Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins today blogged his Top 15 technology predictions for the next 5 years leading up to 2018. I didn’t find too many rolls of the dice. For many there will be no big surprises; Mobile (tops the class for disruption), Social, Cloud, Big Data but here Brian splits the pack down further into a number of key categories:
- End User Computing Technologies
- Sensors and Remote Computing Technologies
- Process Data Management Technologies
- Infrastructure and Application Platforms
End user computing technologies
Brian expects computing capabilities to expand into new areas that improve collaboration, providing a richer, personalized mobile experience, so the inclusion of gesture-based UI and human-centric controls is of no surprise here. Expect more Kinect style interfaces and OEM hacks. Personally I’d like to see more 3D/ AR virtualization of interfaces coming to the fore. It’s no leap of the imagination to consider holographic interfaces if we’re looking 5 years into the future. Brian also includes advanced (hyper-) collaboration factors in this category for contextual real-time at the right time data to users.
Sensors and remote computing technologies
According to Brian, technologies will emerge which will enable “more information collection and processing outside of data centers, extending the boundary of businesses’ digital realms”. For this he calls out smart products, location-aware devices and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology, which is the Internet of (every)Things to everyone else.
Process data management technologies
This will be of most interest to the BPM crowd I expect, it’s Forrester’s call on intelligent and adaptable process management and enables “more value from more data, more quickly and more cheaply.” Here he references ‘Smart Process Apps’ which are built for people and continuous change, a new class of Adaptive Case Management in a way. Sadly for me this is merely just lip service, it smells too much like playing to the larger BPM vendors who build on application platforms which aren’t smart and certainly not cheap.
Forrester really needs to concentrate on newer technologies such as Citrix’s Podio suite as the next generation of ‘smart process apps’.
Infrastructure and application platforms
This is the realm of the Big Data, Data Center and Cloud predictions. There’s nothing eye-opening here and there’s a missing piece in-memory data and grid/ parallel processing via the Internet of Things. I think there’s a missed opportunity for Forrester to predict a bit bigger and foretell something new.
Brian ends by stating that clients get “blindsided by emerging technology opportunities or failing to avoid disruptive threats. They further admit that getting caught unaware hurts.” however to be brutally honest there’s nothing here that hasn’t been discussed before and if you’re still being caught unaware in 5 years time by these predictions you have to ask yourself if you should be in the position you currently occupy.