Donald McLaughlin, director for Cisco Scotland, reveals his predictions for 2011:
“By 2014, video will make up more than 90 per cent of all internet traffic. Video traffic is already rising fast with the success of iPlayer and YouTube whetting the public’s appetite for high quality video content on-demand.
“In 2011, IPTV will step up a gear with the launch of YouView in the UK. The on-demand video project – backed by Cisco, the BBC, Channel Four, ITV, BT, TalkTalk and Channel 5 – is very much a world first. It’s incredibly exciting to be involved in a project where the UK really is leading the way and the world’s media companies and service providers are sure to be paying close attention.
“Can YouView solve the problems of delivering content direct to consumers in a way that is fast, user-friendly and, crucially, commercially viable? Watch this space.”
The public sector gets smarter
“Under pressure to both maintain public services and make significant budget cuts, public sector organisations have no choice but to modernise. Technology will play a major role in this; with projects such as G-cloud and Public Sector Networks leading the way in delivering greater efficiency and more collaborative ways of working within the public sector.
“While these are long-term projects, 2011 will also see a big focus on smarter procurement practices. If public sector organisations are going to make it through the next 12 months, they have to change procurement from a tick box process into something that really drives value.”
Convergence and the ‘Internet of Things’
“Convergence has long been a buzzword in the tech industry but the technology is finally starting to match the aspiration. Video is at the heart of this, with better networks and smarter devices making it possible to communicate, access content and collaborate faster than ever before.
“2011 is also going to bring a blurring of the lines between business and consumer technology. Consumers – used to a very high level of flexibility and personalisation in their own technology – now expect the same functionality when they’re at work.
“This might cause headaches for the IT department, but it’s a trend that isn’t going to go away. Moving in the other direction, we’ll see more ‘workplace’ technology being adopted at home; from consumer telepresence to domestic energy management.
“Another aspect of convergence to look out for is the ‘Internet of Things’, a concept based on the principle that almost any object or environment can be connected into an IP network.
“The Internet of Things will bring a whole new world of opportunities for both consumers and businesses, from more efficient transport management to smart architecture. Momentum is building behind this tantalising idea and 2011 could be the year when it starts to become a reality.”
Seeing clearly through the clouds
“For the past 18 months, cloud computing has probably been the most hyped phenomenon in technology. In 2011, the debate around cloud will start to move on from the shouting match of the last year or so and start to focus on the specifics.
“There’s no doubt that the cloud – whether public or private – can bring huge business benefits in terms of cost, flexibility and time but it won’t be always right for everything. With the initial clamour dying down, we will finally be able to talk about the crucial issues: what specific processes can be delivered more effectively from the cloud; and how can a business pick the cloud infrastructure that’s right for them?”
“Up until now the green agenda has been focused on individual businesses or households; on what each of us can do to reduce our environmental footprint. In 2011 the emphasis looks set to shift from a personal to a more community-led focus.
“Technology has an important role to play with smart grids, better communications infrastructure and IP-enabled energy management forming the basis for an entirely new kind of urban environment.
“Initiatives such as Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities show what can be achieved when government and private business comes together. And, with the London 2012 regeneration projects leading the way, 2011 could see the UK take some huge strides forward, laying the foundations for a new generation of smart, sustainable communities.”
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Contact: Julie Moulsdale