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#7 – Cloudification
In the globally integrated enterprise, mobility and the cloud continue to become increasingly essential to business, prompting the proliferation of software that is managed centrally and accessible through diverse BYOD devices.
Gartner’s David Cearley calls cloud “the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing, [a style with which] both internal applications and external applications will be built.” He mentions that although companies may want to get the most out of the resources of client devices, such as storage, administration will occur within secure Cloud Hosting.
In 2015, one central concern will be the synchronization of application states, so that we can move seamlessly between our various devices. Applications will become more portable between devices as well. Eventually applications will be able to support real-time updating with various devices to enable simultaneous interaction.
Today we speak of second-screen use in terms of TV Everywhere, watching television through mobile. Eventually, games and enterprise applications will incorporate two screens and wearable devices.
#8 – Software-defined environments
Building flexibility into the code of software and the underlying infrastructure allows companies to be adaptable enough to embrace shifts in the marketplace. Software-defined environments are becoming more dominant in security, storage, data centers, and networking. Anything within the cloud can be controlled by software interacting with the API. Applications are now likelier to have strong, built-in APIs so that you can easily get the functionality you need.
To accommodate the need for on-demand computing and split-second scalability, computing will no longer be formulated in terms of static structures, favoring dynamic models instead. Developers will create rules and script that can coordinate the tools and power from the network for use in individual applications.
#9 – Web scalability
Web-scale computing is an IT capability to deliver public Cloud Server performance within an enterprise. More companies will begin to replicate the software and infrastructural models of the behemoth Internet corporations – Amazon, Facebook and Google.
Web scalability is a characteristic that is gradually integrated into an organization, explains David, “[evolving] over time as commercial hardware platforms embrace the new models, and cloud-optimized and software-defined approaches reaches mainstream.” DevOps, the intersection between development and operations for seamlessly organized innovation, will be a major driver behind web scalability. Development of both applications and services will be increasingly be a part of everyday operations.
#10 – Risk-defined security
Security is the linchpin that allows for digital environments to flourish. It is utterly, fundamentally important but also should not stand in the way of new development. Firms will become more aware in 2015 that it’s not possible to create an environment that has absolutely impenetrable security. As companies are able to admit to themselves that they can’t be prepared for defense against every single type of threat, they will be able to assess risk and monitor vulnerabilities in more complex manners.
Developers, recognizing that it is no longer sufficient to simply set up safeguards at the perimeter of the network, will create applications that are more attuned to security concerns. Testing of applications will become more dynamic and integrated. Applications will know the context, and access will be modified to meet diverse situations.
Essentially, applications will better learn to protect themselves. This trend is in part an admission that you can’t just set up a firewall. The component applications within your system must themselves be vigilant.
Importance of the third platform
Since the third platform is so central to the 10 trends, it’s worth a quick review of that concept and how disruptive it will be to business.
In an article for CIO published in March, Bernard Golden of Dell says that he is typically unimpressed by industry analyst forecasts but gushes about the quality of the 2014 IDC prediction list: “While understated, its analysis and predictions provide as much drama as any novel, and its denouement is the kind of cliffhanger that makes it, as the saying goes, unputdownable.”
The specific topic Golden found most compelling was IDC’s argument that among the top 20 firms in all major industries, one in three will be disrupted by current competitors and startups who utilize the third platform (which includes mobile use, big data analytics, cloud computing, and social networking) to their advantage.
Examples of this sort of disruption are already beginning to line up:
- Uber disrupting the dominant taxi companies
- Airbnb redefining what it means to get a room for the night
- Facebook Whatsapp overriding SMS usage through phone carriers.
What is really happening, as Golden points out, is that the true potential of the Internet to adjust and re-create aspects of our society in profound ways is just becoming evident. Although the current market leaders may dig in their heels, they may quickly find themselves in indefensible positions.
Conflicts will brew. Code will be written, both digital and legal. Hands will shake between unlikely parties.
Various new trends are emerging, but the growing prominence of the third platform is a macro-trend that organizations will ignore at their peril. Golden writes, “IDC is spot-on in its assessment that the next decade will see tremendous change in every part of our economy.”
By Moazzam Adnan