Future technology predictions from top IT executives

It's never too early to be looking ahead in IT, as IT executives are currently confronting -- and in many cases, embracing -- a mobile transformation, new service delivery models and shifts in budgetary priorities. So, what's going to be the next big thing to hit IT circles? What are the future technology predictions of the executives charged with overseeing their organizations' IT strategies?

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012 in Orlando, Fla., this fall, SearchCIO-Midmarket.com site editor Wendy Schuchart asked a group of leading IT executives, "What technology do you think is going to be most important to CIOs and IT directors in the future?" The interviewees, hailing from various industries, suggest that new internal- and external-facing technologies will have a significant impact on business as usual in the years ahead.

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Read the transcript from Schuchart's interviews below, and watch the video to hear the future technology predictions of some top IT leaders.

What technology do you think is going to be most important to CIOs and IT directors in 2016?

Nathan McBride, vice president of IT, AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc.: The thing I've been thinking about most right now myself, the thing my team and I talk about regularly, is when two-factor authentication is dead, when people are no longer using it, what's going to come after 2-FA?

I think what we're going to see in the next six months is a lot of vendors and a lot of CIOs and IT departments going after two-factor authentication, in general, in the enterprise. They're going to need to go to a model where they have these multiple points of authentication. There's going to be some mechanism to control that.

We've only barely heard the beginnings of machine-based, two-factor authentication, such as using an iPhone to authenticate or using a device to authenticate. We haven't really seen anybody go whole hog in on that. After software-based, two-factor authentication has come and gone and been exploited to its absolute potential, I think the very next level or the very next stage will be machine-based authentication.

This goes even beyond biometrics. Your single device that you have in your pocket will be your key to all of your systems, essentially. It won't be that it'll be backed up by another password or some other point of authentication, but that will be your primary point of authentication. The 15-character passphrase, that 8-character password, these things, they're going away. [Also, we'll] have some sort of mechanism that doesn't change or is very, very difficult to spoof, or potentially someday, by 2016, could be unspoofable. Having that characteristic, will be key.

Stewart Seruya, chief security and network officer, University of Miami: Well, the tablets are going to take over. It's going to be some form of tablet that's going to be good enough to replace a computer.

Sallie Moore, director of IS strategy and business resources, Texas Health Resources Inc.: There's been a lot of discussion here in previous years on how to use cloud technology. I still see that as being very important in the future.

Tammy Barr, director of IT, Continental Mills Inc.: I think it's going to be the technologies that sit in the background, that bring things together so they're not as visible like the mobile technologies that we've heard about at the conference, the cloud technologies.

Really, the skills to know which technologies to use at the right time are going to be the most valuable things to move us into the next few years. Having the technology as an enabler, as opposed to the technology driving how processes are done, is going to be critical.

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