The big technology trends in 2012 will be extensions of trends that began in 2011 or earlier. For example, BottomlineIT noted the Consumerization of IT back in September. Expect it to pick up speed in 2012. Similarly you read about The Internet of Things here back in February. That too will drive technology trends in 2012.
The tech trends below are based on the numerous vendor briefings and conferences BottomlineIT attends as well as talking with dozens of IT and business managers. Most shouldn’t surprise you if you have been reading BottomlineIT, but a few might.
Here are the technology trends for 2012:
BYOD—smartphones mainly and other devices. The twist is the growing adoption of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in which workers are encouraged to bring their personal smartphones to work while IT will be asked to support a range of popular devices, selectively open interfaces to data and applications, and insist on a certain level of security, such as data encryption. The business will have to resolve reimbursement issues, currently policies vary from zero to all.
Social Networking for Business—will only grow in the coming year. Social networking is the way the next generation of workers live and increasingly work. Businesses will want to identify and capitalize on opportunities in social networking starting with collaboration.
The Internet of Things—the digital transformation of the economy continues as chips are embedded in more things from consumer appliances to packaging materials, allowing companies to meter and monitor processes and activity. RFID is just the start. Watch for more digital instrumentation appearing.
Automated, Real-time Data Analytics—a part of the Big Data trend. Expect to see the growing adoption of advanced data analytics, which increasingly will be automated to keep up with the high volume and in near-real time to allow for dynamic data-based decision-making. And the analytics will be baked in, relieving the business from having to maintain a stable of PhD quants.
Bio-metric Authentication—passwords provide poor security. Watch for increased adoption of bio-metrics in the form of fingerprints, retina scans, facial/voice recognition, and such to replace the use of passwords for authentication.
The Cloud goes Mainstream—most companies will develop a cloud strategy at some level, whether for backup to the cloud, SaaS, to augment existing capabilities, or something else.
Virtualized Enterprise—look for increasing virtualization of every digital aspect of the enterprise, from data networking to voice communications.
Solid state memory for storage—in one form or another solid state memory will be an increasing part of almost every storage strategy as costs continue to drop and vendors get better at integrating it into the products to boost performance.
Electronic Wallets—smart devices, including smartphones, used for almost anything from buying a can of soda to proving who you are. Big vendors already are fighting over who provides the e-wallet. Think you worry about security now? This merits close scrutiny.
Geo-Location—between smart devices and GPS look for businesses increasingly to take advantage of geographic data, first for marketing (combined with QR codes) and then much more.
In-memory Computing—combining processing with memory speeds performance. Expect to see entire databases processed in memory.
Gamification—applying aspects of computer gaming to business software offers the possibility of more compelling and engaging business applications. Could ERP be improved through gamification? For sure.
However things shake out, 2012 should be an interesting year for technology, and BottomlineIT will stay on top of it.