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Will 2016 be a defining year for technology?

January 25, 2016

Rahul Mathur   

Vice President, Customer Success & Business Transformation, Tata Communications

2015 was a great year for IT transformation and we saw many innovative technologies becoming mainstream, offering enhanced customer experience, and delivering value to enterprises. In 2016, we are set to witness another round of technological developments to help enterprises meet their expected growth trajectories.

Here are some of the major trends that I anticipate in the coming year:

Hybrid cloud

Cloud computing is now clearly post the hype-cycle. For many, it is seen as the de facto standard when commissioning new services and applications, an indication of just how extensively cloud services are offered and the maturity of the market.

2016 will be the defining year for cloud computing led by move to Hybrid IT by organisations. It has been anticipated that cloud investments will grow 10 fold with deployments in private cloud in addition to the growth of public clouds. It is expected that majority of enterprises will deploy hybrid clouds to take advantage of their existing investments, have tighter controls in private environment and flexibility and scalability of public deployments.

The platform market for cloud management is still at an early stage but growth will be observed in categories like open source initiatives and upward movement of virtualisation platforms. Leading service providers are deploying innovative cloud solutions for enterprise to manage the traditional and agile IT architectures using single orchestration layer.

We will also continue to see investments in security and Internet based WAN technologies to deliver predictable and secure performance to access hybrid clouds. With growing deployments of hybrid IT, the aspect of the levels of privacy will remain a critical concern. Sophistication and understanding of business requirements will propel deeper success on hybrid deployment.

Internet of Things

Gartner predicted that there would be 4.9 billion connected things globally in 2015, reaching 25 billion by 2020 – more than three times the number of people on earth today. It’s been projected that the Internet of Things (IoT) market will be worth 11 trillion dollars in 2020. This means we should expect everything from cars, to healthcare to wearables to toothbrushes to be connected to cloud.

This is expected to generate a significant amount of data: private data from consumers and big data from enterprise. This data has to be securely transported, stored and analysed in Hybrid IT environments mentioned earlier. Enterprises will have to consider the cloud architecture, storage solutions (like cheap and reliable object storage solutions) and WAN architectures to take care of massive inbound traffic flow.

Internet based WAN

With adoption of hybrid cloud, employees becoming mobile and proliferation of BYOD, enterprise has to look at new WAN architectures. This requires organisations to look at the Internet as a predictable and secure way of connectivity to unlock employee productivity and enhance cloud access.

This trend is set to continue in 2016 as Internet WAN technologies evolve. We expect the adoption of Internet as enterprise WAN will lead to deployment of hybrid networks with greater adoption of technologies and services that make these networks more efficient. Networks will continue to become application aware.

Content delivery

Content owners, enabled by technology providers, are taking control in a world where consumer viewing patterns are dramatically changing due to flexible content provisioning across screens and devices. In this competitive environment, broadcasters are focussing on staying ahead of the game and providing viewers with the platforms and services that give them more control when it comes to dictating their own viewing experiences.

Broadcasters want to deliver high quality content in HD, Full HD and 4K, at high speeds and low bandwidth capabilities. The benefits of being able to deliver it over the Internet has led to an increase in competition in the broadcasting space; with disruptors such as Netflix in the on-demand space and soon-to-be-launched live events channels.

2016 will witness more IT organisations offering services that will enable broadcasters to reduce production and distribution costs while increasing quality of the content delivered.

 Growth prospects

 Innovation is key to finding and sustaining new avenues for growth. The capability for IT and telecom organisations to flourish in this new ecosystem is underpinned by disruption and ubiquitous communication.

The growth rate of the global telecom market is likely to improve, with the telecoms service revenue expected to reach USD1.8 trillion worldwide by 2018, driven by mobile penetration growth in emerging markets and higher spending on mobile data services in developed regions.

What are your predictions for technology in the year ahead? Leave a  comment below. In the meantime, read Srini CR’s predictions for the cloud in 2016.