IT innovation can take many forms. For instance, it can be used to turn business processes into automated IT functions, develop applications that open new markets, or implement desktop virtualization to increase manageability and cut hardware costs.

Information technology (IT) innovation in an enterprise involves using technology in new ways to create a more efficient organization and improve alignment between technology initiatives and business goals.

Internet of Things:

Here are key things to watch for 2017…

  • IoT semiconductor and sensor volumes will skyrocket. 2016 was the year of consolidation for IoT semiconductor makers. It began with Broadcom BRCM +% and Avago (and then Broadcom jettisoning their IoT business to Cypress) and ended with Qualcomm QCOM +0.12% swallowing up NXP (and the former Freescale in the process). I believe that NXP is one of the best positioned IoT semi vendors, and if a deal with Qualcomm is completed, I believe the combined company has the breadth of technologies and capacity to really dominate the IoT market. ARM cores will continue to dominate IoT, and sensor manufacturers will continue to see their volumes rise. For 2017 I don’t think we are done with consolidation. Watch Silicon Labs as a player that grows bigger or gets gobbled next as vendors fill out their IoT focused portfolios.
  • The IoT platform shakeout will begin. The year started with lots of noise from new vendors with a definite slowing as 2016 came to a close. There are just too many vendors trying to push undifferentiated solutions. Look for fallout in terms of players disappearing or getting swallowed up.
  • Changes in “edge” or “fog” architectures will become critical to implement—not just talk about. The edge or the fog is that ill-defined part of the network between the devices (where the data originates) and the cloud—and this critical juncture of the IoT system architecture needs an upgrade badly. Traditionally this had been a simple aggregation point or gateway, but that just won’t cut it for IoT. The massive amount of data generated by IoT devices will put strains on the network, requiring edge devices to get much smarter. Mainstream vendors such as Cisco Systems CSCO +0.56%, Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise HPE +0.67% (HPE) recognize this and are pushing smarter IoT edge devices. These devices are, in simple terms, a combination of a server and gateway. With the increase in computation, storage and networking capabilities we will see edge-based analytics become a critical element to the success of IoT. Watch the Open Fog Consortium as a key player in defining new IoT system architectures.

Cloud Technologies:

Cloud technologies such as hybrid cloud, cloud storage, cloud migration, cloud orchestration, Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS), Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), multi cloud management, Video-as-a-Service (VaaS), cloud analytics, and Wi-Fi-as-a-Service.

VaaS can help organizations handle varying video processing demands with great flexibility and agility while improving customer service. It also presents opportunities for companies that include mitigating the risk of launching new initiatives. Using VaaS, broadcasters can enhance offerings and extract unrealized revenue to make archived video footage available to customers, on demand. The increasing business demand for maximum agility, interoperability, and the rapid need to reduce the overall operational cost will make VaaS market a dominant model in the future.

Wi-Fi-as-a-Service is a cloud-managed Wi-Fi service delivered to the end-user under a subscription-based pricing model. This service offloads the capital and operational expenses of deploying, securing, updating, backing up, powering, and cooling appliances that would otherwise be the organization’s responsibility in a traditional on-premises Wi-Fi model. Wi-Fi-as-a-Service is extremely helpful to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and enterprises with their branch offices in distributed regions, enabling them to access fast, reliable, and secure networking performance without the need to install cabled connectivity.