MWEB Business' top technology trends 2014-2015
The swing towards fibre will continue to accelerate, and the cost of fibre connectivity will decline significantly, says Roman Hogh, head of Product Research and Development at MWEB Business.
IT research giant Gartner's recently announced Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015 highlighted three main themes: the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere, and the technology impact of the digital business shift.
However, Roman Hogh, head of Product Research and Development at MWEB Business, notes all these trends are almost entirely dependent on the capacity of the underlying technology infrastructure to deliver fast, reliable and ubiquitous connectivity.
"In South Africa, we are not yet in a position where Gartner's identified trends are likely to make a significant impact - but progress is starting to be made with regards to infrastructure availability," he said.
According to Hogh, the migration from copper to fibre connectivity gained significant traction during 2014 as the roll-out of fibre accelerated. This was particularly evident in the key business zones within the major metropolitan areas.
However, the promise of LTE high-speed, mobile broadband connectivity - so essential for delivering enterprise mobility - remained largely unfulfilled.
"This was largely as a result of regulatory issues delaying the assigning of wireless spectrum to LTE network providers, rather than any tardiness on the part of the network providers themselves," he said. "Until more spectrum is made available to the network operators, current LTE offerings will be hamstrung to speeds not dissimilar to those of 3G."
Looking ahead, Hogh predicts the following for 2015:
* The swing towards fibre will continue to accelerate.
* The cost of fibre connectivity is likely to start declining significantly.
* ADSL will continue to remain the connectivity option of choice for the majority of businesses.
* VSAT rates are likely to decline, while speeds available from the satellite connectivity will increase, bringing relief to business in remote areas as well as to those on the periphery of the metropolitan centres.
* More businesses will venture into the virtual arena, taking advantage of the benefits of virtual servers and virtual data centres.
* There will be an even stronger swing away from on-site PBXes, towards cloud-based or hosted solutions.
* There will be a marked increase in the variety of cloud-based services that become available, as well as the uptake of these services.
* Virtual will become reality for growing numbers of businesses, large and small.