Some technologies have very real disruptive potential and need to be factored into a company's decision-making, according to a recent Gartner symposium.

The research company has predicted the top ten technology trends that are going to be shaping business practices in 2014. Gartner went on to suggest that these changes would need to be taken seriously by companies if they want to maximise the impact of their strategic planning for the upcoming year.

The ten factors are grouped around three areas that will continue to shape the development of companies. The three broad trends are around IT services for digital businesses, incorporating smart technologies into an organisation and the merging of real and virtual worlds. 

Each of these larger trends was then further divided into three to four different factors that are going to shape businesses. These cover areas from web-scale IT and cloud/client architecture to 3D printing and advanced analytics. 

Using cloud-based software to develop new technologies was going to have particular influence because of mobile computing, according to David Cearley, vice president of Gartner.

"Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style," said Cearley.

"To deal with the rapidly changing demands of digital business and scale up – or down – systems rapidly, computing has to move away from static to dynamic models."

While there are sure to be plenty more predictions on the business outlook for 2015, this announcement from Gartner further solidifies the importance of getting the right strategic planning in place. Failing to do so will leave companies struggling to keep up with more agile competitors who are already making the most of this technology.