Forrester's top 15 emerging technologies to watch

Summary:In its new research on emerging technologies, Forrester moves beyond the "big four" - cloud, mobile, social, and data - to see how those technologies will create platforms for future disruption. Brian Hopkins blogs about the new research and takes a closer look at the tech categories you'll be thinking about in 2018 - and should be planning for now.

The pace of technology-fueled business innovation is accelerating, and enterprise architects can take a leading role by helping their firms identify opportunities for shrewd investment. In our 2012 global state of EA online survey, we asked again what the most disruptive technologies would be; here’s what we found:


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The results shouldn’t surprise anybody; however, if you are only looking at these, you are likely to get smacked in the face when you blink -- things are changing that fast. In the near future, new platforms built on today’s hot technologies will create more disruption. For example, by 2016 there will be 760 million tablets in use and almost one-third will be sold to business. Forrester currently has a rich body of research on mobility and other hot technologies, such as Forrester’s mobile eBusiness playbook and the CIO’s mobile engagement playbook. But by 2018, mobile will be the norm, so then what?

To answer this question, we extended the horizon of our annual The Top Emerging Technologies to Watch report out to 2018 and investigate beyond the “big four”: cloud, mobile, social, and data. We went a level deeper in our research by examining how today’s hot technology create platforms for future disruption. For example, you won’t find mobile in our list; instead mobile is built into emerging technologies such as next-generation devices and UIs, advanced collaboration and communication, systems of engagement, and cloud application frameworks.

This year we organized our findings into four groups based on where we thought the biggest impact would be: 1) end user computing; 2) sensors and remote computing; 3) process data management; and 4) infrastructure and application platforms. I intend to blog a few more details and examples for each group in the coming weeks, but for now here are our top 15 emerging technologies to watch from now until 2018.

End user computing technologies. These technologies will expand client computing capabilities, improve collaboration, and provide much more personalized mobile experiences:

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Topics: Innovation, Big Data, Cloud, Data Management, Mobility


Forrester Research analysts provides best practices and analysis of burning issues and trends impacting Information & Knowledge Management and Infrastructure & Operations professionals. J.P. Gownder, James Staten, Dave Bartoletti, TJ Keitt and others contribute to this blog.

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