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Hardfacts on Software – Gartner identifies top 10 strategic technologies for 2012

Welcome to 2012! Let’s kick off the year with an investigation on what 2012 has in store for us! In October last year Gartner highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organisations in 2012. Let’s look at the first 3 of these today. We will cover the others over the next two weeks. For those of you who don’t know yet, Gartner is the leading authority on IT research. Have a look at their website at for more details. Here is what they have to say:
“Media Tablets and Beyond. Users can choose between various form factors when it comes to mobile computing. No single platform, form factor or technology will dominate and companies should expect to manage a diverse environment with two to four intelligent clients through 2015. IT leaders need a managed diversity program to address multiple form factors, as well as employees bringing their own smartphones and tablet devices into the workplace.” In short, anyone building a mobile app must ensure it works on many different platforms – not an easy task.
Gartner continues: “Mobile-Centric Applications and Interfaces. The user interface (IU) paradigm in place for more than 20 years is changing. UIs with windows, icons, menus, and pointers will be replaced by mobile-centric interfaces emphasizing touch, gesture, search, voice and video. Applications themselves are likely to shift to more focused and simple apps that can be assembled into more complex solutions. These changes will drive the need for new user interface design skills.
Building application user interfaces that span a variety of device types, potentially from many vendors, requires an understanding of fragmented building blocks and an adaptable programming structure that assembles them into optimized content for each device. Mobile consumer application platform tools and mobile enterprise platform tools are emerging to make it easier to develop in this cross-platform environment. HTML5 will also provide a long- term model to address some of the cross-platform issues. By 2015, mobile Web technologies will have advanced sufficiently, so that half the applications that would be written as native apps in 2011 will instead be delivered as Web apps.” One example I have already experienced is on the Mac. Mac OSX Lion which I installed last year has many of the same features as the iPhone. For example, I can see all my apps with the Launchpad on the Mac in the same way that I would see them on the iPhone. I can even flick through them with a swipe of a finger in the same way as on the phone.
“Contextual and Social User Experience. Context-aware computing uses information about an end-user or objects environment, activities, connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end-user or object.” Continues Gartner: “A contextually aware system anticipates the user’s needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customized content, product or service. Context can be used to link mobile, social, location, payment and commerce. It can help build skills in augmented reality, model-driven security and ensemble applications. Through 2013, context aware applications will appear in targeted areas such as location-based services, augmented reality on mobile devices, and mobile commerce.”
So you can see there is much in store for the future. Never a dull moment in the IT industry! Let’s look at more trends next week.
Until next time – and remember – Keep it (A)fresh

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