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This week at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2015 upwards of 10,000 CIOs and business technology professionals from around the world are gathering to talk all things IT. Gartner regularly polls their clients and today released the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

As this community would expect, IoT dominates the majority of the list.

In this latest report, everything is a device and the general idea is that the digital mesh is a dynamic network linking various endpoints.


IoT related trends include:

The Device Mesh

The device mesh refers to an expanding set of endpoints people use to access applications and information or interact with people, social communities, governments and businesses. The device mesh includes mobile devices, wearable, consumer and home electronic devices, automotive devices and environmental devices — such as sensors in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ambient User Experience

While this trend focuses on augmented and virtual reality, IoT sensors play a key role in how this is implemented.

Information of Everything

Everything in the digital mesh produces, uses and transmits information. Advances in semantic tools such as graph databases as well as other emerging data classification and information analysis techniques will bring meaning to the often chaotic deluge of information.

Advanced Machine Learning

Gartner explores deep neural nets (DNNs), (an advanced form of machine learning particularly applicable to large, complex datasets) and claims this is what makes smart machines appear "intelligent." DNNs enable hardware- or software-based machines to learn for themselves all the features in their environment, from the finest details to broad sweeping abstract classes of content.


Autonomous Agents and Things

Gartner Research Fellow David Cearley says, "Over the next five years we will evolve to a postapp world with intelligent agents delivering dynamic and contextual actions and interfaces. IT leaders should explore how they can use autonomous things and agents to augment human activity and free people for work that only people can do. However, they must recognize that smart agents and things are a long-term phenomenon that will continually evolve and expand their uses for the next 20 years."


Adaptive Security Architecture

Security and IoT should go hand-in-hand. Gartner says that relying on perimeter defense and rule-based security is inadequate, especially as organizations exploit more cloud-based services and open APIs for customers and partners to integrate with their systems.


Advanced System Architecture, Mesh App and Service Architecture

These are three of the ten trends that I’m summarizing into one. All of these require more computing power and new ways of deploying software. Say goodbye to the monolithic approach and welcome agility. Application teams must create new modern architectures to deliver agile, flexible and dynamic cloud-based applications with agile, flexible and dynamic user experiences that span the digital mesh.


Internet of Things Platforms

IoT platforms complement the mesh app and service architecture and Mr. Cearley rounds out the trends by stating, "Any enterprise embracing the IoT will need to develop an IoT platform strategy, but incomplete competing vendor approaches will make standardization difficult through 2018.”

Lots of work to still do. Further reading here.

David Oro is the Editor at IoT Central

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