During its recent Symposium ITXpo, Gartner released predictions about the future of technology for IT departments and users. Here’s a look at those predictions and what they might mean for you and your organization.

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(Image: StockFinland/iStockphoto)

(Image: StockFinland/iStockphoto)

One of the reasons people go to the annual Gartner Symposium ITxpo is to hear Gartner analysts offer predictions for the future. This year was no different, and Gartner didn’t disappoint, offering predictions and prognostications on a variety of subjects.

One of the most talked about lists of predictions every year is the Top Tech Predictions for IT Organizations and Users. Let’s talk about this year’s version.

Gartner offered 10 predictions for the next five to six years. These aren’t pointed, tactical predictions about how big monitor screens will become or whether the delete key will move from the right side of the keyboard to the left. These are big picture predictions that offer a look into the possibilities of huge trends that will move markets, industries, and society.

Are there any interesting trends within the trends? Three stand out:

  • First, three of the trends deal with the user experience — how users will interact with the systems IT presents to them going forward.
  • Two of the trends are about the Internet of Things — and neither of them explicitly mention security.
  • Finally, none of the trends are primarily about either artificial intelligence or machine learning, though those were two topics on the lips of may attendees and analysts at the conference this year.

It’s likely that AI is not mentioned specifically because it, like mobile devices, is becoming part of the way that computing is done. There wasn’t a clear consensus that these intelligent machines will replace humans in different jobs (though some displacement is likely), but most agreed that computers will use artificial intelligence to aid and assist humans in many new ways in the coming years.

[See Top Programming Languages That Will Future-Proof Your Portfolio.]

Now, the great thing about long-range predictions is that a lot of people will have forgotten that you made them in five (or six, maybe seven) years’ time. For IT professionals, though, the great thing about these predictions is that they provide valuable data points when making long-term strategic plans.

It doesn’t make much sense to toss out your current plans if they’re not in perfect alignment with these predictions, but they do give some additional information that you can use in figuring out how to tactically enact your strategic vision.

What I’m interested in, though, is how these predictions align with your take on the future of technology. Do you see anything here that strikes you as complete nonsense?

How about something that strikes you as being practically prescient? Let us know what you think — and how you think IT should be planning a response to the trends for the future.

Curtis Franklin Jr. is executive editor for technical content at InformationWeek. In this role he oversees product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he acts as executive producer for InformationWeek Radio and Interop Radio where he works with … View Full Bio

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