Leading by Game-Changing Cloud, Big Data and IoT Innovations

Tony Shan

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Technology Outlook for 2015

2015 is around the corner. Once again, we’d like to take a forward-looking view on the future to see what will be the key drivers at the technology forefront. The following lists the items that are forecast to lead the innovation charge in the new year: Streaming, Microservices, Analytics, Real-time, Telemetry, Internet of Things, Containerization, Software-defined Anything (SMARTICS). Let's have a closer look at them one by one.

  • Streaming: Sophisticated stream data processing is maturing to be applied for various business solutions, such as order routing, filtering, aggregation, pricing, bandwidth allocation, content personalization, etc. Open source packages like Storm, Spark and Cloud Dataflow will fuel the speeded growth and commoditization of Big Data event processor.
  • Microservices: Microservices architecture will further grow. Applications will be finer-grained, specialized, lean and API accessible via REST and JSON. Standardized packaging mechanism will make integration and composition much easier and faster. The revived devops and automation ought to accelerate the creation of microservices platforms.
  • Analytics: Data analysis will be deeper and more meaningful towards predictive and prescriptive analytics. More semantic NLP and parallel mining of unstructured data are expected to be context-aware, location-relevant, time-sensitive, content-rich and social-friendly. Unconventional machine learning is going to play a critical role to extract insights and assist decision-making. Advanced analytics is to be embedded and self-serviced with applications.
  • Real-time: Near real-time (NRT) processing is becoming norm in a variety of vertical solutions. It is compulsory for applications to provide instant response for web-scale traffic on demand. Real-time mobile payment will be in the limelight. Vendor consolidation is forthcoming, and a handful of winners will prevail.
  • Telemetry: More highly automated communications processes are forecast to be more central, by which measurements are made and other data collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring and management. Increasing amount of telemetric data will be acquired and analyzed in an agile manner.
  • IoT: The Internet of Things market is gaining momentum. Smart phones will continue evolving, surpassing desktops as the primary device for users. More embedded sensors and wearables are projected to debut. Driverless cars, drones, intelligent robots and 3D printer are poised to take off. Other smart devices are predicted to be linked to the network, such as the connected car and Nest Thermostats. 
  • Containerization: The effective management and orchestration tools are coming to the mainstream to help assemble and move complex apps with many components running in many containers. Docker facilitates the image, registry, hosting, log and monitoring of apps, which enhances application portability, and in turn promotes interoperability. It paves the way to build and deploy smarter machines in the cloud.
  • SDA: NFV continues proliferating. Anything can be software-defined, in particular for better infrastructure programmability and adaptability, covering a wide range of hardware systems virtualized as a service, e.g. data center, VM, server, storage, network, firewall, WAN, router, etc., driven by open source initiatives like OpenFlow and OpenStack. 


These are the vibrant areas with a lot of innovation and disruption anticipated for the coming year. Data, device, and digitization (3D) will propel new products and services in 2015 to converge the physical and virtual world.

For more information, please contact Tony Shan (blog@tonyshan.com). ©Tony Shan. All rights reserved.

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Tony Shan works as a senior consultant, advisor at a global applications and infrastructure solutions firm helping clients realize the greatest value from their IT. Shan is a renowned thought leader and technology visionary with a number of years of field experience and guru-level expertise on cloud computing, Big Data, Hadoop, NoSQL, social, mobile, SOA, BI, technology strategy, IT roadmapping, systems design, architecture engineering, portfolio rationalization, product development, asset management, strategic planning, process standardization, and Web 2.0. He has directed the lifecycle R&D and buildout of large-scale award-winning distributed systems on diverse platforms in Fortune 100 companies and public sector like IBM, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Honeywell, Abbott, etc.

Shan is an inventive expert with a proven track record of influential innovations such as Cloud Engineering. He has authored dozens of top-notch technical papers on next-generation technologies and over ten books that won multiple awards. He is a frequent keynote speaker and Chair/Panel/Advisor/Judge/Organizing Committee in prominent conferences/workshops, an editor/editorial advisory board member of IT research journals/books, and a founder of several user groups, forums, and centers of excellence (CoE).