The Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012 - Slide 5

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes how the Internet will expand as sensors and intelligence are added to physical items such as consumer devices or physical assets and these objects are connected to the Internet. The vision and concept have existed for years; however, there has been an acceleration in the number and types of things that are being connected and in the technologies for identifying, sensing and communicating. These technologies are reaching critical mass and an economic tipping point over the next few years. Key elements of the IoT include:

  • Embedded sensors: Sensors that detect and communicate changes are being embedded, not just in mobile devices, but in an increasing number of places and objects.
  • Image recognition: Image recognition technologies strive to identify objects, people, buildings, places logos, and anything else that has value to consumers and enterprises. Smartphones and tablets equipped with cameras have pushed this technology from mainly industrial applications to broad consumer and enterprise applications.
  • Near Field Communication (NFC) payment: NFC allows users to make payments by waving their mobile phone in front of a compatible reader. Once NFC is embedded in a critical mass of phones for payment, industries such as public transportation, airlines, retail and health care can explore other areas in which NFC technology can improve efficiency and customer service.

Gartner, Inc. recently highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2012. They define a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

“These top 10 technologies will be strategic for most organizations, and IT leaders should use this list in their strategic planning process by reviewing the technologies and how they fit into their expected needs,” said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner fellow. 

“Organizations should start exploratory projects to look at promised candidate technology and kick off a search for combinations of information sources, including social sites and unstructured data that may be mined for insights,” said Carl Claunch, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

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