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Cloud, Internet of Things & Big Data: What's Next in 2015? | @CloudExpo [#IoT]

A round-up of industry experts' opinions on the New Year

What changes in the cloud computing, Internet of Things and Big Data landscape should you be expecting in 2015? This article offers a round-up of industry experts' opinions on the New Year.

Cloud-Native Security Evolution | Datacenter Atrophy
Pat O'Day, CTO, Bluelock

Now that cloud services have become part of IT's "new normal," commonly referred to as "hybrid," it seems obvious that the approaches and tools we use to manage IT would also evolve and mature, though the pace of evolution varies amongs companies, of course. According to a Website Magazine article quoting a Gartner survey, more than 55% of CIOs indicate they would host all critical apps in the cloud by 2020. Cloud services use cases can vary greatly, but often hold common themes around converting traditional applications to SaaS, or adding disaster recovery to your existing datacenter with RaaS.

What does this tee up for next year? Here are four key areas to watch in 2015:

1. Cloud-Native Security Evolution
One of the biggest changes I anticipate for 2015 is a new definition of what security looks like in the cloud. Typically security is handled as a complex, rigid component of your infrastructure. This limits your ability to grow and contract, as well as make on-a-dime changes, because security features are often clunking along behind your lightweight, flexible cloud environment.

New platform-based security services like Illumio will require everyone to rethink security complexity and how to approach security. Taking an agent-based approach guarantees an out-of-the-box hybrid cloud capability and a single dashboard to see the security across everything at once, be it private, public or on-prem, provides visibility and transparency at an application-level.

The benefits of this approach lead the users to accumulate data that can be leveraged to make the host profiling capabilities stronger over time, which provides a stickier element than traditional, isolated single-tenant products. You can also derive best practice templates and profiles from the data, which can be analyzed and integrated into future projects.

2. Datacenter Atrophy
In 2015, the trend that we've already started to see over the past few years with early adopters is businesses and business leaders (particularly SMB businesses) want to get out of the datacenter business and focus their team and resources on their core business. They need their IT teams to do more than simply fix and adjust hardware. They need their teams to think more strategically and help the entire business become more technology-oriented.

Consider this datacenter atrophy in relation to how virtualization allowed us to get more out of our datacenter. There's a law of diminishing returns on how much we can get out of that technology, so we need to lean into a new approach to get even more out of innovative approaches. Because of that, more businesses are leaning in to get more for the business out of their resources and offload the datacenter business.

In order to truly be able to get your team out of the datacenter business, you need to be able to rely on a managed cloud provider who acts as an extension of your team. The providers manage all the aspects of the infrastructure - what they do best; and, your team focuses on the core business - what you do best.

3. Convergence of Backups and Recovery
This year many companies started to modernize their disaster recovery approach using Recovery-as-a-Service. This was driven by the business expectation that your applications and data are accessible at all times, from anywhere, regardless of what happens in the world surrounding those applications. Evolution of recovery technology allows businesses of all sizes access to affordable, simple Recovery-as-a-Service in the cloud, which bring single applications back online in minutes and whole datacenters back online nearly as quickly. What's going to change in 2015, however, is how we look at recovery and the components that it involves.

For businesses protecting their infrastructure with Recovery-as-a-Service, backup and recovery technology convergence means you can continue to back up your applications and data while they run in recovery, because the technology is integrated. You'll never have to be unprotected, unlike if you were running recovery in a bubble-like trailer in a parking lot. In the cloud, backup and recovery technology are already integrated so there's no reason not to be protected while running in a recovery state.

We're seeing both backup and recovery vendors integrate the two ideas as well over the past year. Veeam has added cloud-native capabilities to its backup technology for DR, and Zerto has added backups to its cloud-based DR product for additional protection.

This convergence will force the market to redefine the role of each technology, more strongly force integration of products and force businesses to redefine budgets and possibilities in the coming year.

We're gearing up for another exciting year in the cloud industry and these are just a few core ideas that I believe we'll see take flight and takeover focus this year. Next year at this time I'll be sitting down again to consider how my scorecard looks heading into 2016 and we'll see how accurate my crystal ball was for 2015.

Wearable-Schmearable | | Agile Software Development + Millennials = New IT
Jeremy Burton, president of products and marketing at EMC

1. Wearable-Schmearable
Apple fanatics worldwide expect wearables will go mainstream following the emergence of iWatch, but I'm not so sure. Let's face it, nobody under 35 wears a watch anymore - they rely on their smartphones for everything. A lot of wearables will fail ... with the guys wearing their Bluetooth earpiece all day propping up the market. Now, that said, not all wearable technology will end in abject failure. Standalone, niche wearables that shake up industries for the better - such as FitBits or Jawbones that monitor vitals or health activity - will continue to flourish and be incorporated into sports clothing, shoes and equipment.

2. Consumers "Caught in the ‘Act'
Mobile devices are a driving force of disruption in almost every industry. Businesses that adapt and take their services onto the mobile device can create a direct relationship with the consumer. This creates a nirvana moment for marketers - they have the potential to intercept consumers "in the act" and direct their attention to relevant products and services. Think about the retailer who is savvy about the consumer location in the store, or the sports clothing company that understands exercise routines and state of health of their customers - it's a gold mine. But consumers are fickle and impatient. Many companies have been working on this for years, but I expect it will become more widely adopted. That means vast streams of data will need to be processed in real time... driving a massive increase in the adoption of technologies such as in-memory databases and flash storage.

3. It's About the Software, Stupid
In the last decade or so, most companies have quit the business of writing software. IT departments have become experts at managing data center infrastructure and implementing ERP systems. In the next decade, almost every industry will be re-defined by software - and much of that software being surfaced on mobile devices - on smartphones and tablets for sure, but also in cars, aircraft engines, running shoes and human beings. Think about Tesla - an electric car, right? Yes, but more than that, it's a software-defined car. Tesla has done to the driving experience what Apple did to the cellular phone experience - your car is now a software platform to innovate on top of. Companies that don't innovate in this way won't last long. This trend also hits close to home - I'm not excusing the data center infrastructure (that EMC plays in) from this. Storage arrays, servers, networks and entire data centers will be run and managed by smart software in the future.

4. Agile Software Development + Millennials = New IT
In the next decade business transformation will be driven by new, differentiated, software running on mobile devices. But it won't be written the way it was 20 years ago. At school most of us forty-something's learned that making changes late in the software development lifecycle was expensive. We had to lock in requirements early, up front and fight change. Change was bad. So many of us have spent our careers working on projects that lasted years and ultimately delivered the wrong thing - the magic of ‘waterfall' development.

If business transformation is to happen it will be driven by the business - often with "IT" (the guys writing the software) embedded in the business. Development will be iterative, employing agile techniques - prioritizing work and then re-prioritizing every couple of weeks based on a tight feedback loop with the business. We're talking here about a new model for IT, and one that provides almost instant gratification - a perfect fit for the millennial generation coming into the workplace. 2015 could represent the beginning of the decentralization of IT - IT operations staying centralized, but software development heading off into the respective business units.

5. Lecture This
2015 will be the dawn of a new era in education. We'll see the beginning of the end of lectures. Yes, as a form of learning, the professorial lecture is dead. Trials at leading universities have shown that the average student pays attention for about 7 minutes in a 40-minute lecture. If the lecture is 60 minutes the attention span actually drops. At colleges where lectures have moved online, exam re-take rates have tumbled from almost 50% to single digits. That's not the only good news - moving content online gives educational content global reach. Imagine a world where everyone has access to the same materials our Ivy League schools teach. Next time your kids are on Kahn Academy, pay attention - you are seeing the future of education at work.

HTAP a Key Requirement
Dr. Michael Waclawiczek, VP of Operations at NuoDB, Inc.

What comes to mind when you think about Big Data? Is it that you think about analyzing large volumes of data to discover new patterns or trends? Or is it the sheer variety of data that need to be managed in a unified manner across your organization? Or your inability to make real-time decisions against an ever-growing number of transactions your company needs to handle?

Lots has been talked about and written about Hadoop-style data discovery and the need for MDM solutions to master and manage golden copies of the growing diversity of data. What is however becoming a hot topic these days is the need for organizations to be able to simultaneously run transactional and analytics workloads on the same operational database system. Gartner refers to this trend as hybrid transaction/analytical (HTAP) processing. HTAP recognizes the need for companies to be able to quickly analyze large volumes of transactional data for a variety of needs ranging from real-time fraud detection, scoring to web analytics.

My prediction is that HTAP will become a key requirement for many businesses in 2015. With the advent of in-memory database technologies, implementing HTAP is now becoming a reality.

Retail-Oriented Attacks | High-Profile Breaches
Vijay Basani, CEO of EiQ Networks

Retail-oriented attacks will continue despite the calls for adoption of EMV technology by the second half of the year. We can expect additional large-scale breaches but also to see senior executives including Board members engaging in serious discussions about how to protect and insure themselves against class-action lawsuits from shareholders and customers.

Additionally, we believe state attorney generals and federal government will become more active advocates of consumer protection, taking steps to hold companies accountable for data breaches they suffer.

We predict additional high-profile breaches to take place in the cloud despite increased cloud security. As a result, we should expect additional Apple/celebrity-hack-style breaches in 2015.

Now that we've seen the Sony breach, where hackers were focused on both stealing information as well as destroying information, we will see copycat Sony-style breaches in 2015. As a result, disaster recovery and backup will once again take center stage in IT strategies.

Security staffing shortages will continue into 2015 and companies will increasingly conclude that they should actively seek outside help and partner with managed security providers to address challenges.

Buh-Bye Shadow IT, Hello Cloud Apps | IT Gets SaaSy
Rich Campagna, VP of Product Management at Bitglass

  1. "Office Goes Off": Office 365 will take a massive lead over Google Apps in the enterprise, leading many to believe Microsoft has returned to dominance. In 2013 Microsoft had 1 million users. As of Sept 30th of this year they had 7 million users.
  2. "The Digital Employee Will Be The Victor": Employee pushback due to privacy concerns will result in a fresh look at BYOD. The industry will seek alternatives to MDM, stalling the growth of the MDM market.
  3. "Big Bucks for Medical Data": Medical records are 50x more valuable than credit cards on the black market. This will be the new target du jour, ushering in a major rise in noncompliance of HIPAA regulations
  4. "Buh-Bye Shadow IT, Hello Cloud Apps": IT efforts to enable their businesses with the cloud apps and mobile devices will directly result in a decrease in Shadow IT prevalence. IT departments will begin reaffirming their position as the designated point of IT responsibility management.
  5. "IT Gets SaaSy": Today almost 67% of healthcare orgs are using SaaS applications; this number will continue to grow in other highly regulated industries as well. Gartner predicts that by 2016, more than 60% of banks around the world will process transactions in the cloud
  6. "The Age of Productivity": Seamless user interaction across devices will be a top priority for IT leaders. Today 40% of employees are using personally owned devices for work.
  7. "Training Day - The IT Security Version": As the number of malware and scams increase, more focus will be placed on making employees more "security saavy." Security training for employees will become an industry standard as BYOD continues to grow in enterprise popularity
  8. "Almost perfect": The idea of 100% security will fade from existence and more budget will be put towards conducting risk assessments and risk mitigation tactics.
  9. "The Truth Is in the Data": As advanced analytics technologies continue to thrive, demand for a data science approach to security will grow rapidly. Companies will begin using data science to understand where the greatest security vulnerabilities lie within their infrastructure.

Flexibility, Business Value User Experience Drive Cloud's Continued Adoption
Chris Gartner, Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing at Velocity

As we turn to the New Year, corporate spending on cloud adoption will continue as companies begin replacing or reinventing a majority of their IT within cloud environments. This increasing focus on cloud adoption will be driven by an acceleration of the shift in priority to user experience. Business decisions of 2015 will center on delivering better and more purposeful user experiences working in tandem with functional executives such as the CFO, CHRO, and business unit leader.

Enterprise business software providers will continue to accelerate their cloud offerings, adapting the cloud as their primary delivery vehicle. "Choice" - the avoidance of vendor lock-in - will be critical as companies move more of their IT to the cloud.

Most important, expect an increased use of cloud aggregators, as corporate IT departments turn to service providers with the breadth and depth of application expertise to span a company's full application portfolio. Forward-thinking cloud firms will enhance the value they offer corporate customers through advanced analytics that allow customers to turn usage information into meaningful insights that impact business outcomes.

Overall, the cloud market will continue to mature. Just as 2014 will be remembered as the time most CIOs overcame their objections to the cloud, 2015 will be remembered as the year cloud gained real momentum as the business platform of choice.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

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