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July 13, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 2:34pm

5 future tech trends to watch out for: Serverless computing, platform economy, device mesh, edge analytics, and ambient user experience

List: Avoid becoming the next Blockbuster and stay on top of technology trends.

By James Nunns

The rate of innovation in the tech industry is rapid and keeping up with the pace of change is difficult for even the most tech savvy of businesses.

While digital transformation is in full swing, identifying the next technology trend that will disrupt everything all over again is vital. If businesses don’t keep up with identifying the next big thing to hit then they could again be slow on the uptake and face losing out to those that are more swift adopters.

In short, you don’t want to end up as the next Blockbuster, it’s necessary to be constantly moving forward because technology certainly isn’t slowing.

To lend a helping hand CBR has provided a list of five technology trends that are shaping to be big news.


1. Serverless computing

At the AWS Summit in London, Amazon CTO Dr Werner Vogels talked at length about the value of serverless computing.

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Serverless computing basically adds another layer of abstraction on top of cloud infrastructure so that the developer doesn’t need to worry about servers, including virtual ones.

Basically, it means that developers don’t need to worry about infrastructure because only code is being done, this is because the application is being stripped of their servers.

The idea is that developers just write code and someone like Amazon Web Services runs it, with the intended outcome of reducing developer workload and cost of running an application.

Currently there appears to be a trade-off with less control over how the code is run and the margin that is paid to the cloud provider.

However, with a bit more noise being made about it, businesses should question whether a container-based project is worth it or whether serverless might be what’s right.


2. Edge analytics

A little more buzz is being heard about edge analytics as vendors such as HPE, Cisco, Dell, and Intel start to push the idea more as a way of reducing the strain on analytics systems doing all the data crunching at a central point.

Basically, edge analytics is aiming to give businesses a helping hand in analysing data close to the point where it is generated, perhaps at an offshore oil rig.

The benefit is that there is a faster time to information, less stress of the network, and lower costs.

Edge analytics has come about as a kind of cousin of the Internet of Things and analytics. Businesses have more data being generated in locations that aren’t easily accessible thanks, but they still need that data to be analysed.

Another benefit of running edge analytics is that an analytic algorithm can assess the data as it is created and make decisions as to what information is worth storing, this can help to reduce data storage costs.

3. The device mesh

Highlighted by Gartner as a tech trend to look out for, the device mesh refers to an expanding set of endpoints that people use to access applications and information, or interact with people, businesses, and governments.

Basically, Gartner is expecting connection models to expand and greater cooperative interaction between devices to emerge.

The analyst firm expects there to be significant developments in wearables and augmented reality, and especially in virtual reality.

Although devices are increasingly connected to back-end systems through various networks, they often operate in isolation from one another, this isolation is expected to end as the device mesh evolves.

4. Platform economy

The platform economy is already a clear trend that has developed in the enterprise software world where a core platform has been developed and delivered to customers in a PaaS model.

This is where companies like Salesforce, SAP, NetSuite, Marketo and more are being successful, they have built a platform that sits at the core and can connect to pretty much anything.

Basically this is a re-thinking of vendor lock-in, so while a customer may have all their ERP or CRM with an SAP or Salesforce, they don’t feel locked in to the technology because the user is free to connect to a broad ecosystem of other SaaS solutions, so no lock-in.

 This concept isn’t restricted to the world of SaaS as it is now spreading to the world of data analytics.

It has become increasingly apparent that companies like Hortonworks, Cloudera, and MapR are building ‘go-to’ platforms that can do everything a customer wants, but can also connect to various other vendors products.

Looking forward the question will be whether these platforms are willing to connect to each other.

5. Ambient user experience

Forget omni-channel, this is where businesses will need to be looking in the future when dealing with customers.

What this will be is all of a person’s digital interactions will become synchronised into a continuous and ambient digital experience that will preserve our experience across boundaries of devices, time, and space.

It sounds a little out there but Gartner expects this to be a big trend to look out for, and as things like augmented and virtual reality begin to take off and gain traction in the market, the trend may be something that becomes reality.

The ambient user experience would blend physical, virtual and electronic environments and use real-time contextual information as the environment changes.

Perhaps one day technology will work in concert to support people in carrying out their daily tasks.

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