The World Is Getting Smarter
As technology gets better and smaller, or maybe bigger depending on the device, how will technology evolve this year?
The Internet of Car Parks
Next year the Internet of Things will enter the mainstream. And by the mainstream, I mean the car park, that most mundane of environments. Car parks that guide you to the nearest space, automate payment, save you time and headaches, and make the entire operation more efficient, will start popping up all over the country.
As with car parks, so with cars – fitted with sensors and connected to the internet or other networks wirelessly or via smartphones and other mobile devices. Such ‘smart’ cars can tell you where you are and how well you’re driving. Some are smart enough to drive themselves – even find you a car park and park in it.
A Smarter World
The whole world will become noticeably smarter in 2015, so to speak. Expect more smart watches, smart TVs, smart thermostats, smart homes, smart buildings and smart cities. The drive towards digitising everything that can be digitised, and connecting whatever can be connected to networks and other ‘things’, will be inexorable next year. Your smart car will soon be able to talk to the smart car park, for instance. Companies such as Arqiva and BT are already testing or building dedicated networks in the UK and Europe to support this smarter world.
Public Sector Disruption
In the business world, the digital disruption of processes, operations, companies and whole industries will pick up pace in 2015 as more organisations realise not doing so means certain death. The most obvious way this is happening, and will continue to happen, is in their move online, offering more products and services via mobile apps in particular. The private sector is leading the way, but the NHS and government are joining the great digital migration begun by banks, retailers, airlines, taxi companies (think Uber, Hailo and Lyft in particular) and others. Cabinet Office MP Francis Maude – who has been vocal before about the mediocre Wi-Fi in Whitehall – has spoken about an aim to expand online government services so that “nine out of ten of the public” will use digital public services by the year 2020.
The exciting new technologies and services described above are intended to deliver compelling benefits, including cost savings and fresh efficiencies for businesses, and improved health and greater engagement with central and local government for individuals. Realising these benefits is reliant on the elimination, or seamless automation and execution, of an ever-growing number of processes – some previously manual. Next year, without many people noticing (unless something goes wrong), the incredible complexity of the processes that support the burgeoning Internet of Things will grow to the point where we may need to invent new adjectives to describe it.
The Management of Things
Software is inherent to all of this, as the Internet of Things is enabled by myriad apps, APIs and other systems. Making sure your software is working properly at all times, amid increasing complexity, is essential to successful digital operations. End-points, back-ends, front-ends, transactions and the rest need monitoring and analysing to get the most from digitisation.
That’s where we come in, as providers of Application Performance Management (APM), monitoring and analytics. For example, top UK betting company, Paddy Power, uses us to monitor and optimise the performance of their apps and their online customer experience as more of their business goes digital. Analysts are predicting that the market we’re in will grow from £1.73 billion ($2.72 billion) globally in 2014 to (£3.17 billion) $4.98 billion by 2019. After all, software needs proper management and analysis as it eats the world.
Really Big Data
The continuing digitisation of everything in 2015 will produce a vast amount of new data every second. The analysis of this information can deliver profound benefits to organisations and individuals – too many to list here. But a key change that many workers – especially in management – will notice is the steadily increasing availability of data on all manner of operations, processes and other things across an organisation.
With digitisation comes the opportunity for unprecedented visibility and analysis of data. The right analytics solutions will enable common data – from business transactions involving a specific app, for instance – to be presented to a wide range of executives in ways which suit their different information requirements. This will be particularly important to executives outside the traditionally data-centric IT and finance teams. Knowledge is power, as they say, and the ability to understand and interpret what all this data means will be an important skill for employees in all manner of industries to at least start developing in 2015.
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