Technology trends are after all, disruptive trends. In the earliest stages of a disruptive technology’s life-cycle, it is uncertain what impact it will have. From there, its impact is clarified and finally it starts to go mainstream.
So what trends should we be looking at as we head into 2015 and beyond?
Well for a start the digital and physical worlds are increasingly coming together.
When we talk about the Internet of Things, we can no longer talk about it as something abstract that will happen in the future.
We live in the age of the Internet of Things, now we need to start talking about its impact.
On the business front, that means thinking intelligently about how and where you deploy internet-connected sensors, how you aggregate the data they provide and using smartphones as a bridge between the real world and the world of the Internet of Things.
While this has been happening for years, we’re reaching a tipping point where the digital and physical worlds are coming together. Computing is already everywhere. It is all around us and is only likely to proliferate even further in the future. Indeed, some have suggested that we’ve reached the post-mobile era.
That may sound a little odd when everyone around you is still staring intently at their smartphones.
The point though is that mobile devices are just a part of a world in which there is computing everywhere and embedded in everyday objects, from our cars to appliances and even clothing.
All of this means that we’ll have new ways of interacting with the world and the user experience specialists who can guarantee good experiences in these interactions stand to gain massively
Software-defined infrastructure and applications
When you live in the kind of “computing everywhere” world that will be emerging through 2015, it’s important to remember that everything is programmable.
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 model.
When we talk about 3D printing’s impact on the world, we need to think about what kind of 3D printing we’re talking about. Bioprinting, consumer and enterprise 3D printing are all at different levels of maturity and the people interacting with them all have different expectations of them.
The variety of user cases is also pretty astonishing, ranging from Airbus using 3D printing to refine some of its components and multiple companies using it for straight up injection-molding through to creating new prosthetic limbs for amputees.
The convergence of cloud and mobile computing will continue to promote the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device.
While network and bandwidth costs may continue to favour apps that use the intelligence and storage of the client device effectively, co-ordination and management will be based in the cloud.
In the near future the focus for cloud/client will be on synchronising content and application state across multiple devices and addressing application portability across devices. Over time, applications will evolve to support a simultaneous use of multiple devices. The second screen phenomenon today focuses on coordinating television viewing with use of a mobile device. Soon games and enterprise applications alike will use multiple screens and exploit wearables and other devices to deliver an enhanced experience.
Web-scale IT is a pattern where most businesses end up behaving like the really big web guys. More organisations will begin thinking, acting and building applications and infrastructure like web giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook.
The first step towards the web-scale IT future for many organisations should be DevOps – bringing development and operations together in a coordinated way to drive rapid, continuous incremental development of applications and services.
In order to get to this stage, we need to have a cultural shift and businesses need to be able to build systems that can fail without it being a catastrophe.
Technology is in a state of constant state of evolution. That seems like a throwaway statement, until you start to think about how quickly you can get left behind when you don’t keep with emerging trends.
For us the leading trend is the merging of the real world and virtual world…this continues to be an innovative space.
By Jeanette Moseneke