Where your tech focus should be in 2015

If you want to hit the ground running in 2015 then you need to know where your tech focus should be. Here are the top 10 areas the IEEE Computer Society believes will be important over the coming year.

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2014 is almost over, and what a year it has been for tech. But time waits for no one and soon it will be 2015, and if you want to hit the ground running then you'll need to know where your focus should be.

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Here are the 10 areas that the IEEE Computer Society believe are going to be big in 2015. Some will bring profits through savings and opening up new markets, while others will bring challenges that need to be faced.

Wearables

Apple's entry into the wearables market is going to shake things up, and players both new and old, established and new, are going to be developing new devices, applications, and protocols that will drive this segment forward.

Internet of Anything

Forget the Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet of Anything (IoA) is where it is at, where anything and everything connects to the internet. When the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet, and Internet of Everything will morphs into the Internet of Anything that will make use of a common software 'ecosystem' that can take in all the data in a unified way.

Build security into software design

Data volumes are growing geometrically, as are the tools that collect and analyze it, and security is going to become a much bigger deal, as enterprise learns to balance security and privacy. Driving this will be the memory of 2014 being a year of unprecedented security breaches and scares. If consumers and companies are going to put this data on the web, they want to feel that it is safe.

The age of Software-defined Anything

Software-defined Anything (SDx), or the idea of using software to control hardware, is in the early stages. It is a by-product of moving more and more of the workload into the cloud and brings together Software-defined Storage, Software-defined Infrastructure, Software-defined Data Centers, and Software-defined Networking to bring about data center interoperability and infrastructure programmability.

Cloud security and privacy concerns

People are starting to wake up and think about security. According to IBM's annual CISO study, over the next year, nearly one-half of CIOs expect a major cloud security breach in the future that will cause a substantial number of customers to switch providers. No one wants their company to be the one at the center of such an issue, as there will be greater efforts made to avoid system fragilities, and to defend against and identify more quickly security threats.

3D printing

Sales of 3D printers are expected to take off, driven by low-cost printing and uptake by a variety of industries, including aviation, automotive, consumer goods, jewelry, food, and medicine. Companies will be looking at ways to use 3D printing to lower costs and time to market of products.

Predictive analysis

This is where we focus less on the past and more on the future through data mining. This will be applied to a wide range of situations, ranging from homeland security, infrastructure management, intelligent transportation, healthcare and bioinformatics, text mining, and social media.

Security considerations for embedded computing

Our lives are being increasingly controlled by deeply embedded systems, and aspects such as healthcare are vulnerable to serious, if not life-threatening, attacks. But security needs to be a consideration, and since these systems are often battery powered and have limited overhead, that will require new approaches to old problems.

Growth in augmented reality applications

Thanks to the availability of cheap graphics cards and sensors, augmented reality apps are set to take off as mobile devices become powerful enough to handle the task. Juniper Research estimates that by 2017, over 2.5 billion mobile augmented reality apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets per year.

Continuous digital health

Smartphones will have a transformative effect on how we deal with health. Connectivity, interoperability, sensing, and the instant feedback that smartphones offer will provide new opportunities for people to get a better grip on their health.

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