Cisco has unveiled its first ever Technology Radar report, forecasting key technology trends for 2014. This comprehensive report is based on intelligence gathered from more than 70 global technology ‘scouts’ as well as senior representatives from Cisco South Africa, outlining some of the key technology trends that will drive the future of innovation in the technology industry and how they will impact on everyday South African society.
Alpheus Mangale, managing director for Cisco in South Africa, believes a significant number of organisations’ IT departments will need to create new computing resources in order to make sense of large volumes and new types of data. This data originates from devices varying from smartphone applications to information generated in a city’s infrastructure.
Mangale went on to say, IT organisations need to prepare for the Internet of Everything (IoE), and what we are now seeing is the emergence of an “Application Economy” where the focus will no longer be simply on the hardware, but also on supporting a larger number of applications on all connected devices
Cisco’s in-depth report identified the following key 2014 trends to watch in South Africa:
Unsurprisingly, security will be critical for business growth, with companies likely to ramp up the deployment of scalable, cloud-based mobile device management solutions to protect personal and corporate information. Cisco also reported that the Middle East and Africa is set to post the world’s strongest mobile data traffic growth of 77% compounded annual rate till 2017, which will also undoubtedly create increased security challenges.
A key observation from the report states that, in the application economy, practically everything – roads, jet-engine parts, shoes, refrigerators, soil, and supermarket shelves – will have cheap, tiny sensors that generate terabytes of data that can be sifted for key insights. By 2022, Cisco predicts that person-to-machine and person-to-person combined connections will constitute 55% of the total IoE (Internet of Everything) value at stake, whereas machine-to-machine (M2M) connections make up the remaining 45%.
Home and Workplace Transformed
One major benefit of new internet architectures is browser-based video and collaboration, which can enhance employee productivity by integrating audio-visual conferences, text notepads, and whiteboards into a real-time, web-based multimedia space.
Video Mega Trends
Video Mega Trends will similarly transform digital imaging, with ultra HD video enhancing the viewing experience on televisions, smartphones, augmented reality glasses, tablets, and camera-equipped devices.
Taking advantage of Big Data
According to Cisco, Big Data is “the new oil” and needs to be analysed at a rate that matches the speed at which information enters the data warehouse. For example, agriculture efficiencies can be improved through better decisions based on sensors monitoring weather conditions and soil conditions, fleet management and crop conditions.
Mangale concluded that, “2014 and beyond will signify a technology explosion throughout Africa which we have already started to witness. The growth and convergence of processes, data and things on the Internet will make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before, creating unprecedented opportunities for industries, businesses and people”.
It appears that 2014 may be the beginning of some exciting changes for South Africa, whether or not our country can truly thrive in the ever-expanding network of global connectedness will depend heavily on investment and concerted efforts on the part of South African IT organisations. We cannot wait to see what developments this year will have in store.