2014 was an exciting year for communications technology. We saw the continued expansion of 3G and 4G networks, bringing faster and more reliable connectivity to more people around the world. Smart watches introduced consumers to the power of wearable devices. We also saw the shift from simply capturing big data to generating insights from the right data to create real value for users.
So what’s in store for 2015? We anticipate three major technology disruptors that will gain momentum over the next 12 months, challenging business and technology leaders in new ways
1. The decline of traditional mobile devices
We may be seeing the beginning of the end for the dominance of laptops, smartphones, and even tablets. The trio now account for less than a third of all Internet-connected devices in use today. The tablet, for example, saw a sharp decline in shipments over the last year, going from 52.5% in 2013 to 7.2% in 2014. Despite Apple’s decision to expand its tablet suite, their founding tablet – iPad – experienced its first ever decline in shipments since its debut in 2010. Despite these trends, consumers and employees crave mobility more than ever. So if the days are numbered for traditional devices, what’s going to replace them?
2. Emerging mobile devices
While shipments of traditional Internet-connected devices are declining, new ones entering the market are casting their spell on consumers. These include wearables and smart home devices. In the next five years, these emerging technologies alone will connect an additional 17.6 billion devices to the Internet. We’re looking at approximately 33 billion connected devices in use, or 4.3 devices for each person on the planet!
3. Internet of Things
The ubiquitous interconnectivity of systems, objects, and devices across all domains – the Internet of Things (IoT) – is growing exponentially. In 2015, global IT spending is expected to surpass $3.9 trillion, which represents a 3.9% increase over 2014. A significant portion of this spend will be used to design, implement, and operate the Internet of Things.
As these technology trends take shape over 2015, they will require business and technology leaders to explore new ways to maximize returns on technology capabilities and investments. For example, as wearables become increasingly common, enterprises will need to adjust their Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies to ensure that the right security and systems are in place to protect corporate resources and content, and update their strategies for effectively managing devices to optimize spending on mobile services.