Gartner made a splash last October at the Gartner Symposium and ITxpo in Orlando by announcing their Top 10 Technology Trends for 2015. Today, we’re going to continue our series on technology trends by discussing Context Rich Systems.
Context is defined as an amalgamation of data and analytics used to orient your technology while making a decision on how to perform a task.
We do this as humans every day. In the morning you must decide how to get to work and you start compiling data and synthesizing all the variables. Let’s say your choices are to walk, bike, or take a taxi, now you have to start asking yourself questions: how’s the weather now and what’s it going to be like when I leave the office? Do I have any early meetings today? Did I feel safe using the route I took last time I walked or biked? To make the best decision you’re weighing data that is current, historical, and you need to make estimates and assumptions about the future.
Soon, devices will start to make decisions with context as well. And this could affect IT trends in more ways than one.
Consumers are constantly connected to the web and recent hacking scandals such as Sony, Target, Home Depot and the US Government show us that anyone and everyone’s personal data is at risk. Context rich systems can analyze networks for security gaps and decide on the level of encryption needed based on multiple factors. If a file such as a PDF isn’t password encrypted, a context rich system can double check for TLS, PGP, or other encryption protocols to ensure the PDF you’re sending can get securely to the intended viewer.
Digital security is vital for 2015 and we’re expecting to see the earliest shift into context rich systems in this realm of technology first. Not only will context rich security systems help to ensure your data is more appropriately secured, but users and companies can save time and resources once they decision is made by systems serving themselves; computers are much faster at deciphering analytics than humans will ever be and, once the rules are in place, we’ll all be able to rest a little bit easier knowing that the best choice for security is being made on our behalf.
#2 Proximate Selection
The plethora of data available today can be overwhelming, often making it hard to find the right information at the right time. For example, a consumer could be searching for a bank. But, they aren’t interested in banks in another state or even the next town over. What they really want is the banks in their immediate area. With current hardware and software advancements, locating a consumer based on their device has become an everyday occurrence. That information, combined with other data collected, will now be used to tailor the consumer experience. Take, for example, a consumer who reviews restaurants on a popular review application. When searching for new restaurants, not only will the application tailor the results based on location but it’ll also use the information collected from reviews to decide which restaurants to show first. If the consumer visits a lot of burger joints, American restaurant listings in his area will be preferred over Indian restaurants.
#3 Auto Contextual Configuration
Most of the time, consumers just want things to work. In the past, what’s gotten in the way of this happening is the integration of devices. For example, a printer needs the right drivers installed to work on a specific computer. With the enterprise framework, context will be used more frequently to circumvent these requirements and allow devices to integrate seamlessly. For example, printer drivers will be automatically loaded onto an employee’s laptop depending on which building they’ree in within a large corporate campus.
#4 Contextual Information and Commands
Devices will start to get smarter as they take context into account. The days of fixed menu commands are gone. As devices receive data about location, preferences and increase their ability to analyze usage habits of consumers, menus to use the device will change. For example, based on location, a device could offer up a specific application. Or, based on date, could remind a user to pay a bill.
#5 Context-triggered Actions
More than ever, devices will act based on what is happening in their environment. And it won’t be just one device at a time. Our current appreciation for contextually driven actions is simplistic. For example, you pass a flower shop and it’s your anniversary. Your phone reminds you to pick up flowers. All the information for that action is contained within one device â your phone. As the IoT (Internet of things) grows, devices will communicate with each other, triggering actions based on their combined information. For example, your refrigerator recognizes you’re low on milk and communicates via app with your phone. As you pass the grocery store, it reminds you to pick up milk.
How is your organization planning for context rich system deployment and what will be your top priority?