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These Are The Top Ranked Technology Trends for 2016

March 23, 2016

This todaysnote discusses 12 technologies that have been evaluated by various IT organizations and rated for their risk-reward potential. The study is described in computereconomics.com and summarized in this 700+ word post, Software-Defined Networking Tops Leading Technologies List for 2016, from February, 2016. (Note: the full study is a paid product, but this todaysnote post summarizes the information available in the public post. Here is what computereconomics says about that: “This Research Byte is a brief overview of our study, Technology Trends 2016. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website …”)

The technologies were evaluated by conducting a poll of IT organizations who ranked the tech trends in terms of cost, return (ROI) and risk. Here is the post’s description of the study logistics:

The study also delves into the specific types of solutions under consideration. By understanding the adoption trends, investment activity, and customer experience, business leaders are in a better position to assess the potential risks and rewards of investing in each of these technology initiatives. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are investing in these initiatives.

The authors clarify:

Each initiative falls into one of nine sectors, representing low, moderate, or high reward, and low, moderate, or high risk. In addition to the five technologies that fell into the top sector, the other technologies in the study ranked as follows.

Five of the technologies scored in the High Return – Low Risk quadrant; four of them will not surprise you: Social / Collaboration, Mobile Apps, Infrastructure as a Service and Tablet Computers. What may surprise you is that Software-Defined Networking scored the top spot in the poll. The post tells us: “This year, software-defined networking, while one of the most immature technologies in the study, exhibited outstanding customer experience.

The technology is so immature, in fact, that you may not be familiar with it (I wasn’t). Fortunately, the post helps us understand a little bit about the technology:

In the simplest terms, software-defined networking abstracts all of the higher-level control functions from the hardware, which is left with basic task of reading packets and forwarding them along their way based on rules provided by the software. In theory, this enables administrators to control the network without having to physically touch a switch or router.

Beyond the fact that Software-Defined Networking seemingly came out of nowhere to demonstrate such value for IT companies, the most interesting part of this piece is the accumulation of rankings of all 12 technologies based on actual experience. The below chart, borrowed from the post, summarizes how each fared.

Top Technology Trends 2016 graphic

This post represents a considerable value-add to any of the organic information about these technologies that may be available elsewhere. It constitutes a very nice analysis of the economics of implementing these technologies. While I can’t recommend the paid report (I have not read it), the post is quite excellent and well worth a read. I will be looking for more material from computereconomics.com in the future.

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