A preview of 2015 tech trends

Can’t imagine life without my big screen PC

There’s been a lot of Internet buzz in recent weeks about technology research company Gartner Inc’s October projection of IT developments for 2015. I’ve discussed some of these trends in previous blogs. I’ll explore several others individually in future posts.

Here’s Segment I of trends described by Gartner analyst, David Cearley, at the firm’s annual Symposium/Itxpo:

Computing everywhere

There will be an acceleration of ‘computing everywhere’ as smart-phone technology continues to advance exponentially. Are you already comfortable using your small (now somewhat larger) mobile device screen? If not, invest time to become proficient in using your smartphone (or wearable) because mobile devices are now standard work and personal communication tools that are increasingly essential to professional and personal success. An interesting footnote: laptops and desktops are not disappearing as many IT marketers had been expecting just a short time ago. In fact, sales for these products are up. I, for one, can’t image life without my big screen PC!

“The Internet of Things (IOT)

As discussed in previous blogs, the Internet of Things, only now being introduced into household appliances, has already gained ground in digital business products and industrial processes. Internet linked ‘things’ are becoming increasingly aware of their surroundings, even learning from them. They are already communicating with us and one another in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.

3D printing

It’s a given that private use of 3D printing will thrive in coming years as it becomes increasingly affordable. Industrial, biomedical, and consumer 3D printing applications are already helping companies reduce costs.

Big analytics

The Deep Web and the Internet of Things are among factors generating Big Data with limitless potential for rich analysis. Every app, for example, needs an analytic component. All systems benefit from analytics because they are indispensable to helping organizations and individuals make decisions on a daily, even minute-to-minute basis.

Cloud Mobile Device Architecture

Cloud computing allows coordinated applications to be delivered to any device. With greater storage, lower bandwidth requirements and software breakthroughs, multiple device apps are increasingly standard and expected.

Web-Scale IT

Corporate intranets are now being modeled after internet goliaths like Amazon and Google. Web-Scale IT, as with DevOps, involves operations and development engineers working together through an organization’s service lifecycle, from design through development to production support.

Risk based security and self-protection

While 100% security may never be feasible, expect a new generation of risk assessment and mitigation tools to emerge beginning in 2015. Security is becoming multi-faceted, expanding beyond perimeter defense to include things like advances in application design protection and dynamic/static application security.

Trends to Look for

Continuing the discussion of Gartner Inc’s October projection of IT developments for 2015, one of the trends I described last week deserves a closer look:

Breaking news on the Internet of Things (IoT)

Tony Fadell, the visionary behind NEST Labs, the breakthrough IoT home automation company, was interviewed November 11 on Charlie Rose. He explained that when he sold his company to Google early this year it was to achieve his goal of marshaling the required resources to jumpstart availability of a new generation of home and office automation devices.

A former Apple engineer and Steve Jobs confidante, Fadell and his NEST partners have already launched programmable thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. What is most amazing about these new devices is their brilliant, ergonomic design. They are beautiful, with seamless presentation and marketing, much like Apple products. As is the case for human or virtual assistants, they learn about our behaviors and preferences over time.

The NEST Thermostat, for example, adjusts temperature settings according to whether it ‘senses’ we are at home, can be programmed to turn off when you are away, and adjusts your preset patterns based on actual behavior. In addition, it communicates with other IoT appliances with new, emerging wireless protocols that bridge the gap between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other languages. On a related front, context-aware security is emerging as an integral part of ToI.

Google has been branching out into new domains for years. Years before purchasing NEST, it was looking for ways to develop an ecosystem that would actively shape consumers’ digital–and even physical–environments. This is in addition to its expanding smartphone and tablet Android system use, Google Glass, self-driving vehicles, and other initiatives.

Other trends to look for in 2015–

  • Resource Management

Gartner emphasizes a growing awareness of organizations about energy usage, based on compute-to-consumption ratios and KPI consumption. By 2017 expect to see energy management to become an enterprise-level discipline.

  • Software-Defined Infrastructure and Applications

Networking, storage, data center and security software are all rapidly evolving. Cloud service software, for example, is now easier to configure thanks to advances in APIs (application programming interfaces).

  • Fabric Data Centers

Fabric data centers provide a higher level integration of monolithic servers, storage and networks. Gartner predicts companies will eventually use ‘fabric-based computers,’ which will enjoy globally shared resources, as well.

  • Mobility

Gartner describes a “seamless shift between computing and communicating.” The report emphasizes that the Cloud and advances in data centers technology are making it easier to meet the portable device needs of consumers despite the challenges of.