By: Prateek Pashine, Head – Enterprise Business, Tata Teleservices
Constant Connectivity – The underlying backbone on which our lives are built today. From the time we get up in the morning till we sign off for the day, we are constantly in touch with the digital space in some way or form. Be it for personal consumption like reading news, music, movies or to exchanging information at work, or connecting to the world in real time, the lines between the real and digital world are fading…
As the constraints of space and time disappear in the digital world, the question now is NOT why, but how can businesses cater to the rapidly changing needs of people. Businesses now have to re-construct not only their product and service portfolios but also their business operations. The next couple of years will prove critical for enterprises of all sizes as they will have little choice but to utilize technology to create, operate and optimize smarter, connected workplaces and serve the needs of customers; who are collectively ahead of the curve.
Whatever may be the size or capacity of a business, the basics remain similar, as do the goals – targeted market leadership, maximum market share and a profitable return on investments (ROI). In the current Digital Age, technology and its innumerable possibilities allow businesses to explore new avenues with regards to reach, offerings, processes and infrastructure in an accelerated time frame. When, in his paper of 1965, Gordon E. Moore stated that in the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years, who would have thought that this law would hold true for the progress of technology in general too. According to the ‘Half-Life’ concept, which is a reflection of Moore’s Law for our current Digital Age, mainstream adoption cycles for technological advancements will continue to halve with every new platform. This concept will only grow stronger in the coming years as some of the below trends infiltrate the way businesses function on a daily basis.
1. The Internet of Things (IoT) – The Disruptive New Technology
Internet of Things (IoT), coupled with the growing pervasiveness of social media and mobile applications, has given enterprises a huge scope for innovations. A study by Cisco has predicted that there will be 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020. IoT is thus slated to become one of the ten truly disruptive technologies for the next decade; adding several tens of trillions of dollars to the global economy by 2025.
2. Cloud Connectivity and Scalable Storage – The Essential Base
With IoT slated to become one of the top trends for enterprise in 2015, there is bound to be a domino effect in the industry. Cloud connectivity and big data top the list as the most imminent side effects of IoT in the enterprise market, with their applications in businesses continuing to grow come 2015. With impressive amounts of data being produced every second, the requirement for robust cloud connectivity will be critical to leverage the ever-growing mountain of data.
3. Cyber Security – Mission Critical
It is essential that every scalable business connectivity is backed by robust cyber security and privacy protection. The next couple of years will see the need for enterprises to develop and execute hybrid, reliable cybersecurity-management models. Such models will have to be built on a strong base of analytics and cyber-intelligence while complying to set standards of governance and risk analysis.
4. Mobility and Mobile Applications – More A Convention Than A Luxury
Internet penetration, web access via mobile and availability of affordable smart devices has seen a number of businesses increasingly depend on mobility and mobile applications. Two-thirds of small businesses today state that they would not survive without wireless technology while 72 per cent of small businesses use mobile applications in their business. 2015 is expected to see an even larger number of enterprises strengthening their mobile applications to further customize products and services that will suit the business models of different enterprises.
5. Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Services – Eliminating Human Errors
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services are predicted to grow in precedence as wireline and wireless offerings advance, both in terms of technology and improved affordability. Manual processes such as data entry, tracking and analysis will see a sea of change as machines slowly begin to fill-in for human fallibility and decrease the scope of human errors while keeping up with real-time developments. Industries such as utilities, transportation, financial services and security stand to gain the most with the advent of such M2M services.
6. Social Media – The Indispensable Tool
The New Age customer has individualistic tastes with a panache for personalization; is internet savvy, with a special affinity towards social media and digital platforms. Tailored services for customers will act as the main differentiator for enterprises in 2015. Integration of multiple customer touch-points coupled with direct engagement and simplified transactions will not only allow businesses to build stronger relationships with customers but also improve value addition at every step of the customer lifecycle. By creating a fine balance of digital platforms, social media and physical processes to identify and meet the varied requirements of their customers, an amalgamation of social, mobile and IoT will allow businesses to harness the power of the Digital Age better.
2015 is expected to be a year of active technological progression for enterprises, service providers and their customers. From cloudification to IoT to M2M services to the growing penetration of social media and mobile applications –2015 holds multiple promises for enterprises and the road map begins with robust, reliable and constant connectivity. The future when technology will no longer only be a part of a business but will be the business itself, is already upon us.