Computerworld Malaysia presents, in completely random order, extracts of interviews and commentaries from industry leaders, which include some of the key challenges and opportunities for the ICT industry in Malaysia in 2015.
Though industry drivers are more interconnected than ever, the responses have been loosely grouped into 'episodes' with the following themes: National Enterprise & Talent; App Development, Mobile & Social; Cloud, Networking & Data Centres; Big Data Analytics & IoT; and Cybersecurity.
Sean Ong, Malaysia Country Manager for Brocade (pic) said:
The world has changed a lot in the last decade, and the network needs to change too -with the data centre at the forefront of change.
As cloud, mobility, and big data become the norm, networks need to have the same level of agility as the rest of IT and, for the most part, they do not.
The New IP will make networking more dynamic and automated through software and virtualisation. This will evolve the network from a tactical, transport role to become a strategic enabler of new capabilities and services.
With SDN and NFV, service providers will be able to build thousands of virtualised data centres over the next decade, instead of a few mega data centres. This speed will also translate into service agility which increases their ability and pace to innovate. The data centre will move from the back office to the front door, the networks will be application-aware, automation will be key to scale, and security will be deeply embedded.
These are the technology trends we should watch for in 2015:
1) The rise of the New IP: We are at the forefront of a new paradigm for networking: Historically, compute transitions have always driven network evolution. It is no secret that the future lies in new compute models-such as mobile, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things-and this will in turn lead to a major shift in networking.
Legacy networks, built on ostensibly-open-but-proprietary protocols and designed for non-mission critical applications, will have to adapt to support the adoption of these new technological trends. In 2015, we will see this effort begin in earnest, with the rise of the New IP that is better aligned with the evolution of the rest of IT and based on the principles of openness and scalability while being software-driven and hardware-optimized.
2) Openness helps SDN and NFV take big leaps forward: Over the past year we've seen Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) become firmly established as the future of network infrastructures.
We have already seen some early adopters taking advantage of these technologies but, in 2015, we're expecting to see SDN and NFV really take hold. The industry is rapidly shifting toward open and open source technologies, and data centres will be software-defined with a high degree of virtualization in workloads and applications at the edge/device level.
The network of the future will be multiservice, multitenant, hardware-accelerated, and software-controlled. This will be aided by growing momentum around open standards, as the industry recognizes that in order to truly align an enterprise's infrastructure strategy with its business requirements, customers must be free to choose the solutions that best meet their specific needs, regardless of which vendor builds them. Truly open and interoperable standards are likely to rise in popularity throughout 2015 as customers opt for greater choice and flexibility.
3) The Internet of Things will start to impact business: In 2014, we saw the Internet of Things begin to truly take shape and, in 2015, this trend is set to rapidly increase.
With Frost & Sullivan predicting that 116.6 million machine-to-machine connections will be made in APAC by 2015, businesses will need to brace themselves to cope with an ever-growing network of connected devices generating and accessing data. Many of these connected technologies will be brought on to existing corporate or public networks, making investment in the underlying infrastructure that supports these advancements absolutely essential. Data traffic is also evolving to become more unstructured and organizations may soon require greater flexibility and dynamic control to manage the Internet of Things.
4) The virtual workspace will become a necessity: Employees are demanding, and needing, even more flexibility and, with budgets set to remain tight for the foreseeable future, companies are looking for ways to meet user demands and boost productivity.
2015 is therefore likely to see virtual networking becoming increasingly mainstream as companies look to meet this conflicting pressure by introducing virtualized workspaces. IDC has predicted that by 2015, 838.7 million people in APAC will work remotely using mobile technology, the largest increase compared to other regions. Virtualized workspaces offer an opportunity for employees to have the same working experience regardless of their location or device, giving users greater freedom and, in turn, increasing productivity for the business. However, this added flexibility for users will inevitably put greater strain on core infrastructures and companies will need to make sure they have the right networks in place in order to free their employees.
5) Increasing pressure on CIOs to innovate: The "I" in CIO will stand more for innovation than information, with the role quickly evolving from managing ICT infrastructure to creating competitive advantage and driving service agility for the organization. CIOs will have to continuously unlearn legacy approaches and adapt if they want to stay relevant, with priorities shifting from merely keeping the lights on to driving business transformation.
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