Smart machines and IoT platforms are going to be big.

The channel is already in the middle of a customer transition away from the traditional PC and laptop working environment as users adopt other platforms and that is going to continue to be a major feature of the market.

Over the past few years there has been a growth in the numbers of tablets, smartphones and convertibles being used at work and according to Gartner there is more to come.

The analyst house has put together some thoughts around what will be the hype cycle for emerging technologies this year and come to the conclusion there are three areas where business customers should concentrate their attention and innovation.

From a channel perspective the ‘platform revolution’ is the one which should have most impact. The others – transparently immersive experiences and the perpetual smart machine age – are also worth keeping an eye on.

Gartner’s definition of what the platform revolution will mean includes looking at what will emerge as some of the dominant themes in the next five to ten years.

The main thrust is a shift from a traditional technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms that have much greater levels of flexibility.

The challenge for users, and the opportunity for resellers, is to understand and introduce the technology needed to support platform-based business models. Some of the areas which should see investment include IoT platforms, software-defined security along with software-defined anything.

“These trends illustrate that the more organizations are able to make technology an integral part of their employees’, partners’ and customers’ experience, the more they will be able to connect their ecosystems to platforms in new and dynamic ways,” said Mike Walker, research director at Gartner.

The analyst house looks at around 2,000 technologies before boiling it down to where they expect the most impact will be made in the long term.

“This Hype Cycle specifically focuses on the set of technologies that is showing promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years,” said Walker.

“To thrive in the digital economy, enterprise architects must continue to work with their CIOs and business leaders to proactively discover emerging technologies that will enable transformational business models for competitive advantage, maximize value through reduction of operating costs, and overcome legal and regulatory hurdles,” he added.

The immersive experiences include some of the big buzz words of virtual and augmented reality and the development of gesture controlled devices.

Smart machine technologies is expected to be the most disruptive area with more data being processed by ever greater computational power to find answers to problems both known and yet to be encountered.

The development of virtual personal assistants, lots of smart data and drones along with robots are just some of the things that we can look forward to in the not too distant future.

“As smart machine technologies continue to evolve, they will become part of the human experience and the digital business ecosystem,” said Walker.

Some of the technologies that Gartner is talking about are already having an impact in the workplace and are familiar to the channel but the challenge for resellers will be to get into a position of thought leadership in the key areas before they go mainstream.