End-of-the-year predictions should be more than by-the-numbers forecasts about what’s coming when. They should also be about what people hope to see. In other words, we think the best predictions cover not just what’s probable, but also what’s possible.
Here’s some of what we think is possible in 2016.
Digital commerce will be transformed.
New payment platforms and big data are combining with technologies like location-based services to create a new level of customized consumer targeting that will offer businesses a huge competitive edge. Meanwhile, consumers will just keep expecting more – more digital payment options in more places, whether online or in-store, all accompanied by more security as banks increasingly switch to chip-embedded credits cards. The changes will force the players in the digital payments industry to redesign their networks so that they can 1) interconnect securely and instantaneously to the various partners needed to meet consumer expectations for smooth, secure payments; 2) analyze the consumer data being collected and access real-time business insights that have never been obtainable before. The latter capability will soon be seen as the true value of the digital transaction.
The Internet will get greener.
The Internet will get greener in 2016, even as the number of global Internet users nears 50% of the world’s population. The continuous expansion of our digital lives requires huge amounts of electricity, particularly for the data center operators that house the world’s Internet infrastructure and serve as catalysts of the digital economy. And they’re aware their energy choices have a big impact. In a recent survey, more than 8-in-10 North American data center operators said they know they need to consider renewable energy to meet future energy demands. That demand will translate into action in 2016, as more enterprises adopt renewable energy principles and push for changes to make data centers more energy-efficient.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will dramatically impact IT networks.
The expansion of the Internet of Things is continuing at an accelerated pace, and the strains the resulting flood of data will put on network security and capacity will compel more enterprises to redesign their IT networks, including redirecting access to some IoT applications, such as data analytics, to the cloud. The objectives will be to relieve pressure on corporate-centric networks by more broadly distributing the traffic and to better control the performance of the streaming IoT information for more real-time business and operational insight. A premium will be placed on the direct and secure interconnections between multiple components that must be in synch to quickly and safely mine these insights.
Interconnection will remove significant barriers to IT growth.
The corporate network will be under increasing pressure in 2016 as global workforce dispersion escalates and users continue to demand high-performance, secure access to increasing amounts of information at any time, from any device, in any location. Responding successfully requires a level of proximity to users that traditional IT architectures can’t deliver, given that they are often centralized in on-premises data centers and can’t scale because corporate networks are backhauling most company workloads to them. At the same time, questions about the security and reliability of the public Internet will persist. These issues are driving the enterprise to adopt an interconnection-first mindset that prioritizes the quality of the end-user experience and enables the instant, direct and secure interconnection between customers, partners and employees needed to create value and compete in the interconnected era
Keep an eye on this space for Part 2 of our 2016 predictions.