January 22, 2016. Technical Author: David Fearne

A Look Back on 2015 – Part 1

Personally, last year was one that took me by surprise. At the end of 2014 I wrote 10 predictions on what trends, technologies and concepts I thought might be relevant to the channel in 2015 – I always try to share any forward thinking and thought provoking ideas – however, in hindsight I feel my predictions were somewhat tame in comparison to what actually happened.

So, in this blog I am going to be reflecting on my 2015 predictions and looking at what actually came true.

 

Platform as a Service – PaaS

Platforms of all shapes and sizes gained notoriety in 2015. The platform I originally referred to was the compute platform – which saw an estimated 36% growth in take up during FY15. However, with enterprise grade players – such as Oracle – joining the party the evolution of PaaS’s relevance to enterprise and medium sized organisations as a genuine alternative to virtualisation, accelerated massively.

We also saw platforms play a bigger part in data analytics, machine learning, process automation and the Internet of Things (IoT).

 

Application programming interfaces – APIs

“The API economy” as it was commonly referred to in 2015, boomed last year. In a report conducted by MuleSoft, 50% of large organisations are now earning $10 million or more from their API strategies[1]. Enterprises have been running EDI systems for over 30 years, providing electronic means for exchanging purchase orders, invoices and shipping notices – but APIs provide the ability to expose business functions and data programmatically. Meaning businesses can monetise processes and data, and sell it securely to interested parties.

APIs also open commercial models to access services and data, which would have otherwise been impossible to manage. Amazon adopted an internal API economy back in 2012 after an email from the company’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos: “Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired. Thank you; Have a nice day!” Today Amazon is still a great example of what exposing everything as an API can do to accelerate a business’ agility, both internally and externally.

 

Docker: open platform for development to production consistency

In a report by Enterprise Technology Research, statistics revealed significant Year on Year (YoY) growth for Docker between 2013-2014.[2] The company was also placed top of the ‘CIO Spending Intentions for 2015’, as well as achieving the ‘Highest Net Score ever recorded’ on a comprehensive list of the ‘Top 30 Net Scores recorded since January 2010’.

Docker and its associated ecosystem of products and solutions is fast becoming a standard enterprise platform for running applications and workloads. The only area of growth Docker lacked in 2015 was the channel’s adoption, leaving a large opportunity for services associated to migration or integration with it.

 

Advanced, pervasive and invisible analytics

Last year saw 62.5% of the Fortune 1000 have big data projects in production[3] – double the amount in 2013. This time last year I predicted analytics to become more and more commoditised, and therefore appropriate to every business. However, while this has happened to a degree, we are still some way from true product or service analytics for the business. In my opinion, this is because of four factors:

  • Cloud analytics still isn’t ready – moving the data to and from the cloud is slow and not an option if the data is sensitive
  • While data visualisation platforms have become simple and line-of-business focused, the underlying data warehousing is complex and expensive to run
  • Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) is still a costly and complicated area, whether using APIs or pulling data from databases
  • Understanding what information to store in a data warehouse is a constantly difficult challenge; too little, and the analysis won’t be as accurate as it could be, too much and false positives start to be introduced.

Computing everywhere

The evolution of the smartphone continued in 2015, with an increase in CPU (Central Processing Unit), memory and storage capacity. Apps can now be downloaded faster and provide a better user experience due to a centralised service delivery. This subsequently provides greater control and the ability to upgrade features, all from one smaller end point.

The smartphone hasn’t yet found its killer app to leverage power locally or increase battery life. But a computing everywhere trend we hadn’t spotted was the Raspberry PI ZERO – a micro device with a HDMI, USB and Micro SD port – making the smartphone a full blown computer.

 

For the second part of my look back at the 2015 predictions please read here

[1] https://www.mulesoft.com/lp/kit/connectivity-benchmark

[2] https://d3oypxn00j2a10.cloudfront.net/assets/img/ETR%20Net%20Score/ETRNetScore.pdf

[3] http://newvantage.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Big-Data-Executive-Survey-2016-Findings-Release-Version.pdf

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