In our earlier post, we wrote about #ISMAC and how it is changing the business ecosystem. In this post we will continue the conversation by understanding the leaders in each of these technology areas. We will also review what each one is doing in that space.
1. Internet of Things (IOT)
Vendors in this space range from chip manufacturers (Intel, ARM, Texas Instruments), mobile and embedded device vendors (Freescale, Qualcom, Ericsson), Home appliance vendors (GE, Bosch), pure-play software developers (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook), Networking vendors (Cisco) and large system integrators (IBM, Oracle, SAP). The spread is so broad given the multitude of technologies that go into making a device intelligent and automated. One of the biggest business and technological
challenges in this area is the need for standards at all hardware and software
layers. Standards are important to
ensure complete hand-shake across device vendors as well as to derive
functionalities at scale. Early-stage research companies will lobby for their
work to become the standard. This tussle
will continue for a few years until the standards bodies get a grip of the
overall collaborations required. A potential obstacle from consumer perspective is the pervasiveness of these devices leading to privacy compromises. This will be a larger problem involving social, economic and political ramifications.
Social sector is already close to maturity on the consumer usage perspective. While there could be finer tweaks, the ability to post 140 character reviews to author elaborate ebooks provides consumers enough to go with. At the backend, processing of these gazillion bytes of data and deriving meaningful value for businesses is key focus area. At the current juncture social channels are simply used for consumer and prospect connect beginning with lead generation through to customer service and repeat customers. Most organizations are working to understand and correlate the various factors that impact the conversion funnel and how best they can take advantage of it themselves.
With about 200 Million feature phones and 80 Million smartphones sold in India in 2014, the data cannot be clearer. Complete ecosystems have formed around mobile exchange of money, ewallet, transaction processing etc. Nationalized banks are also heavily invested in this direction. Ability to transfer money with the swipe of a finger is practical subject to security considerations. While Social is the biggest application used on mobiles (much more data traffic over voice), other ecommerce and financial transactions are not lagging far behind. It is critical for business to adopt a mobile-first strategy in through thinking. Minimalistic and Responsive Design as some of the key deliverables in this space.
The ability to spot the proverbial needle in the haystack holds promise. Analytics space continues to be hot with hundreds of new entrants each quarter. Open Source Technology platforms like Hadoop (sponsored under the Apache Project) play a key role in providing real-time and batch analytics. Quick access data stores like NoSql are very prevalent given the
unstructured nature of data. The need to handle millions of data element inputs per minute has also created a proliferation of queuing technologies that ensure data events are processed without loss. While Analytics is touted as the panacea, this space requires good blend of business acumen combined with computing abilities to derive true
Cloud is the most advanced of all the five technologies. The question is not one of viability any
longer. Usage of cloud has become so
common place that one cannot imagine otherwise.
All our emails, files, photos, documents, videos, photos, blogs are saved
up there in one of the cloud. Cloud infrastructure vendors have gotten the
entire store, access, retrieve cycle ironed out. Redundancy of infrastructure and replication mechanisms have evolved so well to completely hide the true complexity away from the end customer. With companies like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and others giving out free access to developer’s worldwide, cloud is the only de facto platform to develop applications. It has also brought some semblance of uniformity of development with standardization of infrastructure stack open source products.
In summary, the five technologies listed above are very real and very NOW. Businesses should take advantage of these technologies in ways that is most beneficial for them.
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