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9 key enterprise tech trends for 2015 and beyond

Eric Knorr | Dec. 2, 2014
Enterprise tech is developing at breakneck speed. Here are the trends that will make an impact for years to come.

If you recall the SOA trend of a decade ago, microservices architecture may sound familiar. The main difference is that microservices architecture looks at services from a developer's perspective rather than an enterprise architect's perspective, so the services are finer-grained. Also, communication among services is simpler: JSON replaces XML and REST replaces SOAP, and heavy-duty middleware is not part of the deal.

4. Liquid computing. InfoWorld executive editor Galen Gruman coined the "liquid computing" phrase to describe the effect of ad hoc networking among personal devices, where you can save state as you move from smartphone to laptop to tablet to desktop. For example, if you're in a meeting and adjusting a presentation on your tablet, when you get back to your office, you'll find that presentation served up on your desktop front and center. The first taste of this is the Handoff feature in OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, but Microsoft and Google are working on similar schemes for their device ecosystems; Samsung also recently announced its own version.

5. Multicloud management. Clouds tend to be big, complicated platforms. The more you build on any platform, the more you become dependent on its unique features -- and in the case of a public cloud, the more you're locking yourself into a platform owned and operated by someone else. Few large enterprises want to put all their eggs in one basket, which is where multicloud management comes in.

Tools to manage deployments across multiple clouds emerged a while ago and are gaining more traction. CliQr, a multicloud management startup backed by Google Ventures, claims to be able to determine dynamically which clouds should run which workloads. But a number of others, notably RightScale, enable you to manage and optimize resources and costs across clouds.

6. Endpoint security innovation. Enterprise security will remain in a desperate state as long as systems remain unpatched and untrained users continue to accidentally download malware. Nonetheless, I've been impressed with several new security solutions that emerged this year. The first, Tanium, applies innovative search techniques to interrogating endpoints across the enterprise. Tanium can obtain a near-real-time view of hundreds of thousands of endpoints to detect anomalies and determine which software lacks the latest patches -- and roll it all into a dashboard view.

Interesting solutions for mobile have appeared as well -- and not just fingerprint reading. Several Bluetooth LE proximity solutions enable you to use your smartphone as a security key or pair a physical token with a mobile device for proximity-based authentication. More recently, Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced "trusted places," which uses location to remove password or pincode gates when you're in a zone you feel secure about, such as your home or office. Convenience is an important factor, because it increases the likelihood users will practice good security.


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