According to computer.org, here are the top trends in computing that will be highlighted this year:
The Internet of Things is more than just the newest buzzword. The IoT promises to be the most disruptive technological revolution since the advent of the World Wide Web. Projections indicate that up to 100 billion uniquely identifiable objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020, but human understanding of the underlying technologies has not kept pace. This creates a fundamental challenge to researchers, with enormous technical, socioeconomic, political, and even spiritual consequences.
Recent technological advances in computing, communications, software, and hardware have enabled the significant growth of cyberspace, an important aspect of modern life that continues to transform the way citizens, business, and governments interact, collaborate, and conduct business. Our heavy dependence on various digital infrastructures has made them strategic national assets that must be protected to ensure economic growth, prosperity, and safety in the future.
We’ve entered a data-driven era, in which data are continuously acquired for a variety of purposes. The ability to make timely decisions based on available data is crucial to business success, clinical treatments, cyber and national security, and disaster management. Additionally, the data generated from large-scale simulations, astronomical observatories, high-throughput experiments, or high-resolution sensors will help lead to new discoveries if scientists have adequate tools to extract knowledge from them.
Cloud computing has emerged as a dominant paradigm, widely adopted by enterprises. Clouds provide on-demand access to computing utilities, an abstraction of unlimited computing resources, and support for on-demand scale-up, scale-down, and scale-out. Cloud platforms are also rapidly becoming viable for scientific exploration and discovery, as well as education. As a result, it is critical to understand application formulations and usage modes that are meaningful in such a hybrid infrastructure, the fundamental conceptual and technological challenges, and ways that applications can effectively utilize clouds.
It could be argued that two of the most important technological developments of the last few years are the emergence of mobile and cloud computing. By shifting the hardware and staffing costs of managing computational infrastructure to third parties such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, cloud computing has made it possible for small organizations and individuals to deploy world-scale services; all they need to pay is the marginal cost of actual resource usage. At the same time, the deployment of 3G and 4G networks, the rapid adoption of feature-rich smartphones, and the growing integration of computation into consumer products such as cars and home appliances, have brought mobile and pervasive computing into the mainstream.
The Internet is a battleground where fights for technical, social, and political control are waged, including between governments and their citizens, separate governments, and competing commercial interests. These fights take many forms, including Internet filtering versus circumvention, surveillance versus anonymization, denial of service attacks and intrusion attempts versus protection mechanisms, and on- and offline persecution and defense of online activists. These battles impact and are impacted by the Internet’s technical structure. As the Internet continues to embed itself into our world, its structural changes will have an increasing effect on our social and political structures, and our social and political structures will have increasing impact on the Internet’s technical structure.
The full article can be found here: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/membership/13-Top-Trends-for-2013