Application Software Development Trends and Prediction Articles for 2014

Keeping pace with new trends such as mobile, big data analytics, and the growing move towards cloud-based systems has brought new and more challenging issues to the forefront of application development. In today’s environment, application development teams are exploring ways to increase agility, develop new skill sets, implement distributed teams, and implement more complex software engineering methods.

I recently published my trend report Application Software Development Trends to Watch in 2014.  It is over on slideshare.    Below I’ve provided you a list of 10 articles that you might be interested in.

Source Title
Zenoss Why 2014 is the year of the Software Defined Data Center
Computer Weekly The future of application development
SDNZone SDN Predictions 2014: How SDN Will Transform IT
ZDNet Enterprise software 2014: Three themes to ponder
sdnCentral SDN and NFV Technology Trends to Watch in 2014
Fierce Wireless Tech SDN will be 2014’s biggest network trend, says Strategy Analytics
The Guardian 10 app trends for 2014: privacy, wearables, education and more
Tech Republic 10 predictions for open source in 2014
APM Digest 14 APM Predictions for 2014
Web Ascender 14 Website Trends for 2014

 

My Thoughts on the Cloud Computing Trend

Last month I posted "IBM Cloud Computing White Papers".  In that post I provide summaries and links to a number of white papers IBM has posted on the Cloud Computing topic. 

SWSC16 As I mention in that post, I did a bunch of research on the topic of Cloud Computing back in late 2007 and 2008.  The post last month gave me the opportunity to reflect on the cloud computing trend.  In 2008 it was an emerging buzzword in the IT industry.  Today, 2 years later, the concept is a little more defined and the hype has died down a bit. 

Yes, there is more that needs to happen before the true potential of cloud computing becomes a reality, but there is no question that we all need to pay attention to the vision of cloud computing…because cloud computing (or whatever it ends up being called) is the future of the IT industry. 

Why you ask?  There are a number of reasons.  But primary in my mind is that it offers businesses the promise of business agility.   Agility enables the business to respond quickly to customer requests for new products and services.  It also allows businesses to partner more quickly to reach new markets faster.  And it also allows businesses to quickly change in the face of competition.  Here are some basic reasons why the cloud computing concept will take off.

  • Economics: Clouds will require a very small up front investment.  Usage will be be billed by consumption.  The resulting reduction in Total Cost of Ownership will allow businesses to pursue improvements in operational efficiency and productivity.
  • Risk Management:  In some cases, there will be no fixed time commitment.  This will allow businesses to try many new services faster.  This reduces big failure risks and allows clients to be innovative.
  • Time to Market:  Businesses will be able to adopt new services quickly for pilot usages and then scale quickly to a global scale.
  • Information Society:  Cloud computing will provide business executives value-added information generated by the collection and analysis of massive amounts of unstructured data.
  • Ubiquitous Society:  The cloud treats all devices the same making the cloud accessible via a heterogeneous set of devices (sensors, kiosks, PC, mobile device, telematics..)

In today's fast world, new competitors, with innovative business models (e.g. Google, Amazon, etc.), seem to be able to rapidly change their business.  To match these types of competitors, businesses must have a business architecture and an IT infrastructure that is flexible enough to respond quickly to all opportunities and threats.  The emerging cloud computing concept enables businesses to become more agile because it offers the ability to get to market quickly, and with a lower capital expense.  It also assures that as demand increases, resources can be added incrementally, without the need for major architecture changes.

From an IT standpoint, business agility implies the ability to rapidly build and configure tailored solutions which span internal and external systems.  Cloud computing can enable the development of applications in real-time and then also enables them to be quickly deployed globally to any device from sensors to mobile device to PCs.  Once developed, Line of Business executives need those applications to execute in real-time, scaling to meet the needs of the business.   Follow on generations of applications must be able to handle increasingly higher amounts of data as the user base grows.  Once running, applications in the cloud offer non stop operation.  Users aren't burdened by HW and SW upgrades.  

In the future, there will be all sorts of new types of services enabled because of computing clouds.  Services we can''t even imagine right now.  The fact is that the more applications and services that are deployed in the cloud, the more opportunities there are to leverage services provided by others in the same or other clouds.

The biggest 'hurdles' to realizing the vision of cloud computing is security, privacy, & risk Management issues.  These issues can be HUGE to overcome.  The security issues will be very complex to solve and a number of the white papers I summarized in the post "IBM Cloud Computing White Papers" discuss those security issues.

I do believe that we will solve the 'hurdles' and businesses will learn to trust running our systems in the 'clouds'.   Remember the initial fear you had of buying things online with your credit card?  I bet you do that now with much less fear.  Perhaps you don't even think about it.

Anyway, Cloud Computing is a disruptive force in the Information Technology industry and it is one of the trends I will continue to watch closely.

Gartner’s Latest List of Disruptive Technologies

Every Wednesday, Gartner does a free webinar on a variety of topics.  Earlier this month, they had a presentation titled "Technology Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore."   I attended the webinar and took some notes.

The webinar provided attendees with Gartner’s latest list of disruptive technologies.  According to Gartner, a disruptive technology is one which drives major change in business processes or revenue streams, consumer behavior or spending, or IT industry dynamics.  It’s important that companies have processes in place to identify the disruptive technologies that will impact their business and develop plans to address these disruptions. 

Gartner regularly publishes disruptive technology lists.  Back in October 2007, I posted Gartner:  Five Disruptive Trends, which was a summary of their current list at that time, which included the following five trends:

  1. Web2.0
  2. Software as a Service
  3. Global-class computing
  4. The Consumerization of IT
  5. Open-Source Software

You can read my October 2007 post Gartner:  Five Disruptive Trends for more on that Gartner list.

So I was interested attending the webinar and seeing what was on Gartner’s list this time.  Here is a summary of Gartner’s July 2009 list of the top 10 technologies that will drive significant disruption over the next five years.

  1. Virtualization.   Virtualization helps reduce the number of servers used, decreasing power consumption.
  2. Data Deluge.  According to Gartner, the amount of data produced around the world will grow by 650% over the next few years, and 80% of it will be unstructured.
  3. Energy & Green IT.   We need to come up with regulations for technology and power consumption. 
  4. Consumerization & Social Software.  Consumerization, Social media, social computing, and social networking will change the way we work.   See my April 16, 2009 post on The Consumerization of IT  or my March 12, 2009 post Social Computing as a Disruptive Force for more on this trend.
  5. Unified Communications.    Unifying communications will allow users to route communications to their preferred device and change that device preference whenever they need to.  
  6. Mobile  Mobile devices 10 years ago were just phones.  Today, they are little computers. Tomorrow, it may be the primary device employees use to get their work done.  
  7. Complex Resource Tracking  This is all about the need to manage our networks more efficiently
  8. System Density.   We are going to need more and more servers.  That's going to increase power and cooling requirements, even as the price of the hardware continues to drop.
  9. Mashups and Enterprise Portals.  Employees will increasingly need and demand new ways to see information. 
  10. Cloud Computing. Cloud-computing can certainly save you a lot of time and money, but it will cost a lot of time to make the switch to the cloud happen.  I spent a bunch of time researching cloud computing.  For more information, see this post, which also contains links to other cloud computing posts I have done.

A quick comparison of the 2007 list with the list today, we see that Consumerization of IT/Social Software made both lists.  And we also see that Saas/Cloud Computing made both lists.   Both these trends are important disruptive trends, for sure.

For more information, or to download the replay and a pdf of the presentation, go to this Gartner website: Webinar Wednesday Series: Technology Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore

Accenture on Enterprise Cloud Computing

Accenture has been relatively quiet the last 12 months on the subject of Cloud Computing….there's been relatively little from them on this important disruptive trend.   Searching their website, you really can't find much on the topic.  However, I see they have just published a brief on the topic titled  What the Enterprise Needs To Know About Cloud Computing .  The report is fairly basic, providing an overview of the trends, key drivers and inhibitors, along with some recommendations to CIOs. 

Here are some takeaways from the Accenture brief:

  • Accenture's definition of Cloud computing:  "the dynamic provisioning of IT capabilities (hardware, software or services) from third parties over a network"
  • Five Adoption Drivers: 
    1. Maturation of the Internet as an IT platform
    2. Virtualization
    3. Hardware commoditization
    4. Standardization
    5. Open source software
  • Five Obstacles
    1. Security in a shared third-party environment
    2. Data location, compliance and integration issues
    3. Lack of Service-level guarantees
    4. Legacy systems not tied in yet
    5. Procurement not ready for cloud computing
  • Three Steps CIOs should take:
    1. Use the cloud for the right jobs. Accenture recommends public clouds like Amazon EC2 as an inexpensive and flexible alternative.  It says it EC2 and those like it are mature enough for non-business-critical projects including research and development and software development and testing.  Accenture also says that the EC2 and like public clouds are also well suited for computation-intensive jobs such as data cleansing, data mining, risk modeling, optimization and simulation.
    2. Target the right users for cloud applications. Accenture says to switch some workers to lower-cost, cloud-based solutions based on the type of work they do.  It says to consider contact centers and offshore locations.
    3. Take small steps toward an internal cloud.  Accenture says that CIOs should continue to focus on virtualization and datacenter consolidation initiatives and that these initiatives will eventually lead to internal cloud.

For the full brief, download What the Enterprise Needs To Know About Cloud Computing  

My take is that in 2009 we will see increased focus on private enterprise clouds.  This is a perfect time for IT departments to experiment with the cloud service delivery model.  The eventual end of the financial crisis and recession could be a significant lever in the adoption of Cloud Computing.   One of the major benefits of cloud is the agility it offers.  Application development and system provisioning can happen much faster with a cloud infrastructure, allowing business to deploy new capability faster than ever before.  As the recession ends and growth picks up, the companies with the fastest response to the reappearance of market opportunities will be the ones to benefit most—and they are likely to be the ones that are already experienced in deploying and exploiting Cloud solutions.

eWeek: Five SMB/Midmarket Tech Trends to Watch in 2009

eWeek has weighed in with their annual list of top SMB / MidMarket IT trends to watch in 2009.  With IT budgets expected to be tight this year, eWeek says that small business owners must make wise investments in order to stay competitive.   And because of the focus on cutting costs and managing budgets, eWeek says that technologies such as cloud computing, virtualization and the latest notebooks/netbooks can be well suited for midmarket companies.

  1. Cloud Computing.  eWeek says cloud computing will continue to get traction, especially in the SMB marketplace.  
  2. Virtualization.   eWeek says because of the potential for cost savings, virtualization will be a key trend in 2009 for SMBs.  Plus, eWeek says, building a virtual infrastructure can often result in a higher availability of resources, better desktop management, increased security and improved disaster recovery processes.   
  3. Notebook/Netbook Adoption.  The attractiveness of notebooks and their smaller, less powerful cousins, netbooks, has grown as features such as battery life and structural durability has improved…making this a trend to watch in 2009.   
  4. Open Source Software.  While open source certainly hasn't become a dominant force in the midmarket space, as more SMBs adopt open source technologies for non-critical applications, it is likely others, particularly tech-savvy small business owners, will realize the cost benefit potential of open source technology.
  5. Online Social Networking.  eWeek says social networking has the potential to level the playing field for SMBs in a big way, but first need to understand what you want social media to do for your company.

Cloud computing is a trend I have been following for over a year and I'd have to agree that we will see increased interest from SMBs for not only SaaS, but Infrastructure as a Service as well.

The netbook trend is getting increased attention in the press.  It will be interesting to see how the mobile device market and the netbook market morph over time.

Online social networking is a trend that I think will get even more hype in 2009 as the focus moves from consumer (e.g. Facebook) related social networking to business (e.g. LinkedIn) related social networking.  With layoffs in the picture for 2009, people will be staying in touch even more via social networking sites.

To read the full article, go to the eWeek page:  Five Tech Trends to Watch in 2009