Annual 2015 Predictions

Looking back at 2014, the decline in television viewership is undeniable, and while broadcast TV didn’t implode it’s pretty clear that viewership is moving to on-demand video streaming. For that matter, just look at the top rated broadcast program, for the second consecutive year it was football and if NFL Sunday Ticket has it’s way this might be the last year this happens.

Microsoft somehow managed to stabilize itself, and by officially resurrecting the Start menu they may be on track again. While the superphone did not officially arrive, the introduction of the iPhone 6 now has enough storage available that it could be used as a desktop replacement.

What can we look forward to in the new year?

  1. IPv6 Growth Spurt. There has long been an issue with IPv4 address exhaustion, but we are now at a point where there is a dire need for IPv6 ISP’s as well as SaaS/IaaS infrastructure running over the same protocol. Look for at least one existing IPv4 cloud provider to promote IPv6 capability across the board.
  2. Cyber-Defilement Multiplies. Whether the Sony Pictures hack was real or staged, it has opened the door to cyber-defilement. This is a new kind of theft, where the digital assets of major companies are revealed publicly. The criminals perpetrating these acts hide in countries where extradition is not be possible. The result may create regionally isolated internets, or instigate other cyber-attacks in retribution thus destabilizing the Internet entirely.
  3. Year of the Watch. Now that we have adopted our smart phones as a de facto watch, technology companies want to sell us again on the idea of a watch. If we don’t need it to check the time, they are going to need to find other reasons for us to have something on our wrists. The Fitbit thinks we will do it for health benefits, Pebble just looks cool, Sony FES is a fashion statement and of course the Apple Watch is a companion to your iPhone.
  4. Electronic Payment Wars. The introduction of Apple Pay alongside Google Wallet has created a standards war in the secure NFC payment space. This is a complex issue as many large retailers have already entered into an exclusive agreement with MCX and will be supporting the competing CurrentC electronic payment solution. MCX has a portfolio of merchants while Google and Apple have made agreements with the credit card issuers – it’s a classic stalemate where consumers are left with difficult choices.
  5. Cloud as Infrastructure. There are now at least three major cloud platforms that provide complete provisioning capability – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. This trend had already started but we should see significant growth (25%+) with much of it attributed to new infrastructure that will begin its life hosted in the cloud. Ultimately, this will demonstrate the future of corporate IT is very much aligned with cloud sourced deployment solutions.

If history is an indicator, the watch will have an uphill battle. Considering that consumers have already adopted behaviors with smartphones that don’t require them to have a watch at all, this process will be challenged even further. Looking at the imminent demise of Google Glass, companies will need to find new ways to market these devices to make them appeal to consumers as their purpose remains unclear.

The IPv4 address space dwindles, so it becomes imperative that service providers offer IPv6 solutions. While there have been a number of mandates in the past, and U.S. government organizations like the White House are leading by example, the commercial viability has not yet been established. Perhaps the law of supply and demand will eventually guide this to the right solution, the cost of an IPv4 address will escalate until it is cost prohibitive and new sites gravitate to the much cheaper IPv6 spectrum.