4 Major Trends from Deloitte’s 2015 Tech Report

Deloitte’s sixth annual technology trends report examines the CIO’s integrator role, API economy, ambient computing, dimensional marketing, software-defined everything, core resistance, amplified intelligence, and the future of IT workers. That’s a lot, huh? For those looking for the CliffsNotes, Conner Forrest of TechRepublic sums it up with four trends that all CIOs should understand in 2015.

Tech Trends of 2015

  1. CIO as Chief Integration Officer
  2. Application programming interface (API) economy
  3. Ambient computing
  4. Software-defined everything

Deloitte reports that the CIO is still the most significant linchpin of IT in the enterprise, and defines this shifting role in terms of four quadrants, that of operator, technologist, strategist, and catalyst. Forrest adds that CIOs should manage the IT outfit like a venture capitalist, taking calculated risks and selecting projects based on sound portfolio management strategies. Fostering an iterative ‘failing and scaling’ IT culture and recognizing that technology adoption now “works in reverse” are two key recommendations for the CIO.

APIs have been around for some time, but are only now being viewed as something profound and special for the company. That’s because, according to Deloitte, they are being handled not just as a technical asset, but as a business priority. The recommendation is to treat each API like a product that requires a specific business case:

As you introduce APIs, be sure to pay distinct attention to scope. Poorly written code and previously dormant security risks could bubble up to the surface through an API, and you have to be prepared to handle those challenges as they arise.

A long-awaited trend that’s just beginning to show its face is the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, or what the study calls “ambient computing.” Just to be clear, it’s not the “Internet of Everything” that companies are after, says Deloitte. Rather, “the network of some things, deliberately chosen and purposely deployed” is what businesses are after. For instance, IoT will be an essential part of analytics, but companies need more than just information if they want to see cost-saving changes using the various “things” that are networked. Some companies will see little value in the IoT of 2015.

Lastly, the virtualization craze is currently taking the form of software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined storage (SDS). This “software-defined path” is not to be trod upon lightly. Although virtualization is designed to deal with network complexity, it comes with its own caveats in the form of compatibility and scale.

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