Gartner defines 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 financial investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.
A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or has 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 can impact an organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
We have identified the top 10 technology trends and drivers Indian companies should factor into their strategic planning processes, said Vishal Tripathi, Principal Research Analyst, Gartner. This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the listed technologies is essential, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.
He said that while Indian companies may be keen to invest in new technologies, there are still roadblocks to full-scale adoption including business readiness, a lack of capacity for organizational change and low levels of IT funding. Implementing business process improvements, revenue growth through differentiated products and services, and business expansion are the top business priority areas of investment for Indian organizations.
The top 10 strategic technology trends for Indian companies in 2014 include:
Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics
The BI, analytics and performance management segment is the hottest software market in India, fueled by IT prioritization and expanding business buying centres. A competitive business environment and economic conditions are also forcing enterprises in India to focus on using fact based decision-making tools to rationalize costs and time for businesses. Enterprises in India will continue to use BI to be transformative in their approach.
Mobility in enterprise has created a huge opportunity for IT leaders to reduce costs, increase productivity and enable smooth business transactions. Swift growth in the prevalence of mobile devices, a decline in their price, and falling data plan costs have the potential to completely transform some business models. Indian organizations are beginning to leverage more personal interactions with greater reach and are also looking to evaluate mobile platforms as a delivery mechanism to provide an integrated view of multiple proprietary and publicly available datasets to help drive better real-time decisions.
Although still in its infancy in India and other emerging markets, cloud adoption is increasing. Led by infrastructure-as-a-service engagements in the data centre, disaster recovery and storage areas, there is a broad range of providers that target large organizations as well as SMBs. This fast growing adoption by a diverse range of organizations has catalysed providers to invest in high quality data centres and innovative cloud infrastructures, as well as a portfolio of cloud-related offerings such as security, communications and managed services.
Social Media and Computing
Social media in India has seen exponential growth in the recent past with enterprises using it for customer support and customers using it to offer opinions. A growing number of enterprises used social media to connect with their customers and for marketing campaigns in 2013 and social media is playing a pivotal role in Indian politics with the government and political parties increasingly using it to connect with citizens. Much of this growth can be attributed to increasing Internet penetration - which reached 198 million users (including mobile) as of June 2013 - making India one of the three most connected countries in the world.
Machine to Machine (M2M)
The M2M market in India is in a nascent stage but growing rapidly. Indian enterprises driven by demands to improve agility and productivity are evaluating the use of M2M-enabled solutions. Among the early adopters are verticals like utilities, automotive, financial services and transport, with other like healthcare and manufacturing following closely. The success of these projects is expected to result in broad-based deployments of M2M as an integral component of workflow automation.
Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)
In India, server-based computing, which is also referred as "hosted shared desktop" or "terminal services," is seeing more adoption. More than 80 percent of desktop virtualization implementations are based on HVD. Organizations are only looking at desktop virtualization from the point of cost requirement, and they overlook other benefits such as full data backup, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support, extended hardware life cycles, security, compliance and anytime-anywhere access.
Adoption of cloud computing in India is currently limited to the private cloud. Organizations are focused on protecting their applications located in enterprise app stores, as well as the content on employees' personal devices used at work. Tablets are becoming the first-choice user device and this form factor's explosion is creating device ubiquity. Users are creating their own personal digital ecosystems with their own sets of apps, games and media. Content is starting to shift to the cloud but, in the future, the cloud will become the primary storage for personal content, and local versions of the content will exist only as staged or cached elements.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
In its early phase of development, enterprises are experimenting with the IoT across a range of sectors, applications, business models and technologies in an attempt to unlock its value. The IoT delivers tangible value to enterprises through the ability to better utilize remote assets and creates business cases in three key areas - operational technology (OT), digital supply chain and customer interaction.
Collaboration technologies (otherwise known as workflow management or team collaboration) consist broadly of - real-time electronic meetings, content delivery, desktop and application sharing, text chat, group document markup with electronic whiteboarding, security and remote control. More advanced features include integrated voice over IP, file sharing, videoconferencing, content archiving, media streaming, feedback and polling. Real-time collaboration technologies not included in the Web conferencing category include instant messaging and stand-alone audio conferencing.
In India interest levels in 3D printing are slowly picking up and this is reflected in the increased presence of providers in the 3D printing space. Because of the country's large population base, high volumes and low cost requirements, 3D printing is expected to take off rapidly and revolutionize industries as diverse as aerospace, consumer goods, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and the military. 3D printing has the potential to radically transform design, manufacturing and the supply chain model in India.