The 2013 Global Technology Outlook
Since 1982, IBM Research’s worldwide community of top scientists has created the Global Technology Outlook (GTO). The GTO is a comprehensive analysis that identifies and evaluates significant, disruptive technology trends that will lead to industrychanging products and services over a three- to ten-year period. IBM Research considers the societal and business applications in which these technologies could be used – and the impact that they will have on IBM and the world. The GTO has a history of influencing IBM’s business and the Information Technology (IT) industry. In past years it has predicted such emerging trends as virtual server security, optimized systems, pervasive connectivity and the rising importance of data and analytics.
In the last half century there have been three major waves of technology that have defined computing in the enterprise. The advent of the IBM System 360 in the 1960s enabled the systems management of business processes and so-called “back office” computing. The birth of the personal computer in the 1980s ushered in client-server computing. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the commercialization of the Internet fueled the growth of the World Wide Web, revolutionizing culture and helping to create e-business. Today we have reached a new inflection point and sit on the cusp of a fourth wave. This wave is characterized by the confluence of social, mobile and cloud technologies, the rise of Big Data and the new kinds of analytics needed to create value in this environment. The GTO 2013 focuses on this confluence, which is transforming the way companies deliver millions of systems, software, and services to billions of users.
While each technology driver is important when considered individually, this confluence is fueling four “mega-trends” with significant implications for enterprises: