Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 1st 2015 Contents In the rapidly shifting world of tech-
nology, prognostication is always a
tricky business. Things change quickly
in the tech industry. One innovation
or one breakthrough, whether in appli-
cation, research, infrastructure or even
policy, can trigger a cascade of revolutionary
transformations on a global scale. Effectively
tracking strategic trends can spell the difference
between success and failure for today's busi-
IT experts at the research institute Gartner
have defined a strategic technology trend as
one with the potential for significant impact
on the organization in the next three years.
Factors that denote significant impact include
a high potential for disruption to the business,
end users or IT, the need for a major invest-
ment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These
technologies impact the organisation's long-
term plans, programs and initiatives.
Here is a look at five of the trends expected
to shape technology and business in 2015:
1. Mobile everything
As mobile technology advances, smart-
phones and wearables will be used in quite
interesting new scenarios and contexts. More
pervasive mobile broadband access will be key.
In the future, games and enterprise applications
alike will use multiple screens and exploit
wearables and other devices to deliver an
" Phones and wearable devices are now part
of an expanded computing environment that
includes such things as consumer electronics
and connected screens in the workplace and
public space," said David Cearley, vice president
& Gartner Fellow. "Increasingly, it's the overall
environment that will need to adapt to the
requirements of the mobile user. This will
continue to raise significant management chal-
lenges for IT organisations as they lose control
of user endpoint devices. It will also require
increased attention to user experience design."
2. The Internet of things
The Internet of things will continue to grow
and will be the nexus for new digital business
products and processes. With ever-shrinking
sensors, chipsets and circuity, expect tech-
nology to be embedded in everything from
gadgets to clothing.
According to the US-based Consumer Elec-
tronics Association, "The Internet of Things
is arguably the hottest topic in technology,
even if universal consensus has not been
reached in defining exactly what it' is."
Put simply, the so-called "IoT" envisions
a world in which it is possible to connect any-
thing and everything to the Internet. Gartner
explains that the combination of data streams
and services created by digitising everything
creates four basic usage models: manage, mon-
etise, operate and extend. Current examples
include Internet-enabled home appliances
that let you control your lights or refrigerator
from your smartphone. But it could go the
other way, too. IoT allows your fridge telling
your phone what you need to buy when you're
out grocery shopping, or your watch to tell
you when you've hit your calorie-burn target.
3. Big data analytics
Big data analytics will continue to grow
propelled by the Internet of Things, creating
large pools of structured and unstructured
data inside and outside the enterprise.
"Every app now needs to be an analytic
app," said Mr Cearley.
"Organisations need to manage how best
to filter the huge amounts of data coming
from the IoT, social media and wearable
devices, and then deliver exactly the right
information to the right person, at the right
time. Analytics will become deeply, but invis-
ibly embedded everywhere."
Big data is an important enabler for this
trend, but the focus has to be on coming up
with the big questions for the data to reveal
the big answers. The corollary to this is that
privacy concerns will become more acute as
big data advances.
4. Cloud computing
The convergence of cloud and mobile com-
puting will continue to promote the growth
of centrally coordinated applications that can
be delivered to any device.
Gartner notes that cloud computing is the
foundation of elastically scalable, self-service
computing for both internally and externally
facing applications. Apps that take advantage
of intelligence and storage of client device
effectively will benefit from lowering bandwidth
costs, coordination and management will be
based on the cloud.
"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 Mr Cearley.
5. Security and self-protection
All roads to the digital future are fraught
with risks and threats, held in check by security.
However, in today's digital-business world,
security cannot be a roadblock to progress.
No organisation will be able to provide a
100 percent secured environment. 2014 proved
this most emphatically. This year we witnessed
a series of high-profile security breaches, from
the massive breach at JP Morgan Chase, which
compromised personal information of more
than 83 million households and businesses,
to the over 100 terabytes of internal files and
films recently stolen from Sony. No one was
safe in 2014.
Governments, retailers, media companies
and financial institutions, technology com-
panies, healthcare institutions are all targets.
Security-aware application design, dynamic
and static application security testing, and
runtime application self-protection combined
with active context-aware and adaptive access
controls are all needed in today's dangerous
digital world. This will lead to new models of
building security directly into applications and
policies and new legislation to keep individuals
and economies safe in the digital age.
Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge
office at Congress WBN (C-WBN) an inter-
national non-profit organisation and exec-
utive director at BrightPath Foundation,
responsible for C-WBN's technology edu-
cation and outreach initiatives. Follow on
JANUARY 2015 • WEEK ONE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COMMENTARY | BG15
Tech trends to
watch in 2015
Five developments for
businesses to track
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