We’ve arrived at the cold winter months (at least in our hometown of Boston), and the end of another year. You know what that means – Michael Bublé Christmas specials on TV, long lines at the mall, and, of course, Gartner’s Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends for 2015. Every year, Gartner highlights trends with the potential to have a significant impact on an organization within the next three years. For 2015, these trends will encompass three themes: the merging of real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere, and the technological impact of the digital business shift.
Let’s explore a few from Gartner’s list we at Janeiro Digital are keeping our eye on:
Internet of Things
The popularity of the term Internet of Things, or IoT, seems to have taken off faster than James Bond in an Aston Martin. It can be described as the always-growing network of physical objects that are connected to the Internet, and can communicate and interact with the environment around us. Gartner believes that by 2020, IoT will grow to 26 billion units and will generate revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services.
A great example of how IoT is excelling in the market includes Nest’s Learning Thermostat, a self-learning, electronic thermostat that conserves energy by optimizing the heating and cooling of homes and businesses. Nest also has the ability to save heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent. This smart device has seen a massive popularity surge; it’s almost impossible to watch a television program without seeing an advertisement or a voiceover uttering, “This program is being brought to you by Nest.”
Similar to the discussion around IoT, Gartner highlighted computing everywhere as a trend to watch in 2015. Computing everywhere hits on the notion that we’re able to access whatever we want, whenever we want – just like we see currently with the rapidly evolving smartphone technology, which continues to make its way into new environments. Plus, with the emergence of the wearable, we are now able to manage our content among a wide variety of devices: think of the forthcoming Apple Watch and, of course, Google’s version of the computing everywhere concept, Google Glass.
Having this array of options to connect with customers puts technologists in a unique position to create better user experiences within each device. Applications cannot just be responsive but need to be optimized for the venue it is being consumed. What works on desktop may not translate as well on the interface of a watch. Good user experience is a powerful tool if used correctly.
Remember earlier today when you turned to your phone and summoned your best pal and personal assistant Siri? You engaged with a smart machine. This omnipresent intelligence is already a prime factor in our everyday lives. And, according to Gartner, the smart machine era will also be the most disruptive in the history of IT.
Additional examples of this intriguing technology include virtual customer assistance, self-driving trucks and everyone’s favorite Jeopardy contestant… IBM’s Watson.
While at Garner’s IT/Symposium in October, Tom Austin, fellow at Garner noted:
“CIOs, CTOs, enterprise architects, business relationship managers and other IT leaders need to incorporate smart machines into their plans and investment strategies now because these technologies will significantly change how business and government work — and how humans in general work.”
Today, when you use any kind of application or visit a website, you expect it to work across all devices. That’s called responsive design and until a few years ago, this was a new idea that we didn’t expect to be built into every application. Now, responsive design is assumed and if the site doesn’t load on your phone, you immediately accept that the company hasn’t updated its technology since the ‘90s. In a few years, smart machines will fall under this same pretense. If your application doesn’t include this functionality, your technology will be considered outdated.
So what does this all mean for the masses? Customers are in demand of what they want and they want it everywhere, on every device. We are in a position to leverage the adaptability of technology to develop, publish, test and redefine. At Janeiro, we utilize research and analysis to prove out concepts before moving into design and development. We also harness big data and leverage analytics to improve customer experience, drive innovation, and make predictions about your business. Do not avoid emerging technologies but embrace the change and consider how they can be used to improve your business.
As you look forward to watching the Times Square ball drop, toasting champagne with friends and family, and singing “Auld Lang Syne,” what technology trends will be on your radar come 2015?
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