Gartner Predicts Technology-Driven Change

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I’ll admit I’m a bad combination of Luddite and science fiction fan. I know, I know. I’m a walking contradiction. Thus, my strange combination of excitement and dread when I heard Gartner’s predictions for the next 10 years of technology-driven change is explainable.




I suppose IT professionals must look ahead, and according to Gartner, with the IT sector beginning to show signs of recovery, now is the time to get visionary.




Gartner said that in the near term, one of the most significant shifts caused by IT is the growth of offshore or global sourcing. No doubt, outsourcing to offshore workers is a hot political topic, especially in an election year, and there are strong opinions on all sides of the debate. Gartner said that companies are going to increasingly leverage their investments in technology and better connectivity to take advantage of low-cost, high-quality labor overseas. Advice? Gartner said that IT leaders need to get active in creating the new top end. In other words, they need to understand and then drive the next wave of innovation and growth.




Gartner also said that in the next decade there will be a shift at the intersection where people, objects and places connect with the virtual world of information. IT will no longer be separate from us, Gartner says—it will be part of everyday experience, just like clothes and personal belongings. This will be driven by the growth of sensor networks that can measure and monitor physical environments; always-on technologies like PDAs, smart phones and MP3 players; data storage and access, which will improve to the point of “perfect recall” (digital trails that capture your every move, which can be reclaimed when needed) and real-time infrastructure. Real-time infrastructure will take advantage of sensor network management technology and event-driven architecture to build “tera-architectures” that can capture, store and analyze trillions of transactions.




The Luddite in me shivers in Orwellian anticipation of the invasions of privacy these sorts of technology might bring. The Sci-Fi side just wants to check out those cool new toys.




Nick Jones, vice president and research fellow for Gartner, said “The opportunity for enterprises is a new world where digital trails lead to ‘perfect recall’ of new types of information about customer behavior. For the individual this means that privacy has changed. The battle is no longer about who collects your data, but who gets to use it.”



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