Mobile Applications & HTML5: Both native and HTML5 applications will be important, as well as hybrid and special apps. Companies need to understand what works best for them and their target users. Cearley expects HTML5 will be increasingly more important for a wide variety of needs, but "no client" (browser-only or Citrix-like solutions) are still significant in some cases where security is important but native apps may be better in consumer-facing applications.
He talked about the importance of having experiences that flow to where you are, and new ways of thinking about how you design applications, using new features and cloud-client architecture as opposed to client-server environments.
Personal Cloud: This is new on the list this year, as Cearley expects that the notion of a personal computer will be replaced by a notion of a personal cloud, including all the services an individual uses. He said users will increasingly be focused on personal services as well as business services. Consumers will be increasingly centering their digital lives in a personal cloud, defined by features such as cloud storage, sync across devices, and….
Enterprise App Stores: These will become strategic for governing cloud and mobile use in a world driven by consumers who pick their own devices. Users want choice, while IT needs license management and distribution, as well as reporting. He talked about how many of the mobile device management (MDM) vendors have added such features, but said portals are becoming increasingly important for governing cloud as well as mobile use. IT will not have complete control, he said, but will instead offer more capabilities individual users and departments can choose from. He expects tactical enterprise app stores will become more mainstream in 2014 and later with packaged and portal options. Even later, mobile and cloud solutions will converge.
Internet of Things: This is "here now," Cearley said. Over half of all Internet connections today already are "things," ranging from remote sensors to cameras and building and infrastructure management. There will be tens of billions of permanent connections and hundreds of billions of intermittent connections between devices and the Internet. It soon will cost only pennies to add connectivity to any device.
As part of this, the concept of "operational technology" and IT "information technology" may well be converging. In many organizations, especially those with lots of devices, there will be a single executive who will oversee all Internet-connected entities. This will result in new business models, such as a digital supply chain, usage-based insurance models or taxes, or a "smart city" with devices informing municipal services. This will impact more organizations than are currently thinking about it, and eventually, he says, the Internet of things will become "the Internet of everything."
Hybrid IT & Cloud Computing: Cloud computing has been on the list for years, but now is augmented by the concept of "hybrid IT," where cloud will increasingly be hybrid, managed, and brokered. Cearley said the key issues are: strategic models for cloud service consumption; understanding when you should adopt cloud technology; building private cloud environments; managing hybrid cloud; adopting new application design and architecture to the cloud; and turning externally facing services into cloud services. The big new focus here is on the third area: taking private clouds and building a management platform for them, and then using that to manage both internal and external services, which helps IT become a broker for such services.
Strategic Big Data: Cearley continued to define big data as dealing not just with volume, but also with variety, velocity, and the complexity of data an organization is dealing with. He talked about managing both internal and external data, and talked about how technologies such as Hadoop may be a big part, but only a part, of it. Going forward, this will move beyond isolated projects and he suggested that IT departments start viewing it as a transformational architecture, replacing the homogenous relational database model with a heterogeneous fabric. In the long run, big data needs to be incorporated into an overall information strategy, he said.
Social data will be an important component of this data for many organizations. Cearley promoted the concept of a logical data warehouse that federated data from lots of sources, as opposed to the "enterprise data warehouse" concept that was widely held as a model in previous years.
Actionable Analytics: The key focus of big data is to provide actionable ideas to the business, Cearley said. Driven by mobile, social, and big data forces, analytics will need to change to embrace concepts such as moving from offline analytics to in-line embedded analytics, and from explanatory analytics to predictive analytics. In the next year, a big focus will be on developing real-time operational intelligence, perhaps delivered to mobile devices out in the field, he said. He talked about query and analytical engines such as IBM's Watson and Apple's Siri, where the analytical engine is just part of day-to-day operations and invisible to the consumer.
Mainstream In-Memory Computing: In-memory enabled applications of all sorts are becoming more mainstream, and in-memory features will be embedded within many of the applications we buy, such as SAP's HANA and other applications, ranging from websites to risk assessment. This seems particularly important for real-time analytics. One client is building an in-memory situation with 200TB to do real-time risk analysis and fraud detection, Cearley said.
Integrated Ecosystems: Finally, integrated systems will be more important, driven by needs for simplification, optimization and security. This is being seen in three areas, he said. Appliances are easier to deploy, manage, and configure, but no one appliance does it all, so they are always balanced with other solutions. Driven by cloud computing and things like Salesforce.com's AppExchange and Microsoft's marketplace, brokerages and marketplaces will become more important, with more vendors adding such services. Finally, end-to-end ecosystems, such as Apple's control of apps and the App Store, are becoming more important in the mobile world.
The bottom line, Cearley said, is that mobile, social, information, and cloud will combine to impact all of these trends and IT organizations as a whole.