Gartner loves its trends and users love lists as a quick way to scan and absorb important information, so Gartner analyst Nick Jones gave into requests from IT leaders and put together a list of his top 10 mobile and wireless technologies to watch over the next four years. He showed the list to attendees during his mobile state of the union presentation at Gartner Symposium 2011 this week.

Here’s what Nick had:

  1. HTML5
  2. NFC and “touch to act” applications such as payment
  3. Platform independent AD tools
  4. Location and context — indoor and outdoor
  5. Bluetooth 4
  6. 802.11ac
  7. M2M — cellular and Wi-Fi
  8. Augmented reality
  9. Multiplatform MDM
  10. LTE

He put HTML5 at the top because he stated, “By 2015, mobile Web technologies will have advanced sufficiently such that half of the applications that in 2011 would be written as native apps will be, instead, delivered as Web apps.”

The other three themes of Nick’s list are machine-to-machine (M2M, or the “Internet of things”), location-based tools, and more robust wireless connectivity. In terms of the wireless issue, here’s a chart from his presentation that maps out what’s coming, when, and how fast it is:

Sanity check

The two big things that I think are missing from this top ten are 1.) the advent of business-centric app stores, and 2.) mobile data security technologies. Both of those trends will be driven by the consumerization of IT and the fact that more an more IT departments will embrace the concept of employees bringing their own devices into the enterprise. In order to allow that but still maintain corporate standards and data security, companies will need to give employees access to business apps that they can use on their devices and implement technologies that can protect sensitive corporate data when it’s being viewed, created, and manipulated on devices that the company does not control.