Firstly Happy New Year to you all, I know this post is slightly late into 2012 but as you can imagine we have been pretty busy working a couple of projects for the new year. I wanted to write down a couple of ideas and opinions that I believe will set 2012 apart from last year, of course as always these are just my personal views.
Lets take a quick look back at what happened in 2011 before we look forward, what was released last year? What was the focus last year in the technology industry:
1) Apple – Firstly and unfortunately we have lost a great leader, a visionary and a technological genius – R.I.P. Steve Jobs, we will never forget you. Well we had the iPad 2 (or 1.5 depending on what your views are), the iPhone 4S and some new updated specifications on their “Air” range of Mac Books.
2) Cloud – Yes there you go I said it!! This is one of my favourite subjects that I find very interesting, we all know this not a new concept or technology just evolution from Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) which of course has spawned from hosting companies providing large scalable private infrastructure. Looking from the outside I do enjoy seeing how much up take there is from companies, both Small and Large thinking this is a new technology, of course I do understand and appreciate the benefits. Indeed we are looking at designing a number of concepts within this space for 2012, granted it does allow businesses to cut down the over head of on-site hardware and scale out as and when the capacity is needed.
For summary the following services where launched in 2011 within the Cloud space:-
- a) Office 365 – Microsoft launched its global domination of the Office 365 platform, an upgrade to the hosted BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services), incorporating Exchange 2010 online, SharePoint 2010 online, Lync 2010 online and Office Web Apps. Having been an early adopter of the BPOS platform we made our own manual migration of Office 365 some 6 months ago and have not had any issues with the platform so far – we are now in the process of moving some of our clients over to this.
- b) Microsoft Azure – Again Microsoft’s Infrastructure-As-A-Service platform delivering highly scalable and performant services. This has seen significant growth not only with developers but also enterprises scaling out for various test, proof-of-concepts and production environments.
- c) Cloud Storage – A number of vendors have introduced or expanded their services including LiveDrive (which we resell, email us quoting this post for a significant discount), Jungle Disk, Oxygen Cloud, Drop Box, Huddle, Box.net.
3) Social Media – With Google releasing its new Google+ service to take on Face Book, Twitter expanding by the day, LinkedIn focusing on advertising and PPC spaces. It is obvious that this is a space to watch coming into 2012 and seeing what will happen.
So moving forward and into 2012……..
I believe this is going to be a very interesting year for Technology, when you review the Gartner predictions for the next 2 years, then think about the some of the points raised above I think the following spaces are worth considering and looking at for this year:-
1) Apple – Being an avid Apple fan it only makes sense to start with them, now if any of the rumours are true going around the Internet then within the next 2 months we should expect the iPad 3 – will this get 4G or just a higher resolution screen? Will the iPad 4 be with us before the end of 2012 I have to wonder! Now I am sure a hardware refresh will be on Apple’s road-map for their Mac Book’s, will they remove the 11″ Mac Book Air? Now the iPhone is an interesting point, I am sure the iPhone 5 will be released to the specification that the iPhone 4S should have been.
2) Hardware – This will be the year of the tablet and ultra notebooks, allowing for the mobile warrior to finally get the powerful hardware they may need. These devices will become more and more important in business, with Executives and management demanding the removal of their laptops and adoption of these powerful and lightweight devices. Enterprises now need to seriously consider how these devices could integrate securely into their networks, software virtualisation playing a key part within this delivery.
3) Cloud – With the UK’s Government introducing the G-Cloud Alliance and the expected growth of Cloud Services 2012 (and even 2013) will be the year of security for Cloud providers ensuring the confidence with their services. Data placement will be an interesting area, especially for UK or Data Protection aware companies demanding that their Cloud data resides int he UK. I hear Microsoft made this mistake with their European Data Centre being located in Ireland, it would not surprise me to see if Microsoft build a new UK based Data Centre will be provisioned this year. Enterprises will start to explore the use of hybrid based cloud services allowing them to cherry pick the best services from different cloud providers – again integration of these will be interesting potentially forcing companies to build an internal cloud to support such activities. More businesses will look to remove the onsite hardware or consolidate their Data Centres into these environments, personally we will be looking to build out our lab environment in the cloud.
4) Hosting – More and more companies demanding cloud services mean this hardware needs to reside in a facility, therefore more demand for Data Centre and Co-Location suites will be on the rise. Interestingly I think this will force hosting providers to search for more “green” or Eco-friendly solutions for power requirements. Recycling environmental air, solar / wind / water power and even using the good old UK weather for air cooling.
5) Web and Social – Well we now have HTML 5, tablets currently dominating the market that do not support flash, let us guess where this could be going!!! Social media will increase, from a business perspective we are seeing more and more companies focus on social media channels for customer service, marketing, branding and company reputation initiatives. Of course Twitter and Face Book lead these channels but with Face Book having such negative propaganda from its privacy settings will the number of users reduce? We are already seeing the children of Generation X and Y people moving away from Face Book to the likes of Imbee, Togetherville 3D virtually communities such as Outerworlds, Activeworlds and Secondlife. Will businesses embrace these technologies to archive their goals and strategies or just ignore them? Will they just concentrate on pushing the traditional telephone based interactions or move towards LiveChat, Social Media and even 3D interactions – only the other day a friend of mine had an issue with his broadband line, as they use Twitter most days, an off the cuff comment regarding this resulted in an engineer being dispatched the next day to fix the issue – this channel of interaction fixed within 20mins rather than the 7 calls he made before to sort the same issue out!!!
So let me know your thoughts and don’t forget those New Year’s resolutions…..