Research and advisory firm Gartner presented its top 10 predictions for IT organizations and users in 2017 and beyond this week at its Gartner Symposium/ITexpo in Orlando, Fla.
Here’s a look at what Gartner’s market analysts predict your clients will be doing next year and beyond:
> IoT scalability: The Internet of Things will grow to some 21 billion endpoints by 2020, yet IoT will only increase total data-center storage demand by less than 3 percent. Gartner says this proves how IoT can scale and deliver business insights while remaining storage-manageable.
> IoT savings: The Internet of Things will save consumers and businesses $1 billion a year in maintenance, services and consumables by 2022.
> Augmented reality: By 2020, 100 million consumers worldwide will use AR for shopping on their mobile devices. AR apps will let consumers layer digital information, including text and video, atop the physical world.
> Screenless web browsing: Speech-controlled devices such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo will proliferate. This will let people use the web while driving, cooking, socializing, operating equipment, etc.
> Algorithms: By 2020, algorithms will alter the behavior of more than 1 billion workers worldwide. Contextual algorithms can dip into their huge data files, then present “just in time” information that helps people complete their tasks, maybe even appreciate life better.
> Fitness trackers: By 2020, 40 percent of employees can cut their healthcare costs by wearing a fitness tracker device. To reap the benefits, companies will add wearables to their employee fitness programs.
> Blockchain: By 2020, a business based on blockchain, the distributed ledger technology, will be worth $10 billion for the first time. Gartner calls blockchain “the next revolution in transaction recording.”
> Bigger brothers: By 2021, 1 in 5 of all activities will involve at least 1 of the 7 digital giants: Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Google or Tencent. Mobile apps, payment systems, smart agents and digital ecosystems will make these companies integral to our daily lives.
> Bye-bye, mobile apps: In what’s essentially a negative prediction, Gartner predicts that 20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019. Why? Because levels of mobile-app adoption, customer engagement and ROI are far lower than expected. Some companies will cut their losses on mobile apps and adopt other approaches instead.
> Costly deployments: IT managers leading digital-transformation projects are likely to be surprised by the final cost. Through 2019, for every $1 the average enterprise spends on digital innovation and ideation, it will later spend $7 on deployment.
Yes, all this presents a mixed bag. But cheer up: Gartner also predicts that global IT spending will rise nearly 3 percent next year, to hit $3.5 trillion. The biggest growth, Gartner expects, will come in software and services. Software spending will grow 7 percent globally next year, it predicts, while spending on IT services will grow by nearly 5 percent. If you’re in either or both of those markets, a rising tide should lift your ship.
How about the upcoming U.S. elections — will they affect IT spending? Not much, Gartner says. “Typically, there is a slight pause in IT spending leading into the election,” says Gartner researcher John-David Lovelock. “However, trends have shown that IT spending in the U.S. is not dependent on presidential leadership, so neither candidate should have a significant impact on IT spending in the near term.”
And don’t miss: