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  • The next few years promise to extend the current digital revolution into uncharted territory, according to Gartner's recently published report, "Top Strategic Predictions for 2017 and Beyond." It will, indeed, look like a "brave new world," thanks to continuing innovation on the part of IT teams and their organizations. Augmented reality will blur the real and digital universes, resulting in a superior customer experience. The screens on computers and mobile devices will be replaced by voice-first systems. Companies will discover dramatic cost reductions through internet of things (IoT), and mobile apps may not be necessary anymore. "Gartner's top strategic predictions continue to offer a provocative look at what might happen in some of the most critical areas of technology evolution," said Daryl Plummer, a managing vice president and Gartner fellow. "At the core of future outcomes is the notion of digital disruption, which has moved from an infrequent inconvenience to a consistent stream of change that is redefining markets and entire industries. Last year, we said digital changes were coming fast. This year the acceleration continues and may cause secondary effects that have wide-ranging impact on people and technology."

  • Thousands of executives attended the event to learn about digital disruption and transformation, future tech trends and the evolving role of IT and its leaders.

  • The majority of global executives believe that the rapid pace of digital transformation will change nearly every aspect of the way we work, according to a recent survey from Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work and Roubini Global Economics. The resulting report, "The Work Ahead: Mastering the Digital Economy," indicates that this technology revolution may take only a few years to take hold. With greater adoption of business analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud delivery and automated processes, project teams will be able to get the job done more efficiently, while also collaborating more. Day-to-day tasks will become more strategic. At the same time, however, organizations will require fewer people to pursue business goals, and there are increasing concerns about information privacy and digital terrorism. Overall, the findings convey that there is, indeed, a brave, new world ahead of us. With the right IT skills in place, both tech and non-tech employees will be in a good position to take advantage of the shifts. "The good news is, digital is the business opportunity of a lifetime," according to the report. "The bad news—if you can call it that—is that expectations are high, and there's still a lot of money not yet being made. … Digital is impacting work that matters. How we bank, manage global supply chains … run our back offices, consume goods and services are all now up for grabs. This shift is not a mirage, and it will be more significant than anything anybody of working age has ever experienced." Executives from an estimated 2,000 global companies took part in the research.

  • A leading commercial seafood farm turns to the internet of things to run the business more efficiently and to monitor the quality and safety of the harvest.

  • With mobile app developers and design staffers now working on multiple products at the same time, these professionals view the growing demand for wearable tech and connected device apps as a top current or future challenge, according to a recent survey from Kony. The resulting report, "Wearables and Connected Devices: The Next Frontier in Cross-Platform Mobile Development," indicates that the majority of survey respondents will oversee the production of at least two—if not a half-dozen or more—mobile apps over the next six to 12 months. These apps must accommodate the rising presence of wearable technology and the internet of things (IoT) and connected devices in the enterprise. But survey respondents said a lack of communication among IT stakeholders, designers and developers about plans regarding wearable and connected devices creates formidable obstacles to these initiatives. They also are often overwhelmed by pressures to design mobile apps for multiple devices and platforms, while meeting ever-rising user expectations for new app features. "As more devices hit the market and wearable and connected devices become commonplace in the workplace, enterprises need a platform to achieve greater agility and efficiencies," according to the report. "Wearable and connected devices are definitely becoming mainstream, and a key driver for their acceptance will be the growth of enterprise mobile apps built around these devices. It is critical for developers, designers and stakeholders to work closer together to not only meet business objectives and the demands of the business users, but also to deliver an amazing user experience." More than 230 global mobile app developers and mobile app concept and design professionals took part in the research.

  • The 'Macy's on Call' mobile app lets customers use natural-language queries to locate products and services in its stores without the help of a sales clerk.