Video selfies and the dangers of Apple Pay: 10 tech predictions for 2015

Why data scientists will be in vogue and wearables will wear out in 2015

The year 2014 is finally drawing to a close, and what a year it has been for the tech industry.

With some of the worst cyber attacks in history, it will be a year to forget for many, raising data security straight to the top of the agenda for most CIOs.

Cloud adoption has continued to increase, helped in no small way by the pricing wars between Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

When it comes to the public sector, there has been a simmering tension between Whitehall and large suppliers on the back of several large contract problems.

So what does 2015 hold in store for us? IT Pro asked analysts and industry experts for their views.

1. TheInternet of Things will finally make sense

Bola Rotibi, research director at analyst house Creative Intellect Consulting (CIC), believes the hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) will deflate.

She says: "The industry and market will flounder in trying to grasp exactly the definition of IoT and why it really is different from what has been evolving from the machine to machine world.

"In fact the initial hype of IoT will quickly subside as the reality of the fact that it touches so many industries that it cannot be determined the difference of what is actually an IoT market and the general evolution of every other technology sector."

But colleague Clive Howardsays that the Internet of Things (IoT) will start to make more sense for businesses as more industry use cases come out of it.

"IoT will continue to be big news but we will start to see a lot more sense coming through," he says. "Less about vending machines and thermostats and more about industrial applications that provide real value. I think generally we're going to see more tech stories in the enterprise space whether mobile or IoT."

Forrester Research believes the IoT trend will help CIOs focus on longer term business change rather than cost-saving exercises.

The research firm's Frank Gillett says: "Though most early IoT implementations are driven by line-of-business executives seeking specific operational efficiency improvements, the CIO's tech management teams will eventually be drawn in to help with security, networks, software integration, interoperability, and analytics.

"Over the longer term, CIOs need to anticipate where business leaders will go after achieving operational efficiency improvements and plan for technology and infrastructure to support engaging with customers in new ways, creating new revenue streams, and offering new business models."

2.The new selfies' will be videos

Gartner believes the selfie trend is no passing fad, but will evolve like any other form of communication predicting phone snaps will be replaced by video selfies by 2017.

But it think businesses must prepare for the growing use of live video by starting next year.

"Live video broadcasting will be the new selfie," Gartner says. "Product managers start creating a visual strategy straight away to accommodate this trend."

Brian Blau, research director, adds: "The next generation of consumer services and products has one main theme in common and that is video.

"This means incorporating live video or other real-time technologies into products to engage users in live events and enable more personalized communications, providing better customer support, and offering best-of-breed video and TV experiences to connected homes."

3.The second coming of the systems integrator

Georgina O'Toole, of analyst group TechMarketView, believes that after two years of trying to break free of the shackles of Big IT providers, the government will turn to those with system integrators (SIs) again.

"From collectively being on the naughty step', the Cabinet Office has accepted that they require suppliers with deep knowledge of the public sector to guide them on what will be a difficult transformational journey over the next few years," she predicts.

"In the world of digital', systems integrators will be the bolt that holds everything together and helps the public sector Join the Dots'.

"The large SIs are taking this approach to developing their business outside of Whitehall as well using their integration skills to, for example, take data analytics capabilities to the table and open up new opportunities."

She believes this reliance on SIs will grow as more SMBs work as subcontractors for large IT firms handling a public sector contract.

4. Apple Pay will introduce new cyber threats

Security firm Trend Micro believes the much-awaited launch of Apple Pay, Apple's mobile payments app, will bring huge risks to consumers using it, because it has not been trialled in the real world.

"Apple Pay is not alone in the market other payment systems have or will beintroduced by other companies and trade associations," the firm says. "Not all of these payment systems have been thoroughly tested to withstand real-world threats, and we may see attacks targeting mobile commerce in 2015."

5. There's an 80% chance you'll suffer a cyber attack

As Sony Pictures knows, the price to pay for suffering a cyber attack that results in a data leak is high the film studio has seen embarrassing emails, feature films and staff's personal details enter the public domain. It's now cancelled anti-North Korea movie The Interview after hackers threatened 9/11' style retaliations.

But even with new EU Data Regulations set to charge up to five per cent of a firm's annual turnover (or up to 100 million) for breaches, Forrester still believes eight out of ten enterprises will suffer a breach next year whether they find out or not.

It says: "Forrester believes that in the coming year, breaches of sensitive data such as intellectual property and customer records will continue. Given that more S&R pros will invest in detection and response capabilities, more security teams will be in a better position to detect and respond to breaches.

"Thus, we feel confident that while at least 60 per cent of enterprises will discover a breach, the actual number of breached entities will be much higher, as high as 80 per cent or more."

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