Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Digital Transformation Prognostications for 2015 By @TheEbizWizard [#IoT]

The change we face every day is all of these and more – and it continues to accelerate exponentially, unabated

Whoever actually came up with the purportedly Chinese curse exhorting us to live in interesting times surely had no inkling of the insane level of change permeating today’s technology-fueled business world. There are so many individual threads of this story that even finding one end of the string presents a Gordian challenge.

Today we speak of digital transformation, representing customer-driven technology choices upending traditional business models and associated processes. But perhaps this period is better thought of as the big data revolution, or the age of cloud computing, or maybe the rise of the Internet of Things, or my personal favorite, The Agile Architecture Revolution.

In reality, the change we face every day is all of these and more – and it continues to accelerate exponentially, unabated. Interesting times, indeed.

As this article is the final Cortex of the year, I thought I would continue the tradition we started at ZapThink well over a decade ago, and prognosticate about the year to come.

Prediction #1: Disruption in the wearables marketplace
Let’s begin with a particularly active corner of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the wearables market. Wearables include wristbands that monitor your vital signs, augmented reality glasses, blood glucose-monitoring contact lenses, and more. The busiest part of this market are the fitness wearables – wristbands and other devices that help you exercise and achieve other fitness goals.

The problem with fitness wearables today, however, is that there are far too many of them, including Adidas miCoach Smart Run, Basis Peak, Fitbit One, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Zip, Garmin Vivofit and Vivosmart, Jawbone UP24, Magellan Echo, Microsoft Band, Misfit Flash, Motorola MOTOACTV, Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ SportWatch, Runtastic Orbit, TomTom Runner Cardio, Wahoo Fitness TICKR, Withings Pulse O2 – to name but a few, with many more to hit the market soon.

It seems there are more individual products than there are interested customers! Clearly there is a surfeit of choices for such a nascent market to bear – and furthermore, most of the devices end up in the drawer after a few weeks anyway. Who wants to be shamed by their wristwatch?

My prediction: a significant upheaval in this space in 2015. We may see companies go belly up or exit the wearables space, and we’ll certainly see investors abandoning this market to seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Prediction #2: Hyperscale data centers will become a hot topic for enterprises
Hyperscale
is a term that represents the ability of a datacenter to scale as demand increases – but in general, the notion of a hyperscale data center simply means a really, really big data center – like the kinds that Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon run, typically for public cloud environments.

The current generation of enterprise data centers are unlikely to fall into the hyperscale category, as companies rarely intended to build massively scalable data centers for their own internal use. Furthermore, it’s never cost effective to try to turn an older data center into a hyperscale one, as you’d essentially need to replace all the gear anyway. You might as well start from scratch.

Today, enterprises who need massive scalability either turn to the public cloud providers, or more likely turn to a hosting provider who can build a private cloud that fits the bill. At a certain point, however, building your own hyperscale data center from the ground up becomes more cost effective than outsourcing it.

Only a few enterprises will be talking hyperscale in 2015, however. We’re still talking the largest of the large here, at least for now: the biggest telcos, banks, and massive companies like the GEs and Walmarts of the world.

You can think of such efforts as building a public cloud for your own enterprise use – which of course, would make it a private cloud. Perhaps it is better to think of such enterprise hyperscale data centers as next-generation private clouds.

Either way, I predict significant buzz around enterprise hyperscale data centers in 2015 (although actually building them will spill into 2016 and beyond).

Prediction #3: A large enterprise customer will publicly call Gartner’s digital transformation advice into question
It’s no secret that I’m a public critic of Gartner. True, they have many good people, and some of their advice is spot on. I like to joke, however, that one third of what they say is useful, one third is obvious, and the remaining third is complete nonsense. The challenge, of course, is figuring out which is which.

I’ve gone on the record criticizing Gartner’s advice on Bimodal IT – but there are other weaknesses and contradictions in their advice as well. The good news is, people are getting wise. Now that we’re in the midst of a period of upheaval (Gartner’s Nexus of Forces), good advice is particularly hard to come by.

My prediction: I won’t be the only one calling them to account. One of their big enterprise customers will do the same, creating a broad backlash and renewed assessment of the role IT industry analysts play in helping executives make critical decisions.

Prediction #4: A shakeup in the public cloud provider market as IBM moves up and Amazon moves down
Amazon’s cloud efforts are under pressure from two sides: first, their downward pricing strategy is petering out as their competition achieves comparable economies of scale, and second, their penetration of the enterprise is faltering as their self-service cloud model is reaching the limits of its appeal. Furthermore, they’re not compensating adequately for these pressures with a coherent digital strategy.

IBM, on the other hand, is playing its cards quite well. IBM’s traditional enterprise expertise is rubbing off on SoftLayer, and their BlueMix PaaS offering promises to drive the enterprise cloud business Amazon has struggled to capture.

My prediction: the big three public cloud service providers – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform – will become the big four, as IBM SoftLayer expands dramatically and Amazon comes under pressure with its enterprise-unfriendly approach.

Prediction #5: A critical mass of grass-roots interest in user-controlled identity will finally coalesce
Identity management has always been a centralized activity. Companies run identity management servers for their employees, while consumers must rely on various third parties to manage their identities for them.

Those third parties – from social media providers to cable companies to ecosystem providers like Apple and Google – love controlling user identities, as such control is critical to gathering data about individuals and targeting them with advertising.

We consumers, however, are getting fed up with this routine. Every day it seems there’s a security breach that compromises our identities. We also don’t want our mobile apps or iBeacons in stores or other devices in our environment knowing who we are so they can saturate us with marketing noise. As consumers, we want to be in control.

The good news is that there are a good number of vendors who are working on next-generation technology for empowering individual users to take control of their identities once and for all. The bad news is that big companies don’t like the idea, as they’d rather retain the control – and investors have mostly steered clear as a result.

My prediction: 2015 will be the year this balance of power finally shifts to consumers, as people will finally get sufficiently fed up and demand technology that empowers them to take control of their own identities. Once this call is loud enough, investor money will begin to pour into the market, and the feeding frenzy will begin.

The Intellyx Take – Polishing the Crystal Ball
The best way to make predictions is to identify an existing trend with a clear pattern, and extrapolate that pattern into the future. The pattern this Cortex is tapping into, however, is a pattern of repeated, accelerating disruptions – a pattern of patternlessness, as it were.

As a result, predicting that there will continue to be disruptions into the future is the easy part. Making reasonable guesses about the results of such disruptions, on the other hand, is exceptionally difficult. We’re not looking at trends so much as predicting the transformation of trends.

Take these predictions, therefore, at face value. Don’t base your investment strategy on them. Instead, use them as talking points – starting points for your own discussions about the future. Your guesses have as much chance as mine of coming true, but accuracy isn’t the goal. The true value of such prognostication is the process of consideration and debate.

Intellyx advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Walter Lim.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...