10 Changes on the Horizon for Networking in 2015
10 Changes on the Horizon for Networking in 2015
By Chris Preimesberger
Content Delivery Disrupts Cable Providers
With the exception of the switch to digital several years ago, the cable industry has largely remained the same for several years; 2015 will be the year that this changes. With the advent and rise of streaming content online, we're seeing signs that subscribers are demanding different things from their cable providers as they shift toward different types of content providers, such as Netflix. According to this year's U.S. Digital Video Benchmark from Adobe, viewership of streaming content online has risen nearly 400 percent since last year. With HBO recently announcing it would offer its streaming app as a stand-alone service, things seem to be headed that way. To stay competitive, we anticipate 2015 as the year that cable companies make their bets on virtualized networks to cope with the expected increase in IP traffic.
Cloud Pricing: The Race to the Bottom Continues
Microsoft recently announced unlimited cloud storage for Office 365 users. Amazon Web Services continues undercutting the competition, and on Dec. 4 announced its 47th price cut since 2008. However, this is just the beginning of the cloud price wars and the race to the bottom for pricing. We've seen similar things in the consumer mobile and broadband markets. In 2015, cloud providers will need to find new ways to differentiate themselves to stay relevant/profitable as price wars intensify.
Data Science Spreads to Security
With the continued focus of the industry on providing better and more actionable threat intelligence, we are likely to see a rise in demand of data scientists in security. While already in high demand in other fields, data scientists capable of making more accurate and effective colorations of threat data will increase in demand. The companies capable of best applying data science to security will find competitive differentiation in the marketplace by being able to deliver more reliable and useful intelligence about attacks and attackers.
Here Comes Hyper-Contextual Trading
High-frequency trading is declining ($7 billion in 2008 to $1.4 billion in 2013), which is down from 70 percent of equity volume to less than 50 percent. Hyper-contextual trading (HCT) is the next disruption in the market. HCT is the real-time assimilation of classic news feeds (such as Bloomberg, Thomson-Reuters, AP and CNN) and social media feeds (like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.) in order to exploit market news for competitive trading advantages. It will all be driven by analytics to ingest, process and derive insights at high speeds to exploit market discontinuities.
Life After 4G
When wireless carriers moved from 3G to 4G offerings, it was the first time customers could viably expect to stream content on the go. More and more providers and technology companies are exploring 5G, but are the networks ready for it? And moreover, what will 5G actually enable beyond what we have now? Study after study has shown that increased mobile speeds means people simply consume more. As unlimited data plans dwindle and more connected devices come online (e.g., a toaster that texts you when your toast is ready), will people be willing to foot the bill for the next-gen speeds of 5G? These are the questions service providers will need to ponder in the coming months.
Consumers Will Take Security Into Their Own Hands
There will be an increase in the amount of services that consumers use to secure their data, versus relying solely on the companies collecting it. Consumers are beginning to realize that the companies they do business with are not adequately protecting them. In 2015, they will look to third parties to help address their lack of trust and faith. In particular, there will be increased use of password managers and fraud monitoring services.
Big Data and Networks: Opportunity or Catastrophe?
As the tentacles (read: devices) of the so-called Internet of things continue reaching into new parts of our lives, there will be a lot more data generated. Even the simplest connection between phone and home security systems will generate data that needs to be stored somewhere. What this will bring in 2015 is threefold: a newfound need to analyze this data, the required network infrastructure to make sense of it all and security technologies to secure it. Demand for data scientists will reach a fever pitch as service providers and enterprises rethink the way they build networks to handle the onslaught of data.
Private Clouds Will Pick Up Steam
We anticipate that companies outside the usual IT circles will rely on the cloud in new ways to deliver their products and services to customers. The rise of mobile payments, connected devices spawning left and right, and the accompanied security considerations therein will transform vertical sectors in ways we haven't yet imagined. Following in the footsteps of Nike, which has shifted from being an apparel company to a connected lifestyle brand with its health-tracking devices, or Starbucks, which has become a major driver of mobile payments and content delivery, more companies will build private clouds to deliver the services their customers want.
IoT Steals Spotlight, and Cloud Comes Out of Hiding
When you think of the Internet of things, what comes to mind? An egg carton that texts you when it's out of eggs? A lighting system controlled by mood-sensing switches? Those quirky uses have grabbed headlines. But in 2015, expect to see IoT creep into enterprises because things will start to talk to each other. Right now, communications protocols vary too widely for the ecosystem of connected devices to flourish. But as devices talk more with each other, expect to see a huge uptick in the amount of data generated in general.
Mobile Payments Will Drive More Secure Payments
With the rise of Apple Pay, Softcard and other forms of mobile payments, 2015 will be the year mobile payments go mainstream. Considering mobile payments are in many ways more secure than current point-of-sale purchases, consumers will increasingly adopt this form of payment as a viable method for purchases. This will ultimately make payments more secure in the short term. However, it's only a matter of time before attackers find ways to compromise mobile payments.