Predictions 2018: The IoT will drive app building innovations

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During the past year, many businesses began making greater use of the Internet of Things, resulting in vastly more connected devices and a corresponding surge in the data that they generate. As the volume of this data continues to swell in 2018, look for three key developments:

1. Users will no longer wait for vendors.
More customers will seek out an accelerated development lifecycle model that allows them to keep innovating in smaller, but more rapid increments. This might not sound like much of a shift, but it’s significant because users will no longer be content to wait for their vendors to break new ground. If the pace of innovation isn’t fast enough for the user community, companies will take matters into their own hands. That in turn will pressure vendors to deliver new application building blocks that can be rapidly assembled.

2. The traditional data lake will dry up.
The soaring population of devices on the IoT has created a dire need to scale out data pipelines in a cost-effective way. Big data and cloud ecosystems can no longer be limited to search indexing or data warehousing. They need to service the entire enterprise data flow, regardless if it’s generated by a person or a machine. And this needs to be done in real-time, since an enterprise that can perform real-time predictive analytics will gain an immense advantage over one that cannot not.

The implication here is that the data lake architecture that served companies so well through the data “at rest” and “batch” era has now become real-time data analytics’ Achilles heel. Parking data first and then analyzing it puts companies at a massive disadvantage. When it comes to gaining insights and taking action, businesses that rely on stale event data will be left in the dust. This is one area where ‘good enough’ will prove strategically fatal.

3. Enterprise applications will increasingly become ‘commoditized.’
Long gone are the days when critical enterprise applications were developed in multi-year cycles. The rapid speed at which companies and their adversaries are evolving requires the IT industry to drastically alter its application development and delivery model. Enterprise-grade applications needs to be deployed in weeks or months, and commoditized applications offer users the enterprise-grade building blocks they need to get the outcome they want within a quarter or two at most.

To put all this another way, the pressure that the user community is placing on its vendors will leave the software industry without any lead time for new application development. Like every other industry, it will just have to get used to doing business in the digital economy.

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