Seven Technologies That Will Transform Businesses

Gartner has identified seven technologies that will “completely transform” business over the next 25 years, including parallel programming, wireless power sources for mobile devices, automated speech translation, and computing interfaces that detect human gestures.

“Many of the emerging technologies that will be entering the market in 2033 are already known in some form in 2008.

Here’s a rundown of Gartner’s seven technology “grand” challenges:

1 Eliminating the need to recharge batteries for wireless devices. The future holds portable computing devices that are charged remotely, rather than with a wire, or devices that are simply powered by a remote source, making the use of batteries unnecessary.

2 Parallel programming. Speed advances in computing are starting to come with multicore processors which, instead of simply speeding up a single core, use multiple processors that are a bit slower but solve problems faster by dividing tasks into smaller individual processes.

3 Natural computing interfaces. The goal of interacting with computers without a mechanical interface is a longstanding one, but obstacles remain in developing the ability for computers to detect gestures, and check those gestures in real time against a gesture “dictionary” that tells the computer what action to take.

4 Automated speech translation. Natural language processing will be a key feature of computers after researchers resolve challenges related to speech synthesis and recognition, and machine translation.

5 Persistent and reliable long-term storage. Technologies today are ill-equipped to store the world’s digital information on digital media for the long haul, according to Gartner.

6 Increasing programmer productivity 100-fold. Today’s programmer is a shell of his future self — or at least that’s what Gartner is hoping. The output of each programmer will have to increase dramatically in order to meet future demands fuelled by increasing reliance on the fruits of software development.

7 Identifying the financial consequences of IT investments. “One of the most perplexing challenges faced by IT leaders has been to convey the business value of IT in terms readily understandable by business executives.

Gartner’s challenge to industry here is to find a model that can measure value consistently, similar to how financial accounting measurements are standard across public companies.

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