The Top 10 Strategic Technologies For 2012

The Top 10 Strategic Technologies For 2012

Gartner proposes the most significant and opportunity-rich technologies for businesses and organizations to evaluate for the new year.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 8 november 2011

IT research firm Gartner has released its annual list of most strategic technologies for the upcoming year. Gartner defines a strategic technology as ‘one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years.’ Additionally, the firm identifies contributing factors belying significant impact to include a high potential for disruption to IT or to business, the need for a significant investment, or the competitive risk of being late to address the technology. In short, be it an emerging technology or an evolved, improved technology, these represent highly scalable and potentially game-changing opportunities for the next 5 years.

We’ve focused on 5 of these 10 technologies as those representing the strongest potential for commercial application, for more immediate discussion and digestion. As an evolution of this conversation, we’d like to identify what companies or organizations may already be employing these technologies–and which are demonstrating the most significant growth and commercial success.

  1. Media Tablets and mobile computing: In short, no one platform or form factor will prevail–a company must be prepared to address and design for multiple use forms across their customer and employee base. Additionally, companies should plan for a Business to Employee (B2E) strategy, as well as their Business to Consumer and/or Business (B2C and B2B) strategy. We’ve observed that the need for a B2E strategy is one most companies have overlooked and de-prioritized in light of revenue pressure, yet is one that may help it recruit and empower its most talented, productive and demanding employees. It’s quickly becoming an employee expectation that may make the difference between talent selecting you or your competitor.
  2. Mobile-centric applications and interfaces: Consequently, the implications of an increasingly mobile user base and ecosystem bears a few implications for business: first, plan for increasingly touch, voice and gesture-initiated interfaces and identify the platform tools that will help streamline and ease how you build for an increasingly fragmented base of mobile device platforms. To this end, HTML5 will be extremely valuable in addressing cross-platform issues. With this increasing development of mobile web technologies and solutions, we can expect that more applications will be written and delivered as web-based–vs. native apps–within the next 3 years.
  3. Next generation analytics: First, analytics will continue to evolve from offline to in-line embedded (and real-time). Second, their focus is moving from historical to predictive of future performance. Third, with the increasing volume and complexity of available data, analytics will evolve from structured data analyzed by individuals to multi-source and type (video, text, imagery, etc.) analyzed by multiple systems and sources supporting a collaborative decision process. The process of analysis will also need to include a few new decisions (if it doesn’t already): collaboration, simulation, prediction, optimization and actionable decision-making based on said analysis – not just information. At the highest level, data analysis must be used to answer the question ‘how can I conduct my business differently to better serve my customer base, and our collective future?’
  4. Internet of Things: Yes, this has been optimistically discussed (and demonstrated) for some time. But in 2012 and beyond, it’s expected to approach a more scalable tipping point. Some of the key technologies that will fuel the growth of connected objects include a) sensors embedded in devices, places and objects to detect and communicate changes in various conditions b) image recognition to identify objects, people, buildings, places logos, and anything with meaning c) Near Field Communication (NFC) payment facilitated between phone and reader to improve speed of service, and understanding of customer’s preferences and behavior.
  5. Contextual and social user experience: User interactions and experiences with a brand or business–from mobile to keyboard and from social to commerce–will continue to be increasingly informed by context: the environment, activities, connections and preferences affecting said user. Through 2013, we can expect to see context aware applications across areas such as location-based services, augmented reality on mobile devices, and mobile commerce. Additionally, a user’s social graph will continue to be leveraged to inform and refine search results, product/shopping recommendations, and the operation of applications (i.e., Ticketmaster/Facebook integration to select seating next to each other, or AirBnB/Facebook integration to identify any known references on a property).



This LA Hotel Is Designed Specifically For Cocktail Drinkers

Mobile Today

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture Today

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Design Today

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing


Deena Varshavskaya

Retail, Mobile, Social

Syndicated Today

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability Today

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture Today

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Yesterday

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture Today

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising Today

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising Today

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture Today

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings


Innovation Debrief: Boston
Business Concepts Born In 'The Hub'

Design Today

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia Today

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising Today

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.