It wouldn’t be technology if we weren’t talking about the things to come. As the years have progressed, we have seen and continue to experience the static digital world evolving to match our mobile and dynamic, physical world. As we continually evolve, we’ve come to realize that it’s not just about the technology, it’s about solving problems. 2015 holds a lot in store for doing just that. Here are some of the trends we are keeping a pulse on at ChaiOne.
The Biggest Enchiladas of 2015
1. Cloud Computing.
You’ve heard about it more than you can handle, but it’s all about that cloud.
Cloud computing is the bee’s knees right now. The accessibility and freedom that it offers is extremely attractive to enterprises currently bound by traditional software and hardware. Employees now have freedom to complete their work outside of the office. BYOD and the virtual workplace empowers employees through flexibility and choice, enabling them to work more efficiently and inevitably increase their productivity. The cloud allows employees to be connected to resources at all times, wherever and whenever they need. According to IBM, 55% of businesses saw an increase in efficiency and 25% saw a reduction in IT costs after implementation. As enterprises make this transition to a mobile workforce, they should be developing a cloud strategy that prepares for long-term needs. Additionally, concerns should be addressed and considered, mainly security, performance and licensing constraints.
2. Context-rich systems.
We left basic analytics behind a while ago. We have come to a place where we require systems that are context-rich, meaning that they do more than just basic functions. We need systems that are designed around the user experience, systems that are aware of their role and the environment around them. The equation we need to remember is the formula for behavior: User + Design + Context. Designers are pretty good about nailing the user and the design; however, pinning down the ever varying context can be very difficult. Defining the scope of your projects will help hone in on which contexts are relevant, thus creating better systems that “speak human”.
IoT has moved past just being the cool techie acronym. As progress has been made, the possibilities now seem in reach. The nice thing about IoT is that we aren’t racking our brains to understand the functionality because it makes sense. It is making sense to investors, too. The Guardian reports that $1.1 billion dollars have already been invested into the future of IoT. However, we’ve seen a lot of big players make some pretty bold forecasts about the potential revenues of IoT. Namely, Cisco, “IoT will increase private sector profits 21% and add $19 trillion to the global economy by 2020.” GE says that IoT represents a “$32.3 trillion opportunity representing 46% share of GDP today.” Too good to be true? Compass Intelligence challenges these forecasts by bringing up some excellent points.”The majority of firms are not taking into account the availability of components, migration paths to IPv6, end-user behavior, socio-economic factors and other factors” into consideration when building these enormous projections. CIO’s aren’t convinced either – According to a recent SAP study, 43% of U.K. respondents and 45% of U.S. respondents said that M2M is “more hype than anything else”.
Hype aside, this is really about interacting with physical things and environments. In a recent article, Mark Sunday, CIO of Oracle, talks about pulling devices into the enterprise work flow. According to Mark, “Consuming data and being able to act upon events and alerts from these devices will become progressively more important.” Raman Mehta of CIO.com puts it perfectly, “The last decade was dedicated to people who communicate with each other via applications. The next decade will be for M2M communication with devices in automobiles, planes, homes, pet collars, mining equipment, smart meters and medical equipment.” We stand to gain a lot of insights from the physical world that will change the way we do business.
4. Big Data (Enough already).
As with everything, there are always challenges, like how often people overuse the terms “cloud” and “big data”. Frustrations aside, we will now have access to massive amounts of data from everywhere and everything. It will be important to have context-rich systems that don’t just spew it out but make sense of the information. Many companies have already begun to anticipate this need and have created platforms that take in data, simplify it, and make conclusions or prognostics. Quality not quantity – it all boils down to having the right information at the right time. Forrester recently unearthed that companies are only analyzing 12% of the data they have! The question for the future will be: how can we continue to find meaning in this constantly growing, plethora of data? What tools can we be creating to separate the meaningful from the meaningless?
5. Security and Privacy.
In this increasingly connected world, businesses are forced to take risks, because unfortunately there is no such thing as a completely secure environment. It will involve some sacrifices. We have a huge responsibility to be designing, building and testing applications that are security-aware, all while maintaining a great user experience. Gartner summed it up in a nutshell, “Perimeters and firewalls are no longer enough; every app needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.” Enterprises are being hit with it all at once: new devices, device diversity, and multiple devices per user. There is no blanket fix for these problems. Enterprises will have to continue to adapt and learn how to be more flexible in managing all of these access points.