Cisco's Intercloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being tipped as among the top five "disruptive technologies" set to hit businesses next year.
Managed services provider Advanced 365 said in its latest research, entitled What's Hot in 2015 - Technology Trends, that 20 emerging disruptive technologies are likely to influence business strategy next year.
The research, carried out in association with business insight service Global Futures & Foresight, found that technologies such as avatars and 3D printing will have a significant influence on businesses in 2015.
3D printing is being "particularly tipped to take off in 2015" with prices expected to fall as low as $60 for entry-level machines, according to the research.
But the top five disruptive technologies, according to Neil Cross, managing director of Advanced 365, start with the Intercloud - Cisco's federation of public cloud services aimed at enabling workloads to seamlessly migrate from private to hybrid to public clouds in an effort to improve workforce collaboration and business efficiency.
Cross anticipates significant activity in 2015 when it comes to the Intercloud, pointing out that while unification of such services is not anticipated until 2017, "businesses should prepare now by assessing the costs and performance of their current cloud deployments as an important first step".
The second of 2015's top five disruptive technologies is software defined networking (SDN), according to Cross. He advises businesses to seek an experienced SDN partner "to rapidly understand its importance to them" when looking to lower IT costs.
Third is IoT, with businesses being warned that they need to develop a strategic approach to what, how and where the IoT can be used to "unlock lucrative value streams and generate new business".
Cross' last two emerging disruptive technologies are automation and prescriptive analysis. He claims automation is set to "transform business" in 2015.
"Humanless machines are being introduced to absorb manual and knowledge-based tasks, which could redefine the notion of value, work and employment," Cross said. "Redesigning business processes and systems should be considered at C-suite and boardroom level with formulated plans communicated openly with staff.
"Assess whether investing in automation could create opportunities or negate threats in the supply chain through improved efficiencies," he added.
Prescriptive analytics technology is hailed by Cross as one of the five notable emerging disruptive technologies of 2015 because "the explosion" of machine-to-machine data from the IoT means a need to interpret data and make informed decisions in real time.
He adds that prescriptive analytics technology can help with this by predicting multiple outcomes based on the decision maker's actions while also recommending next steps for any situation.
"Organisations must ensure they have the necessary IT infrastructure in place to ensure systems and employees can effectively manage data and recruit data-fluent personnel, especially in strategic positions," he said.
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