Perspectives on 2015 Technology Trends



January 7, 2015

2015-techtrends

By Patrick Thomas TECH Watch January 6, 2015

Last year, Curacao Technology Exchange (CTEX) inaugurated its first Uptime Institute Certified Tier-IV datacenter in Latin America and the Caribbean. The facility is the only Tier-IV multi tenant datacenter certified for both Design and Constructed facility in the region.

The company’s datacenter is located in Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean. Aside from earning UNESCO’s hallmark of World Heritage City, Curaçao boasts strict European style privacy laws, ample connectivity through 6 submarine cables, neutral relations with neighboring countries, a multilingual workforce and excellent fiscal benefits. Remarkably, the island lies outside the traditional hurricane belt and active seismic zones. I had a chance to catch up with Anthony de Lima, CTEX’s Chairman and CEO. Mr. de Lima’s driving idea is the creation of one of the region’s most advanced technology hubs. His focus on quality and perfection is extreme with no lack of optimism, while having held senior positions in the past with giants such as Telefonica, KPMG and others provide him a broad and deep understanding of technology and regional dynamics.

I asked Mr. de Lima to provide his perspective on technology trends 2015 -

 

“That’s a tough question, but I do think that some of the trends that we saw in 2013 and 2014 will finally become mainstream in 2015. We are in the datacenter business and this year’s trends will dramatically reshape how service providers like ourselves will deliver value to enterprise customers and consumers. Technological advances that enable further personalization and mass customization will make 2015 the year of integration,” said Anthony de Lima.

“From the integration of traditional systems with Cloud solutions to all encompassing smartphones and wearables, in 2015, technology will drive heavy lifting to transform backend systems combined with the enablement of incredible intuitiveness, simplicity and seamlessness for users at the front end. All of this will bring about a significant rethinking of where to invest and how to deploy technology. I have my favorite list of ten.”

1. The Internet of Things and Smart Machines

“I think that the combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything enables new business and monetization models. The Internet of Things has the potential to create significant new business opportunities.

“For example on the home innovation front, you’re going to see the interconnection of a whole lot of things,” de Lima said. “Door locks, HVAC systems, security systems, audio visual and a lot more. Rich intelligence gathered combined with deep analytics will enable a new world of smart machines. This, coupled with advanced algorithms that allow systems to understand their environment, learn for themselves, and act autonomously will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine-to-machine interaction that will drive the greatest disruption in IT history.”

2. Mobility

“An increased mobile workforce will drive a shift in how we think about computing and communication. The continued growth in mobile devices and smartphones coupled with individual user based usage patterns will demand context sensitive Apps and platforms. You’ve got to imagine that every user or potential customer that interacts with your enterprise will engage through a variety of different platforms and channels. One size will not fit all.

3. Wearables

“The Apple Watch, due out early this year will cause significant disruption. I think this is a key trend because it brings advanced technology capabilities even closer to the masses. Not to mention the drive for new mobile Apps and the increased demand for Cloud based solutions that connect with users in a context and location sensitive manner.”

4. Context-Rich Systems

“Embedded intelligence combined with pervasive analytic will drive the development of systems that are aware of their surroundings and capable of responding appropriately. By understanding the context and behavior of a user, applications will adjust how information is delivered.”

5. BYOD here to stay

“The concept of bringing your own devices to work and connecting these to an enterprise network will remain a reality. Smartphones, Tablets and other devices are being used to automate tedious paper intensive processes. Expect the pressure to accommodate whatever devices consumers are using to continue.
To prepare for a further onslaught companies will need clearly defined security guidelines, usage profiles, and an extensive portfolio of context sensitive Apps. Failure to do so will make a company appear outdated and out of touch with new consumer demands and trends.”

6. Transformation of the data center

“Racks are getting denser, performance per kilowatt is increasing, and Cloud solutions are exploding. Managing utilization levels and power usage efficiency (PUE) ratios will be paramount in 2015 as data centers transform themselves to Cloud centers where companies source computing power on-demand rather than traditional Co-location real-estate services. To meet demands, Virtualization will continue and so will the need for increased core processing power.

These drivers will cause companies to rethink their infrastructure strategies and leverage regional data center facilities to ensure Cloud systems are located close to users, and in safe and secure jurisdictions.”

7. Cloud Computing

“The convergence of Cloud and Mobile computing will continue to drive the growth of applications that can be delivered to any device anywhere. “Cloud is the new style of scalable, self-service computing, upon which both internal and external Apps are being built,” said de Lima.

It is estimated that through 2014, more than 60 percent of IT adoption of the Cloud was on redeploying existing functionality. I think that we will see a shift in 2015 to exploit private and hybrid Cloud capabilities. For this, companies will need to partner with third party service providers who can deliver compute power on an on-demand basis. Service providers such as CTEX will have to build solid relationships with their customers to predict and plan for the requisite elasticity in computing power.”

8. The year of Big Data and Analytics

“Organizations have struggled in dealing with Big data. The business side needs to know how to use it and technology organizations need to facilitate the deployment of intelligent analytics tools. To meet ongoing demand for data aggregation and analytics, companies will need to deploy virtualized storage and de-duplication technologies. Reliance on third party service providers to provide storage capacity based on an elastic model will be key.

Tied to Big data, Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise is captured and analyzed. Analytics will become deeply embedded everywhere. The software providers that will differentiate themselves the most in this area are those that deliver the tools to visualize data. That is where the game will be.”

9. Software-Defined Apps and Infrastructure

“Context sensitive development of everything from applications to basic infrastructure is essential to enable organizations to deliver the flexibility required to make the transition to personalization and mass customization of their Apps. Software-defined networking, storage, and security will also be a key trend. Cloud services are becoming software-configurable through API calls that provide dynamic access to functionality and content.

In 2015 we will see a new breed of compute models that dynamically assemble and configure required elements from the network through application layers based on context and usage. Opensource and opensource-based development platforms will play a key role. Be prepared for a glut in the developer market.”

10. Security

“Taking center-stage in 2015 will be security. Companies will need to recognize that it’s impossible to provide a 100 percent secured environment. Once organizations acknowledge that, they can begin to apply more sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools. Perimeter defense will continue to be inadequate in securing the enterprise.

Security-aware application design and run-time application self-protection will be required. Every App needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.”

Any personal thoughts or things you’d like to see different in 2015? – “Looking at my four year old daughter and others her age, its easy to see that children are growing up with Apps and digital media as an integral part of their lives. I think that it will be interesting to see how companies will leverage Tablets and Smartphones to stimulate creativity. Trends such as the introduction of computer programming very early on into their curriculum should all positively contribute to their overall development.

Of course as parents we need to stay close, and kids should continue to do basic things such as riding bikes and falling, being outside, interacting with others, playing sports and engaging in other social activities that stimulate personal interaction.”

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