2016 predictions: Internet of Things, Wi-Fi and data integrity

In 2015 we have seen growing demands for businesses to adapt seamlessly to the connected generation. Looking forward to 2016, Tris Simmons, Senior Product Marketing Manager EMEA, NETGEAR looks at predictions for the year ahead.

Businesses will demand quicker back-up and recovery solutions

As the volume of data stored continues to increase, organisations will need a simple and effective way of both archiving and backing up data. Businesses, particularly SMBs, don’t have the time, or resource to dedicate to complicated backup and recovery processes. So we can expect to see more businesses embrace next generation storage technology that can take frequent incremental snapshots and generate full backups instantly.

10 GbE will continue to gain traction

10 Gigabit connectivity copper experienced a slow, yet progressive uptake at the beginning of 2015, but now in the latter stage of the year, wireless has begun to be seen as a necessity, rather than a commodity. This is especially the case for businesses looking to attract the millennial generation, who use their own devices as a business tool.

With this in mind, 2016 will be a pivotal year, with more and more businesses wanting to adopt 10 GbE as they struggle to contend with connectivity and performance bottlenecks. This is set to cause growing bandwidth demands, due to the increase in video and mobile data, through to virtualisation and IP camera surveillance services.

Increasing customer demand for in-store Wi-Fi

As the public has become accustomed to constant connection through multiple devices both at home and at work, expectations will increasingly translate to the high-street and hospitality sector in 2016, with fast, secure and reliable Wi-Fi becoming not only demanded, but expected.

However, with limited resources, constrained capital budgets and geographically dispersed locations, these industries will struggle to efficiently manage, monitor and support distributed WiFi networks across multiple locations without the correct technology in place. All these factors subsequently hamper their ability to meet the needs of its customers – something they cannot afford in today’s competitive landscape. Implementing centrally managed solutions will be key in 2016 and beyond.

Internet of Things will make inroads in businesses

With connected homes becoming more of a normality in 2015, and the growing popularity of products such as smart fridges, smart meters and thermostats, we can expect to see this phenomenon really evolve in 2016. As products continue to develop and become more affordable, devices used in connected homes will become integrated into the business landscape with the uptake of mobile devices.

With this we can expect to see more frequent performance bottlenecks, periods of downtime and a level of sub-standard service across many businesses, as IT and network managers struggle to keep up with changing infrastructure requirements.

Increase in number of managed service providers

With the increased adoption and understanding of next-generation technology such as cloud, BYOD and the Internet of Things in 2015, we can expect to see even more channel partners move into a managed service provider role in 2016. This will in fact enable channel partners to reinforce the importance of the procurement process. This is set to increase revenue by selling full solutions rather than standalone products. This will encourage channel partners to make significant changes to both the headcount and skillset of employees, to keep up with the evolving business landscape.

Rapid adoption of ac

As the number of devices using the wireless network continues to explode, we can expect to see a much more rapid increase in businesses adopting 802.11ac wireless standards. This will accelerate in 2016, where we can expect to see a downward trend in the older 802.11n standard devices, as organisations using 802.11g, make the decision to move directly on to 802.11ac. We also expect to see the arrival of multi-gigabit switching, which will become more important as Wave 2 ac access points arrive to support Wave 2 clients where speeds greater than a Gigabit on the switch network warrant higher speed switching.

Data integrity will rise to the forefront

With high-profile cyber-attacks in 2015 such as that of TalkTalk, and with personal and business data becoming more digitalised, data integrity in 2016 will be more important than ever before.

The protection of a businesses data and that of it’s customers is crucial. Despite whether this is due to a cyber-attack, human error or glitch in the system, a long-term and robust business strategy for keeping data secure is vital for 2016 and beyond.

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