Kevin Derman on the new hype

Gartner's Hype Cycle includes revolutionary technology like Smart Dust and people literate technology, says Kevin Derman, GM for Cloud and Hosting at First Distribution.

Cape Town, 02 Feb 2016
Read time 3min 10sec
Kevin Derman, General Manager for Cloud and Hosting at First Distribution.
Kevin Derman, General Manager for Cloud and Hosting at First Distribution.

Every year, I wait - with the eager anticipation of a 10-year-old child at Christmas - for the latest edition of Gartner's Hype Cycle to be released. I find this bit of technology analysis provides me with two things, explains Kevin Derman, GM for Cloud and Hosting at First Distribution.

Firstly, it's a sanity check on where we, as a business, are currently focused; and secondly, every business should have a forward-looking view of what their environment is going to look like tomorrow, and should be investing in those technologies that are going to future-proof the business for the years to come.

I like to examine what's new on the Hype Cycle, as this always gives me some great insight about where the IT industry is heading.

Gartner not only places technologies on a position on the Hype Cycle, but also makes a prediction on the speed at which the various technologies will move through the different phases in order to reach the illustrious 'Plateau of Productivity'.

What has been interesting over the past few years is how this journey, through the cycle, has accelerated. Where technologies used to take 10 or more years to reach a state of maturity, there is no doubt that this time has decreased of late. This is verified by looking at past predictions and comparing the movement and advancement to today. I will examine these changes in a separate article, but for now, let's focus on what's new on the curve.

The first item to catch my eye was 'Smart Dust'. This amazing technology supersedes the expectation of the IOT (Internet of things) and takes the concept of data from the environment to a whole new level. Smart Dust particles or motes can be configured with sensors to detect and measure temperature, barometric pressure, acceleration, humidity, vibration, acoustic level, location and more. The applications range from industrial applications, like looking for hazardous leaks in pipes, to warfare applications for sensing environments and human placements.

People literate technology, or PLT, is another new technology that has made its way onto the curve. This technology provides us with the ability to interact with our computers through a blank, open dialogue box that retains and re-uses previous conversations. This is certainly something that we are getting used to via technology like Apple's Siri, IBM's Watson, and Microsoft's Cortana. It is expected that this interaction mode will gain such acceptance, that by 2020, 40% of computer interaction will be via this method.

Citizen data science represents the cultivation of a new breed of individual within organisations that has the ability to analyse data that is within their area of engagement. This will rapidly expand the value that self-service BI and big data brings to organisations.

Lastly, we see the inclusion of micro data centres on the Hype Cycle. Micro data centres are standalone rack-level systems containing all the components of a 'traditional' data centre, including on-board cooling, telecommunications and storage systems, security, fire suppression, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS). These data centres typically reduce the physical and environmental footprint of the system, and the need for these seems to be increasing, driven by the IOT and a need to have the data centre closer to the edge of the network. The market is estimated to grow to US$6.3 billion by 2020.

So, that's the round up of what's new. Some revolutionary technology and some refinement or re-deliverance of current technology.

First Distribution

First Distribution was established in 1984 and has grown to be a broad-based, premium IT distribution company, providing enterprise-ready solutions for the southern African market. First Distribution is a value-added distributor of leading global brands providing complex ICT solutions to the enterprise and SME markets, focused on the data centre, virtualisation, hosted applications and cloud-based services, database and middleware, security and network infrastructure - backed up by unparalleled expertise.

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First Distribution Tristan Penver
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