Key IT Trends in 2015

No doubt your 2015 strategic plans are underway, but here are our predictions of the most trending and valuable tech that will augment your plans. New Levels of Data Security Keeping on top of data security is no small feat. With 100% secure systems seemingly the stuff of fantasy, next year’s developments in security will be focused on applications. Initiatives to consider for IT risk mitigation and security might include: Static and dynamic application security testing Application design that includes security awareness Adaptive and context-aware access controls Add More Cloud Power to Business Apps As an increasing number of businesses turn to self-service cloud computing models, vendors will concentrate more efforts on hosted infrastructure, platforms and applications. As the technology evolves, emphasis will start to be placed on applications which can run on multiple devices simultaneously. Business users will gain benefits from the use of two or more screens, as well as wearable devices on which to view and manage data within a single open app session. The Internet of Things, People and Places The Internet of Things will continue to grow in 2015. Internet-connected devices will start to appear everywhere, not just in our hands, but in the environment around us. Over time, maintaining control of all endpoints from which employees conduct your business will become impossible. On the other hand, substantial advantages stand to be gained from new business models enabled by such widespread connectivity. Big Data, Bigger Analytics Next year will start to see a blurring of the edges between dedicated analytics tools and apps with complex integrated analytic capabilities. The “big” in big data will begin to shrink as analytics development focuses more on seamless delivery of actionable data direct to users of business management applications. It makes sense to take these advances into account in your IT strategy, due to the enhanced decision-making capabilities afforded by embracing them. Software-defined Dynamism As the fast-changing digital business platforms require flexibility and adaptability improvements, computing generally will begin to make less use of static models. Networked applications will increasingly reach out to one another and interact. API’s are becoming more advanced and will ultimately enable software to dynamically adjust the configuration of data centers, storage, and networking on an “as required” basis. The result will be faster businesses that can adapt more effectively and scale resources up and down quickly and effortlessly. Cloud computing trends in 2015 According to a recent report by Gartner, cloud computing is one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015. A strategic technology trend has “the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years.” David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said there are three major themes within the tech trends for the new year: the merger of real and virtual worlds technological impact of the digital business shift the concept of intelligence everywhere The last theme is related to a variety of the the trends predicted for 2015, including computing everywhere, smart machine learning and the Internet of Things. Cloud computing is a key element of all of those technologies. The Gartner study suggested that in 2015, companies will begin to focus on promoting applications that are centrally coordinated and can port across multiple devices. “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. “While network and bandwidth costs may continue to favor apps that use the intelligence and storage of the client device effectively, coordination and management will be based in the cloud.” The large scale shift to the cloud is undeniable, and many industry experts believe the technology will only become more popular in the new year. But what kinds of changes and improvements will be seen with the cloud in 2015? InformationWeek editor-at-large Charles Babcock made some predictions about what the next 12 months have in store for cloud computing. Below are some of the top predictions: Cloud computing trends in 2015 Cloud computing trends in 2015 Enterprises will move an increased number of workloads to the cloud While much has been made in the past about enterprise cloud adoption, it has mostly been talk up until this point. Now, companies are starting to actually implement the technology and this trend will continue into 2015. A recent study by IDG Enterprise revealed that 69 percent of organizations currently have a least part of their IT infrastructure hosted in the cloud, and investments in the technology have increased 19 percent in the last two years. Software-defined security will become the new norm With the rising success of software-defined networking technology, a growing number of providers are beginning to offer software-defined security. Babcock suggested that this method will become a bigger part of the software-defined data center and will be used to protect workloads in the cloud. “In the software-defined data center, software mapping systems identify system perimeters and feed intelligence into a central monitoring system,” Babcock explained. “That mapping capability must be extended to define the permissions and activities allowed to the software system, with a surveillance agent ensuring that it adheres to only those activities. Any exceptions must trigger an inspection and potential intervention. ” Greater use of public cloud infrastructures in business As cloud environments have gotten safer, a rising number of CIOs have started using both public and private clouds in order to give business teams the tools they need to succeed quickly. While most organizations will likely always employ a private cloud environment for at least a portion of their businesses, many are starting to see the benefits of utilizing public platforms for less sensitive systems and processes. IoT and big data platforms increase cloud use As the Gartner study suggested earlier, the IoT will become even more popular in the new year; as it does, an increasing number of organizations will utilize the information created by the connected devices to benefit big data initiatives. Such a massive amount of data will have to be stored somewhere, and the cloud will see a major boost in enterprise investment as companies deploy Hadoop and other big data programs. Perhaps all of these developments are relevant to your company, perhaps only some of them. It’s highly unlikely that you can ignore all of them. Data security especially is likely to be at the top of your agenda, since it will be a priority for customers. Last year, Curacao Technology Exchange (CTEX) inaugurated its first Uptime Institute Certified Tier-IV datacenter in Latin America and the Caribbean. The facility is the only Tier-IV multi tenant datacenter certified for both Design and Constructed facility in the region. The company’s datacenter is located in Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean. Aside from earning UNESCO’s hallmark of World Heritage City, Curaçao boasts strict European style privacy laws, ample connectivity through 6 submarine cables, neutral relations with neighboring countries, a multilingual workforce and excellent fiscal benefits. Remarkably, the island lies outside the traditional hurricane belt and active seismic zones. I had a chance to catch up with Anthony de Lima, CTEX’s Chairman and CEO. Mr. de Lima’s driving idea is the creation of one of the region’s most advanced technology hubs. His focus on quality and perfection is extreme with no lack of optimism, while having held senior positions in the past with giants such as Telefonica, KPMG and others provide him a broad and deep understanding of technology and regional dynamics. I asked Mr. de Lima to provide his perspective on technology trends 2015 – “That’s a tough question, but I do think that some of the trends that we saw in 2013 and 2014 will finally become mainstream in 2015. We are in the datacenter business and this year’s trends will dramatically reshape how service providers like ourselves will deliver value to enterprise customers and consumers. Technological advances that enable further personalization and mass customization will make 2015 the year of integration,” said Anthony de Lima. “From the integration of traditional systems with Cloud solutions to all encompassing smartphones and wearables, in 2015, technology will drive heavy lifting to transform backend systems combined with the enablement of incredible intuitiveness, simplicity and seamlessness for users at the front end. All of this will bring about a significant rethinking of where to invest and how to deploy technology. I have my favorite list of ten.” 1. The Internet of Things and Smart Machines “I think that the combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything enables new business and monetization models. The Internet of Things has the potential to create significant new business opportunities. “For example on the home innovation front, you’re going to see the interconnection of a whole lot of things,” de Lima said. “Door locks, HVAC systems, security systems, audio visual and a lot more. Rich intelligence gathered combined with deep analytics will enable a new world of smart machines. This, coupled with advanced algorithms that allow systems to understand their environment, learn for themselves, and act autonomously will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine-to-machine interaction that will drive the greatest disruption in IT history.” 2. Mobility “An increased mobile workforce will drive a shift in how we think about computing and communication. The continued growth in mobile devices and smartphones coupled with individual user based usage patterns will demand context sensitive Apps and platforms. You’ve got to imagine that every user or potential customer that interacts with your enterprise will engage through a variety of different platforms and channels. One size will not fit all. 3. Wearables “The Apple Watch, due out early this year will cause significant disruption. I think this is a key trend because it brings advanced technology capabilities even closer to the masses. Not to mention the drive for new mobile Apps and the increased demand for Cloud based solutions that connect with users in a context and location sensitive manner.” 4. Context-Rich Systems “Embedded intelligence combined with pervasive analytic will drive the development of systems that are aware of their surroundings and capable of responding appropriately. By understanding the context and behavior of a user, applications will adjust how information is delivered.” 5. BYOD here to stay “The concept of bringing your own devices to work and connecting these to an enterprise network will remain a reality. Smartphones, Tablets and other devices are being used to automate tedious paper intensive processes. Expect the pressure to accommodate whatever devices consumers are using to continue. To prepare for a further onslaught companies will need clearly defined security guidelines, usage profiles, and an extensive portfolio of context sensitive Apps. Failure to do so will make a company appear outdated and out of touch with new consumer demands and trends.” 6. Transformation of the data center “Racks are getting denser, performance per kilowatt is increasing, and Cloud solutions are exploding. Managing utilization levels and power usage efficiency (PUE) ratios will be paramount in 2015 as data centers transform themselves to Cloud centers where companies source computing power on-demand rather than traditional Co-location real-estate services. To meet demands, Virtualization will continue and so will the need for increased core processing power. These drivers will cause companies to rethink their infrastructure strategies and leverage regional data center facilities to ensure Cloud systems are located close to users, and in safe and secure jurisdictions.” 7. Cloud Computing “The convergence of Cloud and Mobile computing will continue to drive the growth of applications that can be delivered to any device anywhere. “Cloud is the new style of scalable, self-service computing, upon which both internal and external Apps are being built,” said de Lima. It is estimated that through 2014, more than 60 percent of IT adoption of the Cloud was on redeploying existing functionality. I think that we will see a shift in 2015 to exploit private and hybrid Cloud capabilities. For this, companies will need to partner with third party service providers who can deliver compute power on an on-demand basis. Service providers such as CTEX will have to build solid relationships with their customers to predict and plan for the requisite elasticity in computing power.” 8. The year of Big Data and Analytics “Organizations have struggled in dealing with Big data. The business side needs to know how to use it and technology organizations need to facilitate the deployment of intelligent analytics tools. To meet ongoing demand for data aggregation and analytics, companies will need to deploy virtualized storage and de-duplication technologies. Reliance on third party service providers to provide storage capacity based on an elastic model will be key. Tied to Big data, Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise is captured and analyzed. Analytics will become deeply embedded everywhere. The software providers that will differentiate themselves the most in this area are those that deliver the tools to visualize data. That is where the game will be.” 9. Software-Defined Apps and Infrastructure “Context sensitive development of everything from applications to basic infrastructure is essential to enable organizations to deliver the flexibility required to make the transition to personalization and mass customization of their Apps. Software-defined networking, storage, and security will also be a key trend. Cloud services are becoming software-configurable through API calls that provide dynamic access to functionality and content. In 2015 we will see a new breed of compute models that dynamically assemble and configure required elements from the network through application layers based on context and usage. Opensource and opensource-based development platforms will play a key role. Be prepared for a glut in the developer market.” 10. Security “Taking center-stage in 2015 will be security. Companies will need to recognize that it’s impossible to provide a 100 percent secured environment. Once organizations acknowledge that, they can begin to apply more sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools. Perimeter defense will continue to be inadequate in securing the enterprise. Security-aware application design and run-time application self-protection will be required. Every App needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.” Any personal thoughts or things you’d like to see different in 2015? – “Looking at my four year old daughter and others her age, its easy to see that children are growing up with Apps and digital media as an integral part of their lives. I think that it will be interesting to see how companies will leverage Tablets and Smartphones to stimulate creativity. Trends such as the introduction of computer programming very early on into their curriculum should all positively contribute to their overall development. Of course as parents we need to stay close, and kids should continue to do basic things such as riding bikes and falling, being outside, interacting with others, playing sports and engaging in other social activities that stimulate personal interaction.”
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