Forrester identifies top 15 emerging tech trends

Emerging technologies word cloud
11 Feb, 2013

Research firm looks “beyond big four” to new technologies blossoming over next five years.

Business and tech decision makers need to keep tabs on 15 technology areas, including smart products, advanced collaboration and communication, advanced analytics and software defined infrastructure, that are expected to become more prominent between now and 2018.

So claims analyst firm Forrester Research, which has flagged the technologies as part of its Top Emerging Technologies to Watch report.

We went a level deeper in our research looking for future disruption

"Emerging digital technologies are a primary driver of business evolution and disruption. Firms are grappling with an accelerating pace of business change while also trying to make IT simpler and more cost effective. Amid these forces, savvy enterprise architects, IT strategists, and business technology leaders are constantly peering into the future to recognise the next big technology thing in time to make good investment decisions," Forrester claimed in a teaser for the report.

"This report identifies the top 15 emerging technologies you need to start watching now, as they will have big impacts by 2018."

Normally, the report only looks two years ahead and focuses primarily on what the company terms ‘the big four’ – cloud, mobile, social and data.

Instead, this year’s four groups are end user computing, sensors and remote computing, process data management, and infrastructure and application platforms.

Brian Hopkins, principal analyst serving enterprise architecture professionals at Forrester, explained in a blog post that the company made the decision due to the sheer pace of change.

“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,” Hopkins said.

Forrester’s top 15

End user computing technologies

Next generation devices and UIs

Advanced collaboration and communication

Systems of engagement

Sensors and remote computing technologies

Smart products

In-location positioning

Machine-to-machine networks

Process data management technologies

Smart process application and semantics

Advanced analytics

Pervasive BI

Process and data cloud services

Infrastructure and application platforms

Big data platforms

Breakthrough storage and compute

Software-defined infrastructure

New identity and trust models