The convergence of four forces — social, mobile, the cloud and information — is about to turn the world we know topsy-turvy, according to the analysts at Gartner, a technology research company. Gartner calls this the Nexus of Forces. But for business owners and IT professionals, it may look more like the four horseman of the tech apocalypse saddling up.
This mashup, which Gartner says is a byproduct of the consumerization of information technology (IT), is revolutionizing business and society, disrupting old business models and creating new leaders. In fact, it's the basis of the technology platform of the future.
The ramifications of this not-so-velvet revolution will be examined at the Garner Catalyst Convention in San Diego next month and at a series of Gartner Symposium/ITxpo events around the world.
"In the Nexus of Forces, information is the context for delivering enhanced social and mobile experiences," said Chris Howard, managing vice president at Gartner. "Mobile devices are a platform for effective social networking and new ways of work. Social links people to their work and each other in new and unexpected ways. Cloud enables delivery of information and functionality to users and systems. These forces of the Nexus are intertwined to create a user-driven ecosystem of modern computing."
Not so long ago, people's most sophisticated computing experience took place at work while computing at home was limited. A nearly complete role reversal has taken place, Gartner says. The consumerization of IT is a result of the availability of excellent services, interfaces and applications with minimal learning curves. As a result, people feel empowered and expect access to similar functionality both at work and at play and make fewer distinctions between work and nonwork activities.
This raises the bar for businesses across the spectrum.
"The combination of pervasive mobility, near-ubiquitous connectivity, industrial compute services, and information access decreases the gap between idea and action," Howard said. "To take advantage of the Nexus of Forces and respond effectively, organizations must face the challenges of modernizing their systems, skills and mind-sets. Organizations that ignore the Nexus of Forces will be displaced by those that can move into the opportunity space more quickly — and the pace is accelerating."