-generation analytics, you need a lot of data.
8. In-Memory Computing: This mostly refers to the growth of flash memory, which is solid state and much faster than traditional hard drives. Flash memory is why so many people love the MacBook Air.
9. Extreme Low Energy Servers: A good idea given how much energy servers use.
10. Cloud Computing: Continues to mature and spread.
All of these trends are interesting and it's hard to argue with any of them.
We've just started a research project on how the combination of Cloud Computing, Big Data and Next-Generation Analytics will impact small businesses and consumers. It's good to see they all made Gartner's list.