Information technology is a continually evolving industry, stagnation means death. This means remaining on top of new technology platforms, industry paradigms and software products. In short, presence or absence of situational awareness will often be the differentiator between success and failure. You never know, the critical link which you are looking for may just be being developed by somebody as you are reading this. So, remaining abreast of trends is always a good idea, and that's where we come in. We have tried to identify current technology trends which may impact a variety of industries in a very fundamental manner. So read on.
Rise of the Smartphone
Smartphones are seamlessly interacting with a variety of software platforms thereby ensuring you are never far away from the cloud. Versatility of mobile apps has rendered the smartphone an effective device to consume content and also to create content too, albeit to a smaller degree. Here, just about everything we interact with becomes a computable entity, allowing our smartphones to seamlessly connect with our homes, cars, and even objects on the street. Smartphones have replaced televisions, mp3 players and even our wallets. Increasingly, organizational security policies are encompassing all manner of computing devices. Managing the diverse range of mobile devices existing across your organizational network is a challenge you ignore at your peril.
Apps vs Applications
HTML 5 is becoming more versatile with developers now able leverage your ordinary browser with content rich with voice and Video. This will allow us to interact with each other and with the virtual marketplace in new and innovative ways. There is a scramble on to focus on creating expanded user interface models which can connect your firm to customers in ways which were just not possible. The market place for tools to generate customer and enterprise facing apps is multifaceted with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several based on the type of audience you want to target. As per a popular industry website "The next evolution in user experience will be to leverage intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior."
Social Networks – Redefining Collaboration and Sharing of Information
Unless you have been marooned on a desert island for the last decade, there is no way you could have escaped the all-encompassing reach of social networks which have managed to permeate the very fabric of modern society. In fact, so ubiquitous is the reach of Web 2.0 that there are marketing firms which specialize in creating brand equity across social networks. Microsoft's Yammer, VMware's Socialcast and Salesforce Chatter have redefined enterprise communication and knowledge management applications. Collaboration has never been easier. Organizational IT policies which have been traditionally exclusive of social networks are increasingly embracing them.
Man Machine Interface
The manner in which we are interacting with our computing platforms is continually evolving. The increasing consumerisation of biometrics is evident with both Apple and Samsung including thumbprint scanners with their flagship models. This throws up a variety of ways in which apps can leverage this new feature, literally sky is the possibility. IOS and Android marketplaces are very exciting places to be in. Biometrics, Motion sensors, Facial recognition, Eyeball tracking are just some features which are bundled in with a smartphone today that an app developer can use in ways limited only by his imagination.
The Personal Cloud and its Impact on your IT Infrastructure
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is here to stay and with it organizations are learning to accept that co-existence of personal and corporate resources is a reality which they can no longer ignore. There is an urgent necessity to identify practices which can be deployed across software and hardware platforms to reduce the risk of data leakage. The personal cloud will challenge you to stay as aware of new consumer technologies and services as their user base. You must be flexible and respond with new techniques, tools and policies, or risk irrelevance with your user base.
Client-Cloud Applications: Client/Server Architecture Reloaded
With the cloud turning from a data repository to a service /platform provider, it is fast emerging as the preferred delivery model for a wide variety of applications. In the cloud/client architecture, the client is an app running on an Internet-connected device or simply a browse, and the "server" is a framework of services accommodated in a gradually scalable cloud computing platform.
Web Scale IT
The major players in the Cloud industry have changed the basic framework of IT services delivery by reinventing the manner in which the IT hardware and platforms are organized and leveraged. Good news is that you can emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these industry leaders. Web Scale IT encompasses the entire spectrum of the cloud delivery model ranging from data center design to Web-oriented architectures that allow developers to build very flexible and resilient systems that recover from failure more quickly.
3 D Printing – Ability to transform organizations
3 D printing is no longer a novelty restricted to tech road shows, we have a proven technology which has the potential to transform established industry like retail. Supply chain management will no longer be the same if 3 D printing realizes it's potential. At the end of the day, all CIOs must introspect on the impact which this disruptive technology has on their organizations and the manner in which their products reach their customer base.
Software Defined Networking – Open standards at last
SDN allows IT organizations to replace a manual interface into networking equipment with a programming interface that can enable the automation of tasks such as configuration and policy management and can also enable the network to dynamically respond to application requirements. The existing network devices market is proprietary and maps each user in the network by their network interface. Software Defined Networking is a disruptive technology that will considerably simplify the network devices market landscape with its force traditional networking vendors to migrate from proprietary-coupled hardware and software designs to open-standard designs which will enable seamless compatibility. However, there will be a considerable churn in the market while the traditional network device manufacturers examine ways to provision access to their software by tailoring suitable APIs.
Hybrid Cloud- Interoperability at its best
Integration of personal clouds of employees and external private cloud of organizations is essential to leverage private cloud based services on personal cloud based devices/platforms. Cloud service broker (CSB) is the agency which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. Enterprises that are expanding into hybrid cloud computing from private cloud services are taking on the CSB role. Initial integrations will primarily cater for very specific deployment scenarios and will gradually flexibility.
We have examined ten different facets of today's technology landscape. The only thing which we can be sure of is that the landscape is continually evolving. The trick is to ensure that appropriate technology trends which have the potential to impact your organization are identified and leveraged well in time.