Once upon a time technical discoveries were magical things that mesmerized us. Gradually we became accustomed to the technical wonders as they were integrated into our daily lives. 21st century has seen both the unprecedented development of technology, especially the “Information Technology (IT)” and our dependence on the same. In the IT age, technology is making our lives simpler by handling the complexities for us, up to the extent that its unavailability or a disruption in the services that it provides could adversely affect almost everything from the businesses to our day to day lives.
It is an accepted fact that the speed of technological changes is an accelerated motion. This article enlists some of the important trends in the IT world that are already visible or are forecasted to be on their way.
Human (inter)face for the technology
Technology penetration is happening fast from the business to the households to the personal lives of the human beings. This irrevocable dependency of human beings on the technology will have the most profound impact over the future of the technology. Technology will be solving the human problems, business problems just being a part of the bigger picture.
1. Technology will become indispensable even for carrying out day to day activities ranging from office communication to opening a window (of your home of course)
2. User Experience facilitated by the products, implementation of how human beings see at a problem and the technology as a mechanism for solving it, will be the factor deciding what sells and what not
3. People instead of the businesses will be the largest technology consumers and success of any new enterprise will depend upon how well it taps into this consumer base
4. Cost of the failure for the technology will become unimaginable due to its direct impact over the human lives, this will add an additional dimension to the security and safety concerns for the technology developers
5. Boundary between the technical and non-technical aspects of our lives will fade away, everything will have a technical underpinning, explicit or implicit
6. Innovation (and so the people- the knowledge workers) will keep the center stage
7. Transition from a nice to have feature to an implicit expectation will be accelerated by many folds
Social networking for the social animals
Statistics show that out of the 7 billion people on the earth, over 1.2 billion are Social Networking Users that comprises 82% of the online population. These figures are going to increase exponentially in the coming future.
8. Companies will need to remove constraints on the social technologies as the boundaries among employees, vendors, and customers will blur, all will need to communicate through the channel of the social network
9. Social Network Analysis (SNA) will be a prominent tool for the businesses and will provide valuable input to their strategy, marketing, customer segmentation, advertising etc.
10. Social Networking will provide a platform for a never seen before collaboration among the experts for solving the problems across the boundaries of their organization
11. Taken the benefits of the Social Networks it will be a challenge to manage the threat it poses for the security and privacy, and technology will need to handle this challenge
Big data growing bigger
According to an estimate the Big Data is worth $100 billion business and is growing twice as fast as the software business as a whole.
12. More and more new tools that support Big Data will come
13. Most of the businesses in the need of amassing and analyzing more and more of the data will need to rethink their data management strategy and approaches
14. Existing database management systems will either evolve to handle the big data or eventually fade away
Mobility on the move
As per an estimate more than 75% population in the world do have access to a mobile phone. Increasing computing power and decreasing hardware cost will ensure that very soon everyone on the globe have access to a mobile phone and most of them migrate to smart phones and are connected.
15. Smart devices will become sort of magic wand that will not only keep us connected and allow capturing and playing audio video contents but will also serve as a tool for communication, handling professional work when on the move, executing business applications, navigation, payment option, sensors, risk alert system, aid devices, training tool… the list is virtually endless
16. There will be a boom of the applications tailored to handheld devices
17. Enterprises will need to make their applications support handheld devices partly or fully
18. There will a never seen before opportunity for the individual developers for reaching out their customers with their own applications (Google – Android App Store already in business and Microsoft launching Windows Store)
19. Different mobile development platform may have to consider standardization
Clouds and clouds everywhere
By 2012, 20% of the businesses will not own IT assets. – Gartner Report, 2010.
As this prediction is on its way to fulfilled and go beyond that, cloud is seen as one of the topmost things that will change the face of computing and IT industry.
20. Online service offerings will become lucrative and competitive
21. As the confidence will built in favor of the cloud, decreasing cost of cloud based implementations (infrastructure or application platform or both) business shunning it (due to security and other reasons) will finally adapt to it
22. Cloud adaptation will force the service providers to find solutions for the challenges that cloud poses:
a. Concerns regarding security for the financial data and personal information
b. Locking their customers to a proprietary technology platform
c. Difficult coexistence with the legacy and proprietary systems
Business models for the future to take shape
As the speed of change in the technology is turning the world topsy-turvy businesses will need to rethink their operations to get in alignment with those changes and harness the opportunities it provides. Business models that are based on the philosophy of “Win-Win” and are agile enough will survive.
23. There will be demand for innovative business models where the customers and the service providers are seen as partners and have combined stakes in the project success, new and innovative business models will be replacing the legacy models fast
24. Legal aspects will get ever complicated and governments will need to formulate laws for handling the new legal challenges
25. IT Budgets will get trimmed, especially in turbulent times without trimming on the SLAs (so the customers will demand more services at a reduced cost)
26. Licensing models based on pay for use will get prominence
27. Multisided business models (where a service is provided to A for free but B is charged for the advertising or trends data etc.) will pick momentum
28. Service providers will offer “Freemium model” where a service is free for certain limit, a usages beyond that is charged
29. Businesses will spread their foothold in non-traditional markets, multinationals reaching to rural areas and smalltime businesses getting global
30. Government will increase usages of the IT for its public service delivery – education, law, transportation, health care etc., once the public service systems are technology enabled applications that integrate with them will have an impact
New SDLC Models to replace existing ones
As an article put it aptly “Agile is the new waterfall”, projects will not be able to wait for long delivering a working functionality or implementing a change.
31. Reduced time to market and intense competition will force the businesses to adjust their strategy more often than imagined. This will demand SDLC models that deliver the working products fast. So the iterative project development models will replace the standard waterfall models and its variations. Architecture and development models supporting small chunk deliveries will get prominence
32. Lesser time to market and faster releases will give a competitive advantage
Architecture with No Architecture will get prominence
Factors like Internet, Cloud Computing, Service Integration and Mobility Support etc. will make the application architecture overly complicated. The architecture of the future will be architecture that has no architecture- it can survive as its building blocks keep on changing.
33. Obsession with technology will be diluted and business needs etc. will take the center stage in the Enterprise Architecture
34. Architecture will get only ever complex and distributed… no turning back
35. Changes will be ever faster in the business requirements, technology, interfaces, non functional requirements etc.
36. Concepts like inter-operatibiliy, platform independence etc. will be implicit and so NFR (Non Functional Requirements) will more critical than ever
37. Architecture would need to keep on going as all the elements of architecture – device to network, application UI to data store will change and keep on changing
38. Applications will lack a direct control with the overall architecture elements but still have to be accountable for their piece
39. Context sensitivity on the pieces (is it a notepad or smart phone?) will be important
40. With diminishing maintenance time window and increasing number of interfaces and dependencies, long running batch process will need to be give way to asynchronous processes
41. Various business departments will need to share their business and technology models to create the consolidated picture
42. Trend will be a movement towards using product lines (that are tested, can be scaled, manage the volume, serve the SLAs and so on) rather than developing custom built solutions
43. Senior technical representation will be prevalent in the higher management
Geography will become irrelevant
According to a 2011 survey over 6 billion people do have access to the computers and roughly half of them have access to the Internet. Increasing power of the handheld devices and the advent of the mobile computing is going to increase these figures exponentially.
44. Enterprises will bid a farewell to most of the applications that do not support Internet or can’t be made to interface with the web and most of them will be required to support handheld devices (Mainframe based applications could be an exception, but they too are getting integrated using Web-services)
45. Global presence of the technology companies and spread of virtualization will enable organizations to create global teams that will work in shifts having an impact over how the teams are setup and tasks are managed
46. Most of the applications will need to have inbuilt localization and globalization features as a must
47. More and more applications will have “Geolocation” capability inbuilt (imagine browsing to the map that allows searching and drilling down to an address and filing up the address instead of typing it and running the validations)
48. More and more applications will be required to be up 24X7, having little time window for the activities like maintenance and batch processes
Hardware and Network will see loss of importance
As the price of computing hardware is coming down and their performance is going up, elements like hardware and network will no longer be the differentiator factor as everyone will be in a position to afford them at a reasonable price.
49. The value-add provided by the application and services will have to meet all the expectations
50. Increasing popularity and capability of virtualization will ensure a consolidation in the terms of the hardware, software and data