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Part 2: What trends do you expect for 2016?

Today we continue with our 2016 predictions. If you missed our first installment, you can find it here.

6. Hybrid cloud drives cloud adoption in enterprises.
According to IDC, 80 percent of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017. This has significant implications for the way enterprises need to organize themselves. All enterprises, not just those on the cutting edge, need to adapt their business models to leverage services that are made possible by the cloud. Beyond the requisite cost reduction, new opportunities emerge with cloud that are impossible to achieve in an environment of discrete platforms and applications. We need to move up from storage and simple application hosting to embrace business models and processes that have been re-engineered for a cloud environment, especially when those processes span the boundaries from one enterprise to another, providing the binding that links manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and customers.

By using the cloud, a service provider can multiply its channels to serve the market, expand its market reach and embrace complementary service providers. These providers can create new service mashups that help attract customers in different niches. Multiple partners can collaborate through a coherent cloud-based infrastructure by combining and integrating services, delivering them to customers and monetizing them using the cloud. Customers for these services use the same cloud collaboration infrastructure to compare offerings, place orders, analyze performance and usage and manage their accounts. As a younger generation grows up, enterprises will need to deliver personal, contextual and increasingly mobile experiences by leveraging scalable and efficient cloud solutions. Although Amazon has a clear and dominant position in public cloud, it still counts enterprises as a small part of its base. Opportunities abound for industrialized hybrid cloud solutions for enterprises.

7. The evolution from agile to DevOps to continuous delivery.
No discussion about APIs or innovation (internal or external) can exist without agile, DevOps and continuous delivery best practices in place. It has been 15 years since the Agile Manifesto was first published and ultimately changed the approach to software development for the better. Today, very few companies are left that do not leverage agile methodologies to speed software development delivery.

Although agile got its start in the development organization, it is now used by teams in other departments to streamline processes, improve feedback loops, and drive a much faster pace of innovation. DevOps and continuous delivery are the tools used to help connect development with IT operations through automation and support a much faster time-to-market throughout the entire software delivery lifecycle.

And as enterprises become more cloud-enabled, they will need to react to customer feedback more rapidly and redirect resources to deliver new value.

8. CMOs and CIOs need to collaborate.
The budget for marketing departments continues to rise in the digital age with spending increases in areas such as customer analytics, mobile and ecommerce marketing, CRM, marketing automation, and digital marketing. Websites have evolved from destinations for prospects to learn about a company and its products to become revenue-producing machines that guide customers through the buying journey. As a result, cross-collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is becoming the norm, as is the re-alignment of budgets. Software is no longer just being sold to the CIO organization and instead needs to align with the standards each stakeholder expects to see in terms of ease of use, value and usefulness of data.

The pressure is mounting to support agility in business models and market offers, particularly for emerging industries, such as IoT, where experimentation to support fail-fast business models is the norm. Traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) and billing systems regularly get in the way of enterprises adapting to capture new revenue streams, be customer centric, change business models, or roll out new services. Hybrid software deployment models (on-premise and as-a-service) will become routine for even the largest enterprises.

9. Wearables will expand to include "hearables" and "internables."
2015 was a watershed year for wearables with just about any activity that could be tracked resulting in a wearable device that could be strapped to your body.

Despite the sheer number of sensors, wearables have yet to gain widespread market acceptance. One small problem may be convincing consumers to strap a new sensor or gadget to their body, especially if the user sees it as bulky or unfashionable. Even products like Google Glass are not immune as the product's designers went back to the drawing board to create something people wanted to wear.

One possible answer to enhance wearable technology value may be to take advantage of the innovations in the cost, size and reduced power consumption of components and sensors to make wearables that people won't see. For example, an earbud accessary with a tiny chip and sensor may provide a possible answer to wearables fatigue and disrupt this nascent industry. After all every major evolution of a product inevitably includes form factor miniaturization. As hearables and internables emerge as the new buzzwords for ‘wearables,' the innovation drum will continue to beat for this sector. It is clear that the path will include a new generation of monitoring technology that will be less obtrusive.

10. Autonomous things become customers for services.
In the IoT era, physical and digital lines are blurring as automated service agents increase decision execution. We have always had services, but now we have services with connectedness. Being online means that these services can potentially be decomposed, repositioned, resold or bundled with services from another provider that can do a deal with the service originator. Connectedness means every agent that is created has the potential to work with other agents to conceive and deliver services, and create new combinations. Collaborating with agents allows for services encapsulated within other services, service components extracted from one and built into multiple others, and so on.

As a result, enterprises will need to begin viewing things as customers of services - and treat them as such. As the number of machine support requests grows exponentially, we will need a new way to respond along with solutions to handle machine engagement. In the longer term, autonomous agents will increasingly be untethered from humans. We can expect to see smart agents monitoring user behavior while cloud networks build and maintain data models to enable inferences about people and behaviors to create offers with context.

What trends do you expect for 2016? Join us for our #IoTuesday Twitter Chat to share your thoughts.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

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