Mark Kelly
Chief Technology Officer

The Changing Landscape of Hardware & Software in 2015

The Changing Landscape of Hardware & Software

It’s incredibly difficult to look forward and forecast changes in the business technology landscape; so when asked for my insights, I hemmed and hawed and offered some broad generalizations.  Then, I was asked what my insights were for this year…much firmer ground.  The rate of change in business technology is such that looking twelve months out wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

With limited risk of extending myself, you can be sure of the following happening within 2015:

  • Marketing departments will over-promise the capabilities of a new technology.
  • Your government will over-invest in a technology solution that it is not prepared to leverage.
  • Software defined something, virtualization, and Big Data (capitalized) will dominate messaging from services delivery companies.
  • Marketing will push out new buzz-words that will need to be defined by the pragmatic use of IT professionals.

Software defined anything:

Software defined will continue to evolve.  After all, it has been evolving for 20 years.  ‘Active networking’ of the mid-nineties was the early effort to provide a programming interface to network resources.  The dominant players in networking will continue to push their SDN initiatives.  The big change in 2015 is that the ‘pull’ from enterprise IT departments will reach a critical mass.  Not driven from any inherent need to separate the data and control planes, but rather as means of breaking the tyrannical practices of device manufacturers and their software maintenance pricing models.


The cloud has been embraced.  Whether it’s a private cloud or a software-specific cloud supporting a SaaS community, someone checked this off of their prediction list in 2010.  What will begin its ascendency this year is ‘hybrid cloud computing’.  The ascendance to inclusion in IT strategies is denoted by surviving the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ [as noted by Gartner in the Hype Cycle model].  The financial benefits of pairing public cloud resources with protected enterprise assets will be realized as IT managers are educated on managing the risk through proper design.


China is projected to purchase 500 million smart phones next year, almost 3 times as many as in the U.S.  About 30% of online sales during this holiday season have been conducted using mobile devices.  In 2015, enterprise IT will embrace the advantages of using mobile devices to achieve strategic goals (both customer-facing and internally).  The real opportunity for introducing a disruptive technology lies in the hands of the telecom providers.  Soon, if not 2015, then at least by 2017; sim [Subscriber Identity Module] cards will go away and be replaced with a software identity solution.  This will allow for the portability of business profiles among multiple devices.  The mobile device used during the business day will be the best suited for that task.


The disruptive innovation that will serve as a foundation for paradigm shifts throughout enterprise IT will be unveiled in 2015.  This innovation will be a secure identity management tool / platform.  This will enable the faster adoption of technologies because it will enable a higher confidence to IT Teams that they can manage risk.  Security will continue to outpace other areas of IT spend.  The innovation has to be rapid due to the ever-increasing number of threats against our current methods of defense.


The adoption of new technologies allows for the development of new, creative methods of doing the work of IT professionals.  Specifically, with regards to security, this means the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.  Using cloud resources the whole concept of a server, of securing a server; can become a non-issue.  A “cloud server” hosting a database may not even exist for more than a few hours.  The transitional nature of that “server” and that database means IT does not have to focus on the protection of that server as an end-goal.  The methodology of concentric rings of security has to shift in this scenario making way for new creative ways of protecting assets.

This is the insight which I most hope that IT professionals realize this year.

Those responsible for enterprise IT become more open-minded, stop making evaluations based on opinions formed years ago, and help pull innovations and technologies beyond the push of any market-led hype to enable pragmatic and successful solutions.

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