Gartner: Startups Born in Digital Era Will Kill Off Tech Giants

Analyst reckons Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft could be heading for trouble with startups as it unveils a flurry of predictions at its Symposium event.

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Editor’s note: As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing  this recent article from CRN in the UK.


Well-established tech leaders such as Cisco Systems Inc., Oracle Corp. and Microsoft Corp. could be overtaken by a tranche of up-and-coming digital startups, according to Gartner, which has unveiled its latest series of long-term predictions as its Symposium event.

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The analyst says the kind of technology top IT vendors sold to businesses in the past is often not necessary for a digital future, meaning the current crop of industry leaders could be set for a fall in the not-too-distant future.

"[Top technology companies'] channel strategies, sales force and partner ecosystems [are] challenged by different competitors, new buying centers and changed customer business models," said Gartner research director Peter Sondergaard at the analyst global gathering in Orlando.

"Digitalization creates an accelerated technology-driven startup environment across the globe. Many of the vendors who are on top today, such as Cisco, Oracle and Microsoft, may not be leaders in the digital industrial economy."

Elsewhere at the Gartner Symposium, the analyst set out what it reckons will be the top 10 tech trends for next year and beyond, with 3D printing, wearable tech and the Internet of Things popping up.

In seven years' time, its predictions show five percent of sales from the Global 1000 companies will be driven from data collected from wearable devices signalling the establishment of wearable tech as a mainstay in the industry.

"Wearable computing ... is quickly moving into mainstream society, led by the growing, multi-billion dollar health and fitness markets," it said. "Within five years, consumer wearables will become more sophisticated, capturing what the user sees, hears or even feels through biorhythmic responses."

Just next year, worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow by three quarters annually, and in 2015 that figure will double again, Gartner says, predicting the consumer market will act as a real driver for the tech.

The analyst also points to the Internet of Things as a key market set for further growth, but said that the effect of digitalization could cause social unrest as the need for labor declines.

"By 2020 the labor-reduction effect of digitization will cause social unrest and a quest for new economic models in several mature economies. A larger-scale version of an 'Occupy Wall Street'-type movement will begin by the end of 2014, indicating that social unrest will start to foster political debate," it said.

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