January 25, 2016. Technical Author: David Fearne

A Look Back on 2015 – part 2

Welcome back to the second part of my look back at which 2015 technology predictions came true. If you missed Part 1, please make sure to check it out here.


Development skills

Developing enterprise grade software is tough, and for an enterprise the build or buy question is still a very difficult one[1]. Last year, I predicted the skills needed to build software would become more commoditised; according to statistics from jobswatch.co.uk[2] the average salary for a permanent developer has gone up by 9.75%, showing that the demand for permanent developers is still out stripping the supply.

On the contractor side, the hourly rate improved by only 6.66% last year but the jobs listed increased by 45.7%. This highlights that developers are undertaking short to medium term positions – and shows organisations are still buying, customising, and further integrating their software to give it a custom feel; keeping overheads low, rather than building end to end from scratch.


Hybrid cloud and cloud architecture

Global spending on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is expected to have risen to $16.5 billion in 2015, an increase of 32.8% from 2014.[3] Enterprise organisations are attributing this growth to hybrid cloud architectures. The technology required to enable hybrid cloud also peaked in 2015 – with more Telcos offering connectivity directly into public providers from traditional data centres – the last mile was complete and using cloud as an elastic server resource became a reality.

Last year, Microsoft, Citrix and Pure Storage all started offering hybrid applications and cloud based management infrastructures to support on-premise hardware and software. The hybrid IT model was born to make cloud computing a reality; with remote productivity suites, we can switch between hybrid and on-premise technologies without a second thought.


Software defined everything

The success of the software defined world can be measured in two metrics; one, vendor investment in technology designed/modified to reside or compliment a software defined environment, and two, production installment of software defined technologies.

The first is simple. If I look at my vendor portfolio I would struggle to find a vendor without a software defined offering to complement or replace the physical equivalent.

The second is more difficult. After all, what defines a successful environment? Is it compute virtualisation or desktop virtualisation? No. But it is network, storage or security virtualisation. Sales of Software Defined Networks (SDNs) and Software Defined Systems (SDSs) grew beyond expectations in 2015 – while, Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) is maturing quickly and gaining status in the security market.


Risk based security and self-protection

More security threats have been detected YoY – as much as 38% in 2015 – however, the financial losses incurred as a result of a cyber attack have been down 5% YoY. [4] This suggests that the fight is starting to be won, and that’s down to automated risk based systems growing in popularity throughout 2015.

These systems have become more universally taken up across the enterprise security landscape, leading to an estimated 91% adoption at the end of 2015[5]. Combined with advances in risk information, sharing technologies have started to turn the security tables in favour of the enterprise.


And there were some predictions I missed…

As I said earlier, 2015 took me by surprise and there were many other technologies and concepts that made an impact last year.

‘Smart machines’ was one. Every field of enterprise technology started to adopt a machine learning approach to compliment, augment or entirely replace humans in the chain. The size of the opportunity for smart machines is vast and there are already groups around the world working on laws to govern smart machines for when ‘Artificial Intelligence’ becomes a reality. Gartner said, “The smart machines era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.” [6]

Security, analytics, mobility and commerce were just four of the areas that realised the potential of smart machines in 2015. For now, the opportunity for the channel is to leverage these technologies to provide solutions that stream-line processes so man and machine can work together harmoniously.

Gartner predicted that the mass appeal of IoT would build by 2020, but at the start of 2015 IoT was at the top of expectations according to the hype curve. The barrier to entry required to develop the hardware and software also lowered, and the rate of innovation increased so business application realisation could grow.

This drove IoT to become the next big business enabler. It’s extending a businesses understanding of itself – therefore saving money and time, and making for a more profitable or competitive business. This data is also used extensively with analytics from other areas of the business to help make better-informed decisions.


I’ll be making my predictions for 2016 very shortly – be prepared for a technological roller-coaster!

[1] http://www.cio.com/article/3001357/software/how-to-determine-when-to-build-or-buy-enterprise-software.html

[2] http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/software%20engineer.do

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2015/09/27/roundup-of-cloud-computing-forecasts-and-market-estimates-q3-update-2015/#2715e4857a0b47aaa95c6c7a

[4] http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/cyber-security/information-security-survey.html

[5] http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/cyber-security/information-security-survey.html

[6] http://www.gartner.com/

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