The biggest technology trends this year will continue to be cloud, big data, and Internet of Things (IoT). Cloud computing will continue to change the landscape of the enterprise while consumer technology will be disrupted by the role of big data and IoT technologies. Latest evidence is seen by Wikibon’s Future of Cloud Computing forecast and the recent news at CES about cars being equipped with all sorts of new technology as a result of Uber, Telsa, and other new Silicon Valley innovations.
Cloud Computing Continues to Disrupt Company’s Business Models
Many decision makers find themselves wondering just that, as they try to decide where to take their cloud investments. But a survey from Wikibon, in conjunction with North Bridge Ventures and over 30 technology leaders, which sampled approximately 1,000 users, has uncovered a number of trends and insights into Cloud Computing that can give us a good idea as to what the future holds.
First and foremost, while IT organizations have been focusing significantly less on Private Cloud strategies, Hybrid and Public cloud deployments have been rising, primarily based on business’ increased need for agility. Hybrid is now the leader in the Cloud market, with Private Cloud usage dropping by nearly half.
With the changing landscape, organizations are trying to find ways to take their services to a higher level, as evidenced by the growing variety of Cloud technologies, such as PaaS, SDN, and DBaaS.
While nearly all signs point to SaaS leaving on-premise solutions in the dust, the clearest indication is in spending. Venture Capital firms are investing more heavily in SaaS than anywhere else, and infrastructure spending is being directed towards Public Cloud services and OPEX spending models.
In spite of the growth of Cloud services, security and compliance/regulatory concerns remain the biggest inhibitors for Public Cloud usage, with questions about privacy and performance also holding businesses back from taking the plunge into the Cloud.
At the same time, the driving causes behind Cloud adoption have shifted. Scalability has maintained its place as top motivator, while agility has claimed the number two spot. The cost and innovation associated with cloud computing remain important drivers, but have lost some luster comparatively.
Cloud Computing is expanding, as evidenced by the Internet of Things (IoT). Vehicles are starting to get in on the action, with automotive companies offering cloud applications to improve the driving experience and maintenance. Even houses are boasting some controls through the cloud, allowing owners to turn off their lights or close the garage remotely.
So, how will IT vendors be impacted by these changes? Customers have begun going directly to Cloud providers, disrupting the usual chain of middlemen. Cloud Providers are also learning more about customer usage, enabling them to better adjust their services and prices. However, this means that distributors, SIs, and VARs have to find new ways to engage their customers, lest they be taken out of the buying process altogether. They need to provide added value, whether through training, applications, or any other means, to give the consumers reason to buy through them.
So, what can we gather from this information? Aside from the rise of the Hybrid and Public Cloud, we can look forward to more variations of Cloud technology in use, as well as the Cloud being deployed in original ways outside of computers and mobile devices. Vendors, however, will have to adapt to the changing market, and those who can provide more value will outlast those who can’t keep up.
Automotive Technology – The Consumer’s Largest Wearable Smartphone
As the world becomes more connected through technology, industries of all shapes and sizes are trying to keep up. Nowhere is this digital transformation more obvious than the automotive industry – no longer is it enough for a car to just get from point A to point B with good mileage, now your typical car comes with Bluetooth phone connectivity, built-in GPS, and a range of other additions to make the driving experience more enjoyable.
The car experience is being transformed thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). Using the cloud, for instance, car companies can provide diagnostics and reporting. If a car breaks down, the car’s computer can analyze the problem and report it; data from multiple cars can help identify recurring problems, which can then be anticipated and fixed. Companies like GM, Ford, and many others are trying to keep up with changing consumer demands, turning their cars into what are essentially smartphones on wheels. Chevrolet, for instance, has gone so far as to equip most of its vehicles with built-in OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, letting passengers connect their smart devices and vehicles to the Internet.
Another approach is to leverage the datacenter, which is less of an automatic, always-connected method, but can provide a wider array of data and information.
Even in-car entertainment has gone past auxiliary cables and DVD players in the back seat. Smartphones can automatically sync with the car’s radio, broadcasting music and allowing the driver to make hands-free calls while on the go. In a sense, these additions are turning the car into a giant, drivable smartphone.
However, with the advancements in technology, some game-changers and disruptions come into play. Just as consumer devices changed the way the enterprise works, the same consumerization is happening in the automotive industry. New vehicles such as Google’s self-driving cars and Tesla’s all-electric vehicles are appearing on the roads, and mobile apps such as Uber make ridesharing available at the push of a button, providing new options for consumers and new competition for traditional automotive companies.
However, new automotive companies are still restrained by the same regulations as any other; a self-driving car is still a car, and must be built and sold as a car would. Additionally, the technology is still new or incomplete, and not yet completely cost-effective.
Mobile technology, on the other hand, is proving more disruptive. When an affordable ride is available from an app, people begin to reconsider their automotive needs. Taxi companies are already feeling the pressure from Uber, while automotive companies are attempting to improve their own vehicles in order to make owning one more appealing than getting a ride from a stranger through an app.
The game is certainly changing thanks to advancements in technology and digital transformation. The key is the user experience, and that comes down to what the cars have to offer. With mobile technology, the cloud, and the ubiquity of smart devices, the driving experience has undeniably shifted into a new gear.
2016 has just begun, and there’s a lot to look forward to.