Kenneth Arredondo (pic), President & General Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan for IT management solutions company CA Technologies, said: Businesses are facing greater urgency to commit to their digital transformation journey in a bid to stay ahead of the competition in today's application economy. Across Asia Pacific, businesses will need to embrace agile practices to keep pace with evolving market demands. With software now squarely at the centre of the business, organisations are digitally transforming by embracing agile practices and new technologies that deliver innovations to market quickly and securely.
CA predicts five major trends will feature prominently in the way business and IT are run, apps are developed, and data is managed:
1. For flexible, scalable development, bring in the containers
2016 will be the year that organisations take IT complexity by storm, using containers and microservices to simplify the current software architecture and development process. Container technology is set to shape the future of software development standards, making it easier and more efficient for developers to move an application from one system to another. Microservices will focus on enabling smaller services to be deployed independently, delivering new features continuously without the need to wait until a new version of an entire application is ready.
These technologies will completely transform how we build, deploy or upgrade applications today, and are a perfect response to organisations' increased focus on agility and the need to keep pace with changing market demands.
2. "Agile security" gets in on the game
Security can no longer be an afterthought. It has to be baked into every aspect of application design, development and deployment. Accelerating development cycles means security must be in on the ground floor of any project or development process. Today's breach rates, financial impact and board-level attention will demand security's starring role.
For 2016, all roads lead to the emerging idea of "agile security". Bringing security into the fold early, together with DevOps and agile practices, adds the much-needed third pillar to high-speed software development at scale.
In combination with the right tools, APIs simplify security challenges for developers, amplifying the impact of agile processes and ultimately driving trust and confidence as core components of the customer experience. Modern security technology and development methodology can accelerate the creation of innovative applications while both leveraging and safeguarding existing sensitive data and assets.
3. Analytics everywhere will drive customer value
Over the years, analytics has evolved from business intelligence to transactional and big data. Real-time analytics that enhance the customer experience by linking predictive insights to prescriptive actions will become the new normal.
In 2016, an era where the "demographic of one" will emerge and enable organizations to personalize services, pricing, sales and products in real-time for the individual versus larger segments. This will partly be driven by the increased prevalence of analytical tools and techniques to derive deeper and more meaningful insights.
Analytics will also drive better customer experiences by putting security that safeguards the customer in the background. New analytics techniques will use behaviour patterns and machine learning to help separate the real customers from the fraudsters and provide more seamless transactions and experiences.
However, analytics is most useful when applied to specific problems - not general ones. Big analytics packages that can crunch data endlessly looking for that needle in the haystack will be the past. The way forward is to think of analytics as not the solution to anything, but that it's going to be part of the solution to everything.
4. IoT moves from the realm of interesting possibilities to the world of real applications
Although the Internet of Things (IoT), an element of digital transformation, has plenty of potential, it is still early days. Analytics and security hold the key to unlocking and maximizing its value.
The multi-layering and hand-offs inherent in the IoT world create more vulnerabilities and attack points than ever before and increase the risk of conflict. Conceptually, IoT is an elegant next wave, but under the surface is a lot of complexity that needs to be assessed and understood.
As IoT moves mainstream in 2016, the "identity of things" will be a major topic. Just as a person's identity needs authenticating, the "identity" of a device and any data flow to it must be confirmed and trusted. Tools, such as identity and access management (IAM) for IoT or IoT interaction tables (similar to drug interaction tables that doctors and pharmacists use with prescription medication), are needed to ensure users are engaging with the right "things" and they are not conflicting, negating, or duplicating themselves in the environment.
As IoT sensors and smart devices proliferate and interact with us in critical areas, such as the healthcare and automotive industries, they will help simplify - and maybe even save - our lives and improve customer experiences.
5. Blockchain finds its footing
The surprise of 2016 will be the resurgence of Blockchain technology and its refinement to where it can truly find a home outside of the Bitcoin transaction ledger.
Blockchain was a key word in many startups two years ago and it is poised for renewal when one looks at the predicted increase in IoT and the need to engage securely among devices and have a record of those engagements. A technology, like Blockchain, that relies on a network of computers and has privacy at its core will be an important enabler of IoT and any organization's digital transformation as it further streamlines operations for greater agility and customer responsiveness.
Blockchain will have to overcome its "guilt by association" with the Bitcoin problems, but the capability exists for it to become the storage of choice for sensors and IoT in general.
In addition, businesses have the potential in 2016 to exceed customer expectations on every level by living agile practices and digitally transforming their operations. Whether through these five technology areas or otherwise, finding a partner who has experience working with complexity and heterogeneity at scale will be key.
Business ideas made real at speeds unimaginable five years ago will enable clear winners who will trade on their momentum to become the new leaders in their domain. All this is made possible by treating software as the vital agent of change it has become in this new world.
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