During the Gartner Symposium of 2014 held in Cape Town highlighted key technology trends, but something that stood out was the top ten tech trends in the coming year. It was David Cearely who made the rendition of the various technologies that will be most strategic for organizations in 2015. He further goes on to explain to us what a strategic technology is by saying it is one with the potential for significant on the organization in three years to come, neat, right? Now, there are factors that denote a “significant impact”, which include a high disruptive quality (ever heard of disruptive innovation) to the businesses, IT or end users, the requirement for major investment, or the risk of late adoption. These technologies influence the organization’s long-term plans, programs, and initiatives.
Cearely goes on to state that “we have identified the top ten technology trends that companies cannot afford to ignore in their strategic planning processes. This does not necessarily mean they need to adopt or invest in all trends at the same rate, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them in the next two years.” It is a delicate merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of widespread intelligence, and the IT impact on the rise of the Digital Business. These technologies include:
The Internet of Things (IoT)
On a previous post, I illuminated what the internet of things means and what it means for the world of everyday living. The ubiquitous aspect of user-oriented computing will continue to be reflected in industrial and operational contexts. This is core to digital business products and procedures. The deep immersion of technology will create touch points for users everywhere, thus creating the cornerstone for digital-led business.
Multiple Location Computing
Mobile devices are continuing to proliferate, especially with the coming $50 Smartphone, actually, Africa leads in mobile broadband growth, at 19% in 2014; Gartner prophetic outlook is that there will be an increased emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user in diverse environments and contexts, as opposed to singular focus on devices. “Phones and wearable devices are now part of an expanded computing environment that includes things like consumer electronics and connected screens in the workplace and public space,” says Gartner.
Interestingly, it is the environment that must adapt to the growing demands of the mobile user. In this regard, management challenges are bound to arise for IT organizations as they let go of the reins in endpoint user devices, not to mention the greater to be required to user experience design.
3D printing is bound to reach a tipping as the demand for cost-effective 3D printing machines continues to elevate. The industrial application continues to expand rapidly. New biomedical, industrial, consumer applications will continue to demonstrate that 3D printing is a reliable, viable, cost-effective means for cost reduction through ameliorated designs, streamlined prototyping, and short-run manufacturing.
Enhanced, Percolating, Subtle Analytics
Analytics will assume center-stage as the volume of data generated by immersed systems augments and vast pools of structured and unstructured data internally and externally of the organization goes through analysis. Essentially, “every app now needs to be an analytic app,” declares Cearely.
Organizations will need to manage how best they filter huge amounts of data coming the IoT structure, social media and wearable devices and deliver the right information to the accurate person at the opportune time. Analytics will go deep-cover everywhere, meaning that they will be vastly distributed, but subtle in detection, I mean, you could have a chip right in the brain and while walking in the street none would be the wiser! Big data is an important enabler for this trend, I mean exabytes of data needs to be collected, but first what needs to happen is to think about how we will go about this as we emerge these technologies. The value of big data will be derived in this process of deliberate discussion.
Ubiquitous embedded intelligence in combination with pervasive analytics will fuel the development if systems that are conscious to the context in which they are achieved and be able to respond appropriately. Context-aware security is an early application of this new capability, but others will lay in the offing, just awaiting implementation. “By understanding the context of a user request, applications cannot only adjust their security response but also how information is delivered to the user, greatly simplifying, an increasingly complex computing world,” quips Cearely.
Immersed analytics applied to an understanding of context provide the preconditions for a world of smart machines. This platform combines with advanced algorithms that allow systems to understand their environment, learn for themselves, and act autonomously.
“Prototype autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors already exist and will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine helpers. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT,” says Cearley. I really can’t wait for such a world, “Rise of the Planet of the Machines,” here, here I say!
The convergence point between cloud and mobile computing continues to promote the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device. “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,” emphasizes Cearley.
“The second screen phenomenon today focuses on coordinating television viewing with use of a mobile device. In the future, games and enterprise applications alike will use multiple screens and exploit wearables and other devices to deliver an enhanced experience,” said Cearley.
“While network and bandwidth costs may continue to favor apps that use the intelligence and storage of the client device effectively, co-ordination and management will be based in the cloud.” Near term the focus for cloud-client will be on linking content and application state across multiple devices and addressing application portability amongst devices. Over time applications will evolve to support simultaneous use of multiple devices.
Software-Defined Infrastructure and Applications
Programmers are engaging in agile programming of everything from applications to essential infrastructure to enable organizations to deliver the versatility necessary to make the digital business a reality. Events such as software defined networking, storage; data centers and security are coming of age. Cloud services are software configurable through application programming interface (API) calls, and applications too increasingly have rich APIs to access their function and content programmatically.
“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,” counsels Cearley.
“Rules, models and code that can dynamically assemble and configure all of the elements needed, from the network through the application, are needed,” he added.
Web-Scale Information Technology
Web-scale IT is a paradigm of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting. More organizations are beginning to think about acting in and constructing applications and infrastructure such as web giants as Amazon, Google and Facebook.
Web-scale IT doesn’t take place immediately but will evolve progressively as commercial hardware functionalities embrace the new models, cloud-optimized and software-defined approaches arrive mainstream. The initial step towards the web-scale IT future for varied organizations should be DevOps –synergizing development and operations in a coordinated way to drive rapid, flowing, incremental development of applications and services.
Risk-Based Security and Self-Preservation
Security is the currency of the digital future. Nevertheless, in a digital business world security cannot be a stumbling block that halts all progress. Organizations will increasingly be cognizant of the fact that it is not probable to achieve one per cent secured environments. Once organizations have acknowledged this matter of fact, they can instigate more sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools.
Technically, recognition that perimeter defense is inadequate and applications need to take a more active role in security will give rise to a new multi-pronged defense stratagem. Security aware application design, dynamic and static application security testing and runtime application self protection, synchronized with active context-aware and adaptive access controls, are all necessary in today’s perilous digital world.
This creates new models of infusing security directly into applications. Perimeters and firewalls are no longer an efficient deterrent; each App needs to be self-aware with regard to security and self-protecting seen that security begins at the individual!