For the next three years, new information technologies will be emerging amid a nexus of converging forces — social, mobile, cloud and information — bringing strategic and disruptive innovations to businesses and individuals, market researcher Gartner Inc said.
“As demand for consumer electronics devices is increasing at a fast pace, PC manufacturers are forced to upgrade their softwares to provide customers better user experiences in social networking or database hosting services,” Lu Chun-kuan (呂俊寬), a senior research analyst at Gartner Taiwan, said in an interview yesterday.
According to Gartner’s latest report, mobile phones would surpass PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide by next year, while tablet shipments would reach about 50 percent of laptop shipments by 2015.
It also forecast that 80 percent of handsets sold in the US, European countries and Japan would be smartphones by 2015, but only 20 percent of those handsets were likely to run on Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 operating system, as it lagged behind Google Inc’s Android and Apple Inc’s iOS operating systems.
“Smartphone and tablet makers will have to improve their mobile application ecosystems to provide users more flexibilities in compiling data formats between different versions of operating systems or syncing data between different devices,” Lu said.
“To users who own more than one than one mobile device, being able to access personal data across multiple platforms has become one of their biggest concerns, given that more individuals or businesses store their files in PC manufacturers’ data centers,” he said.
“Personal clouds” will gradually replace traditional PCs and become hubs for individuals to keep their personal content, access their services and personal preferences and center their digital lives, the report said.
Gartner also predict that more enterprises would deliver mobile applications to workers through “enterprise clouds” or enterprise application stores by 2014, and that enterprises would be forced to make deals with industry partners on different enterprise clouds with multiple payment processes and multiple sets of licensing terms.
“Given that PC users have become content providers, businesses will have to re-examine their strategies to ensure they can protect customers’ data, while keeping their brands exposed by marketing on social networking Web sites or using other online tools to communicate with customers,” Lu said.
According to Gartner, at least 10 organizations would each spend more than US$1 billion on social media in the next three years.
“Social computing will become as important as data management to businesses in the next three years,” he said. “It’s inevitable because that is the new way for businesses to market their brands and products.”