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Wearables and IoT Among Top Tech Trends for 2015

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2015 is shaping up to be a transformative year in tech, according to IT research firm Gartner.

With the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo as a backdrop in sunny Orlando, Fla., the company has published its list of top 10 technology trends to watch next year. Naturally, businesses won’t necessarily rush out to adopt these technologies, but they should at least prepare for their disruptive effects as they draw up their strategic IT plans for the next two years, advised Gartner.

One undeniably powerful trend is ubiquitous mobile computing, fueled in part by the growing popularity of mobile devices.

“Phones and wearable devices are now part of an expanded computing environment that includes such things as consumer electronics and connected screens in the workplace and public space,” said Gartner vice president David Cearley in a statement.

Businesses will need to be comfortable with the notion that users, not IT departments, are in control. Cearley added that organizations “will need to adapt to the requirements of the mobile user.” He expects the shift to “raise significant management challenges for IT organizations as they lose control of user endpoint devices.”

Simply downsizing business apps won’t cut it for mobile workforces, suggested Cearley. With their compact dimensions and limited screen real estate, he warned that the mobile and wearables boom will “require increased attention to user experience design.”

Salesforce already got the message. As an early proponent of wearable business apps, the company launched the Salesforce Wear developer initiative this summer, with an emphasis on frictionless app experiences that are tailored to wearable user interfaces.

The burgeoning market for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions will begin to reshape how enterprises do business. For instance, by “digitizing everything,” IoT allows for a spectrum of pay-per-use service offerings that open up new opportunities.

And there will be no hiding from Big Data, said Cearley.

“Organizations need to manage how best to filter the huge amounts of data coming from the IoT, social media and wearable devices, and then deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time,” he said. “Analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere.

“Every app now needs to be an analytic app,” urged Cearley.

Rounding out Gartner’s top ten tech predictions for 2015 are 3D printing, context-aware systems, autonomous smart devices, mobile-friendly cloud applications, software-defined applications and infrastructure, Web-scale IT and self-protecting, security-aware applications.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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