ITs all about convergence

Updated: Dec 31 2013, 17:34pm hrs
2013 was a riveting year for the technology industry. Enterprises have witnessed a radical change in the way technology is consumedbe it by organisations or individuals. Our physical and digital worlds are converging. As a result, organisations expect the same service whether they are in the digital world or physical world. This convergence of business and personal use of technology is shifting the technology landscape in a big way.

While 2013 saw the evolution and maturation in some cases, of technologies like big data, cloud and social, 2014 will be the year of convergence of all technologies. Lets take a look at the major technologies that will transform 2014 and shape the future of the technology landscape.

Big data: Future of the industry

The number of technologies that generate and transmit data will continue to grow as consumers embrace their new digital lifestyles. For one, wearable technology will start to enter the mainstream market and begin generating vast amounts of new consumer data from which companies will be able to draw new meaningful insights. In 2014, we expect big data to become appreciated much more than a tool for capturing and analysing customer insights at scale, to technology that will create value across the enterprise in new and surprising ways. Businesses that can harness big datas potential will gain better awareness of both internal and external business factors and find ways to work with greater efficiency and intelligence.

Internet of Things: The Internet of everything

In todays connected world, the proliferation of intelligent devices has created a marketplace with entirely new demands. As mobile network costs decrease and data speeds accelerate, intelligent devices like smartphones, smart meters, and even industrial machinesare starting to proliferate, making up an Internet of Things. These smart devices are getting smarter, so they are able to not only capture and sense the information from their environment, but also to share this information with ease from machine to machine (M2M).

Analysts estimate there will be 50 billion M2M devices by the end of the decadeand not just mobile phones but

also remote medical devices sending back critical healthcare information, retailers personalising promotions based on online shopping activities, businesses providing consumers with products and services that deliver context-aware experiences, devices tracking logistics or security, smart meters to reduce energy costs etc. The amount of data generated by these newly connected devices is often several orders of magnitude larger than anything seen before by business.

Managing this volume of structured and unstructured data and extracting business value from it is difficultbut the rewards will be huge. It will be necessary for organisations to coordinate activities effectively across the value chain, which can be done only if they have an integrated platform that manages data from the device to the data centre.

Mobility: Simplify enterprise mobility With the explosion of mobile devices and business demands, the workforce has

become more mobile and the need for enterprises to ensure users are connected via any device to their enterprise

applications, at any time has become more critical. Organisations have now started looking for mobility solutions that simplify application development and allow developers to securely create and deliver more compelling user experiences. By simplifying this process, enterprises can maximise IT investments and lower application development costs.

The year of the hybrid cloud The cloud conversation has been heating up over the last few years, especially about the hybrid cloud, as an alternate cloud model. As we speed up our journey in helping service providers build private public cloud environments for their customers, it is important to think, is there a way to help customers to take advantage of both

In our case, we explored that as we create a trusted and converged framework that delivers the best of both worlds, we found that hybrid clouds offer much higher value for customers who want an intelligent combination of internal and external resources that can deliver the right mix of cost savings, service levels, and agility.

Then, as customers move to a hybrid model, service provider partners are showing they can compete on vectors like quality of service, security, and mobility. So, we believe hybrid cloud is going to become the de-facto enterprise model over time.

Sandeep Mathur

The writer is managing director, Oracle India.