May 16, 2012 – Mobile access to business data is leading a sea change of trends that will carry enterprises large and small to new technological heights and challenges over the next year, according to a new analysis from Gartner.

Gartner Managing VP Dennis Gaughan led a Web seminar Wednesday on the top 10 strategic trends for 2012 and beyond. Not necessarily a list of new technologies or trends, the list encapsulated the research firm’s view of areas in data management where opportunities are being found or where “they’ve reached an inflection point in their maturity,” particularly for SMBs, Gaughan says. Gaughan says the tech transitions underway today surrounding mobility, consumerization and parsing large data sets are in front of a shift in business information management.

“I really think we’re at a phase where we’re undergoing significant disruption … and we’re seeing such dramatic change across all layers of the technology stack,” he says.

Leading that charge is the push away from the PC and toward mobile devices, often owned by the end-user, with applications and interfaces that keep functionality while digging into business data. Gaughan warns that the adoption rate of mobile devices, led by the wide range of capabilities from tablets, raises the immediate need for BYOD, security and governance policies at businesses of all sizes. And for IT departments, Gaughan says “it is not just about designing applications for a tethered device. I need to be able to deliver information and applications regardless of the form factor of the device.”

Linked to that consumerization and mobile movement are new analytic solutions and strategies, according to Gartner. Gaughan says that mobile, social and contextual analytics are following through on end-user control and analysis of data, causing increased interest in technology that can comb through unstructured data and access it as closely to real time as possible, which touches on another strategic trend, in-memory computing.

While large enterprises and vendors have taken to cloud computing in recent years, there is still an active “hype cycle” about realistic returns from on-demand resources and vendors “putting a cloud label on an existing set of technologies,” Gaughan says. Two areas where SMBs are taking up cloud as part of their planning includes previously out of reach capabilities from Platform as a Service, and picking from an aggregate of cloud offerings from a single cloud services brokerage.

The entire Gartner list for the top technology trends for 2012:

  1. Media tablets and beyond
  2. Mobile-centric applications and interfaces
  3. Contextual and social user experience
  4. Internet of Things
  5. App stores and marketplaces
  6. Next-generation analytics
  7. Big data
  8. In-memory computing
  9. Extreme low-energy servers
  10. Cloud computing

For a replay of the Web seminar, register here.

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