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Three tech trends set to shake up 2015

January 12, 2015

Rangu Salgame   

Mobility, data centers, cloud and media expert

Cybersecurity gets its due, big business learns how to intersect IoT and cloud, and mobile digital identities transform healthcare.

It’s that time again: time to look at what we’ve accomplished over the past 12 months and make predictions for the year ahead. In that spirit, I want to discuss three technology trends that captured our attention in 2014 and will drive greater action in 2015.

1. Cybersecurity tops board issues

Data breaches topped the news this year. Sony Pictures experienced a vicious cyberattack around the release of The Interview. Home Depot was a victim when 60 million card numbers were stolen, Target announced its holiday breach cost the company $148M and who can forget the iCloud celebrity photo scandal?

Since 2013, I have seen cybersecurity evolve as a pressing management issue much more slowly than I had expected. The technology to act on such warning signs and slow down or even prevent breaches or hacks is available, but the mindset to invest in it continues to fall behind the need.

When you consider that a breach in security opens up business liability, damages customer loyalty (and in some cases their finances), and jeopardizes people’s jobs, it must require action that exceeds the attention it is getting. Businesses need to set proactive managed security solutions with industry experts as they seek to remedy and protect both corporate and customer assets. I predict through necessity cyber security will become a leading agenda item for Boards across every industry with a focus equal to that of business strategy, product development and R&D.

2. Big business catches up at the intersection of IoT and the cloud

The Internet of Things (IoT) has captured the imagination of consumers, from wearable devices to home automation and connected cars. At the same time, cloud and software-defined datacenters are reaching into the enterprise world unlocking transformative levels of insight, flexibility and scale.

But until now, consumer big brands have grappled with how to put the two revolutionary technology trends together in ways that are meaningful. It’s been start-ups like FitBit, AirBnB, and Nest that have figured out how to use the cloud to create a more-connected consumer experience.

However, in 2014 we started to see that tide turn. Google closed its Nest acquisition. General Motors announced 30 models of 4G-LTE automobiles and just a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, GE – with partner Quirky, announced their vision for the connected home.

So far this year, we have already seen innovations in these areas from major brands. During the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Qualcomm announced a partnership with Walgreens. Mercedes-Benz unveiled a self-driving car. Nest announced new smart home partnerships with companies including LG. Garmin also revealed a new fitness tracker in partnership with designer Jonathan Adler.

As more big name consumer companies make the connected home and car relatable to the mass population, adoption will accelerate, more useful data will be captured and analyzed, and an increasingly customized experience will be delivered. I predict that in 2015 we will see platforms based on standards develop providing all players, established and new, a method of building on top of existing work instead of having to reinventing the wheel with every innovation.

3. Our mobile digital identity redefines healthcare

The proliferation of connected devices and the cloud will also enable a new use case for your digital identity, specifically in healthcare.

While in 2014 we saw the explosion of wellness wearables tracking steps taken and miles run, the critical benefit will be the management of chronic illness. We are starting to see wearables for chronic pain relief such as Quell, the Blue-tooth equipped cuff that uses neuro-stimulation technology to mitigate pain, emerge.

A recent piece in Wired identified that, “According to a Pew Foundation survey, 45 percent of US adults are dealing with at least one chronic condition. While only 19 percent of people with no chronic conditions track their health indicators, 40 percent of adults with one chronic condition do so, and 62 percent of adults with two chronic conditions do so.” With wellness, it’s an option. With chronic illness, it’s not.

New remote systems, driven by the healthcare providers, will connect patients and their stats to a healthcare team, allow for a more comprehensive overview of a patient’s true state of health (not just what they remember at their next appointment), and enable doctors and nurses to offer improved continuity of care.

Looking at these trends, it might be that 2015 is the year when mobile, security, big data and the Internet of Things finally come together to benefit the consumer. I’ll be watching each of these areas to see where we’re going and why, and I will expand on my thoughts in the months to come. I invite you to follow along and share your thoughts as well.

Do you agree with Rangu’s predictions for 2015? Share your thoughts below. 

Follow Rangu on Twitter: @rangusalgame