It will probably come as no surprise that the biggest theme you’ll hear about this year is digital transformation, which is essentially underpinned by the Internet of Everything (IoE).
According to Kevin Bloch, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Australia and New Zealand, in the next 12 months, enterprises will spend more than $40 billion globally, designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Already 38 percent of technology spend is outside of IT,” adds Bloch, who delivered his top 10 ICT trends in 2015.
1. ‘Datafy’ now - Every company will be a digital company .. what about yours?
As oil was to the industrial revolution, Bloch believes data is to the knowledge revolution or the knowledge economy.
“Data is the new oil and like oil, requires extraction, harnessing and distillation to become useful,” he says.
“Despite initial skepticism that big data was yet another IT industry foil, leaders and leading organisations are diving into data analytics.
“However, for faster decision support and automation, data needs to be delivered in real-time and increasingly processed at the network edge. This requires a network that is intelligent, predictive and secure thereby enabling the physical and analytical worlds to merge.”
2. Cloud – The battle for the workload
Bloch predicts that IT departments will increasingly adopt hybrid clouds and broaden their focus from the app to the workload, which includes everything required to run the app.
“In turn, hybrid clouds pit cloud providers against each other over your workload,” he predicts. “Workload containers, policy and orchestration will be key. Cost focus begins to shift from cost per unit of compute or unit of store, to cost per workload.”
As a result, Bloch believes clouds will become more specialised and/or vertical in particular in government, machine-to-machine and IoT.
3. Mobile – Opening more pipes to data .. to you
“Mobile provides access to data about you, your things, your behaviour, even your aspirations, wherever you are,” Bloch adds. “Until recently ‘being mobile’ was an end in itself, now it is much more.”
If data is the new oil, Bloch subsequently believes mobile is the pipeline. “Mobile is facilitating new, exciting user experiences,” he explains “It is providing new revenue streams for telcos, new channels for business and access to automation for industry.”
4. Cybersecurity becoming a Business Process
In 2014, Security remained the least discretionary item in this year’s CIO survey, with 75% of respondents expecting to increase spending in 2015.
“Cybercrimes will continue to be very costly, intrusive, common and require more time to resolve,” he adds.
“The industry is moving from a preventative approach to a “before, during and after” approach. Governments will step up enforcement and regulation.”
5. It’s About Software Baby
Some of the largest companies in the world today are comprised of lines of code (lots of lines) – Uber, LinkedIn, Airbnb to name a few.
“The value and potential of your smartphone is closely correlated to the apps (software) you use,” Bloch claims.
“As cloud and mobile power ‘next gen’ ICT, the usefulness and potential of software has only just begun.
“But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves – software, clouds and smartphones still require hardware to run on. As performance and scale escalates, the criticality of hardware will continue.”
6. Switching and SDN – it’s all about the network .. it’s really that simple
With more than 20 billion connected devices by 2018, Bloch predicts that Ethernet will rapidly spread beyond IT and autonomic networking will be necessary to enable the network to support IoE.
“IT and OT (operational technology) will need to scale for the copious amounts of data and SDN and NfV will enable network simplification,” he claims.
7. Video and Pervasive Screens – Watching whatever, wherever, whenever
“Slowly every surface is turning into a screen and every form of content is converging to become video,” adds Bloch, who claims the world is now cross-screen, which has implications for content, delivery, messaging, advertising and analytics.
“Streaming is closing in on linear TV and internet video to TV will continue to grow at a rapid pace, increasing fourfold by 2018.
“The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and P2P) will constitute about 85 percent of global consumer traffic by 2018.”
8. Go park yourself – Transportation overhauls itself and connected cars rev up
Smart phones, smart homes and now smart cars. Ford, VW, GM, Toyota, Hyundai, Mazda, Audi, BMW, Mercedes all converge towards the ‘connected car’.
In the last quarter 2014, AT&T connected more cars with LTE than people.
“Transport and cars in particular, will begin to transform as there is clearly value and, more importantly, lives at stake,” Bloch believes.
9. New Tech – What to watch out for
“We can expect more pervasive, smarter, smaller, lower power, more powerful wearables,” Bloch adds.
“They will enable the ‘quantified self’, ‘persistent identity’ and ‘high-precision’ location sensing. LTE, WebRTC and WiFi innovation will accelerate.
“New mobile payment options (led by Apple Pay) will proliferate, that threaten to disrupt the entire payments industry.”
10. Industry Consolidation and Adaption Continues – Are you surprised?
According to Bloch, this year the biggest themes will include larger SPs ingesting other SPs and investing in IT specialists.
“Traditional IT vendors will innovate through acquisition,” he predicts. “Hadoop and OpenStack players will consolidate. Non-IT companies (such as GE, GM, car manufacturers, watch makers) will acquire technology companies for analytics, wearables, IoT etc.”