"Cognizant computing,” the next phase of the personal cloud movement, will become one of the strongest forces in consumer-focused IT, according to a new report from Gartner Inc. It will have an immense impact on mobile devices and apps, wearables, networking, services and cloud providers, the firm says.

Cognizant computing is a consumer experience in which data associated with individuals is used to develop services and activities according to simple rules, Gartner says. The services include alarms, bill payments, managing and monitoring health and fitness, and context-specific ads. Cognizant systems will provide services across multiple devices.

The practical application of cognizant computing helps business-to-consumer companies acquire deep insights into consumers' preferences and daily lives, Gartner says, and this will help create better, more-personalized services and offers.

"Cognizant computing is transforming personal clouds into highly intelligent collections of mobile apps and services," Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. "Business-to-consumer providers must adapt their strategies to exploit this change to generate new revenue, find new ways to differentiate themselves and foster loyalty via mobile apps."

The firm predicts that cognizant computing will put the importance of applications, services and cloud at the forefront, making it one of the most important components of any customer retention strategy for B2C companies over the coming five years.

"Cognizant computing is already beginning to take shape via many mobile apps, smartphones and wearable devices that collect and sync information about users, their whereabouts and their social graph," Ekholm said. "Over the next two to five years, the Internet of Things and big data will converge with analytics. Hence, more data will make systems smarter."

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