2015 Trends You Can’t Afford To Ignore

Monday, December 15, 2014

The pace of change and the growth in emerging technologies in the IT world is enough to keep you up at night. What trends do you need to know about? Which ones do you need to incorporate into your planning for the next year? Which ones can you just ignore?

This year we’ve done all the hard work for you! We’ve spent time researching and looking at what key researchers such as Gartner, Forrester and IDC have to say and we’ve put together a summary of the key trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2015. These are the ones that will have a significant impact on your business and long term plans.

New Technologies account for all growth

IDC states quite clearly that they believe that new technologies will account for 100% of growth next year. All spending growth, and one third of total spending, will be focused on new technologies such as mobile, cloud, big data analytics and the Internet of Things.

Stretching the IT Budget

With all the new whiz bang technologies, business demand for IT services is outpacing your ability to deliver and provide the competitive edge that the business desires. Remarkably, at the same time, budgets have been shrinking so you are under continued pressure to simplify and reduce costs in IT. Increased demand and shrinking budgets mean that you have to prioritise in terms of improving operational performance and IT agility. The recommendation is to opt for integrated systems infrastructure solutions that are more cost-effective and simpler to deploy, manage and support. (See The data centre converges below.)

Mobile is the most disruptive technology

Mobile reached a tipping point in 2014, says Forrester, as it solidified its position as one of the most disruptive technologies for businesses in decades. As the web is replaced by mobile apps on smart phones and tablets, consumers and your workforce have a new mind set. They expect to get any information or service they desire immediately and in context. Mobility revolves around the delivery of applications, workloads and data to any device. The goal will be to deliver the best possible user experience regardless of the device.

The data centre converges

There’s a lot of talk that infrastructure convergence will become the standard and the new norm in data centres in 2015. Server virtualisation has already made a place for itself and has become a factor in driving converged infrastructure (CI) for both networks and storage. Previously, heterogeneous systems were built from individually sourced components whilst with a converged infrastructure you buy all the infrastructure (server, network and storage systems) from one vendor. This offers simpler deployment and service whilst improving scalability and performance. CI is seen as a particularly disruptive technology because it displaces all of the data centre’s current hardware.

Big Data - a means to an end, not the end in itself

Your business needs to manage huge amounts of data and deliver the right information to the right person, at the right time. As Gartner says, “The focus needs to shift to thinking about big questions and big answers first and big data second — the value is in the answers, not the data.”  Your goal should be to allow your workforce to make informed business choices, quickly, easily, measurably and routinely.

Big Data changes spending requirements

The continued growth in big data will require increased spending on big data-related software, hardware, and services and rich media analytics (video, audio, and image) will emerge as an important driver of big data projects.

Floating on clouds

According to Forrester, the cloud will become a mainstream option and an integral part of an organisation’s IT strategy and deployment. They say, “In 2015, cloud adoption will accelerate and technology management groups must adapt to this reality by learning how to add value to their company’s use of these services through facilitation, adaptation and evangelism. The days of fighting the cloud are over.” Most companies will probably adopt some form of a hybrid cloud model as there are many new options for connecting private clouds with other cloud resources. The key thing is to employ a cloud management solution that lets you control the cloud from a single console regardless of which platform you’re using.

The need for new security measures

The digitisation of everything leads to security holes everywhere. However, whilst you can increase your security spending, it won’t necessarily mean better security or the right type. Forrester report that 60% of enterprises will discover a breach in 2015.  Security areas that you need to consider are new vulnerabilities along the lines of Heartbleed, Open SSL flaws and the Shellshock bash bug, mobile threats (such as malware and phishing campaigns) which can steal credentials or authentication details and cyber-attacks on networked and connected devices.

Digitise or lose ground

Forrester believe that the gap between digital leaders and digital laggards will widen in 2015. Digitisation, from mobile solutions to privacy and security, can be a source for competitive differentiation and Forrester say “2015 will serve as an inflection point where companies that successfully harness digital technology to advantageously serve customers will create clear competitive separation from those that do not.”

Change your recruitment practices

New technologies require new skills and the development of non-traditional IT roles. You’ll need to take this into account when planning your IT department and training requirements for next year. Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner, noted some of the new roles as integration specialists, digital business architects, regulatory analysts, risk professionals and attorneys.

3D Printing comes of age

The prediction is that nearly 20 percent of durable goods e-tailers will use 3D printing to create personalized product offerings by 2017. If this impacts your business then you need to be thinking of the processes, skills and technology that are required to make this successful.