Cloud, mobile and social technologies are forcing the information technology industry to effectively 'hit the reset button' to meet a pace of change that businesses and organisations are facing. As these new technologies mesh with new demands for greater information access, and force industry leaders to continually reinvent themselves, applications development and deployment solution provider Progress predicts five major technology trends that will shape the year ahead for the industry.
1. The Internet of Things does not make for one big happy IT family.
While developers and IT decision makers already have their hands full with changes complicated by the sheer number of smart phones and tablets and BYOD (bring your own device) policies, they are in for a surprise. The 'Internet of Things' – composed of wearable personal technology, smart consumer and medical devices, as well as connected machines and sensors located all around the planet – is about to make the challenge even greater.
The nearly unlimited addresses provided by the adoption of IPv6 will ignite an explosion of new data that must be harnessed, meaning scalability and complexity will take on new meaning. Furthermore, ever improving “smarts” will mean device-to-device “conversations” will start to become more important than user-to-user “conversations.”
2. Analytics moves to the forefront.
Analytics will finally stop being an afterthought in 2014. For decades, job one was connection, data movement, and immediate application functionality. Except where analytics was the application, analytics was an add-on, a 'nice to have.' The accelerating data tsunami – powered by the Internet of Things and the growing recognition of the potential value of all data – means that developers must build in analytics from the start, making it an inherent aspect of information technology delivery and making context-sensitive and location-aware capabilities ubiquitous.
> See also: The rise and rise of the Chief Data Officer
3. When it comes to apps, everyone’s paying attention.
While the performance and usability of large, publicly visible projects, especially in healthcare, have drawn growing scrutiny, increased adoption of model-driven, democratised and user-based development, will also drive high expectations for application delivery.
This will lead to increased adoption of new rapid development tools and practices to speed delivery, increase predictability and reliability, meet stringent service-level requirements, and control costs.
4. The IT budget shift.
The prevalence of the cloud and democratised development trends present many new options, especially for individual lines of business – which will increasingly seek to control their own destiny by funding their own projects or wresting money from IT.
As a result, businesses – and CIOs – will need to find ways to adopt and adapt without losing control of information, encouraging security risks, or taking new directions that could lead to technical dead-ends or expensive rework in the future. In an era of very rapid transformation, they must stay ahead of this curve and take the lead.
> See also: Is the Internet of Things too big an idea?
5. PaaS goes mainstream.
Platform-as-a-Service finally goes mainstream in 2014. This cloud layer will become the choice for many businesses and IT decision makers because it supports better and faster development, agility, analytics, cloud-based cost-advantages and vast scalability.
Providing structure and control that meets the near-term and strategic needs of management will further accelerate adoption. The capabilities available through a PaaS will drive further organisational changes – putting powerful data integration tools into the hands of line of business specialists and making data integration ubiquitous.
'Whether it’s the Internet of Things, big data, cloud or mobility, businesses are in for accelerating change in 2014,' Karen Tegan Padir, chief technology officer at Progress, commented. 'The successful organisation will take a good look at the needs of the end-user first – creating an empowerment profile for each group – and providing them with the tools they need to be productive and efficient.'
'One size will no longer fit all. For some, that will mean deploying a PaaS for rapid application development, for others that will mean launching an enterprise app store to help employees gain access to the apps they want in a secure environment. In any case, it’s about the information and being able to access it whenever, wherever and however its needed.'