Smart devices, which are steadily getting 'smarter' every few months, will outnumber any other form of communication. Supporting a variety of form factors and operating systems, smart devices are the precursors to the evolution of Internet of Things, which is still a vision — but will hugely impact the next phase of business transformation, providing huge opportunities to develop and integrate device-to-cloud Internet of Things solutions for customers.
As the Internet of Things increasingly becomes a reality, more and more devices will come online, but before that, addressing full and seamless compatibility is key — for instance, having a tablet, smartphone and laptop speaking to one another. Cross-platform solutions providers are already known for unifying environments previously considered incompatible - like Windows and Mac, or desktop and mobile apps — will continue to dovetail on this trend.
For 2015, we'll expect more conversations around emerging Internet of Things, new initiatives, partnerships and collaborations to make the Internet of Things vision closer to reality. We'll see an increasing number of industry players taking steps in helping shape the future of the workplace and how it will look like, considering common themes such as flexibility, device independence, remote working, inter-connectedness, collaboration, and accessibility — but at levels more than what we already have today. For instance, 71% of businesses today are already using both Macs and PCs in their environment.
A critical component that makes all these possible however, is the breaking down of walls between proprietary technologies - regardless of manufacturer, operating system, form factor, or device function.
Smart, interconnected devices of the future will be largely judged not only by what they can do, but by how widely and how well they play and communicate with one another — i.e. how well and how effective refrigerators will talk to home computers that will talk to cars that will talk to work laptops that will talk to thermostats, and more down the list - all compatible with each other, all using a common language.
Just as the walls between devices are increasingly breaking down — such as the increasing interconnectedness between the Mac and Windows PC environments — so too are the divisions between work and home. Users require more simplicity, function and ease of use - and these can be achieved with a common interface; one single, overarching way to interact with available technologies that cuts across all facets life, from work to play; from watches to thermometers to fitness trackers to desktop computers - all while technology itself fades into the background. This will be a continuing work-in-progress in 2015.
This trend will especially impact cross-platform solutions providers, making sure they will continue to leverage their lead and success so far, in unifying platforms and devices. An important component of success in providing solutions that enable cross-platform connectivity and compatibility is performance. To continue to be relevant and competitive, they need to continually assess their capabilities in providing products that deliver seamless and consistent experience, for everyone to access the apps on their mobile devices, regardless of whatever browser they are using — and extend these capabilities to emerging devices that are yet to find their way to the internet. Device compatibility will likely drive new levels of conversations as the industry looks into realizing the vision of Internet of Things while pushing the limits to the current BYOD trend and initiatives.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.