Every year I anxiously wait for Gartner to release their 10 Ten Strategic Technology Trends. Yes, I am nerdy like that, but I will admit to a level of excitement seeing which trends survived from the previous year, which ones were voted off the island, and most importantly, what the new trends are.
Since I don’t expect you to have those trends at your fingertips, here is last year’s list along with the newly announced one for 2014.
- Mobile device battles
- Mobile apps and HTML-5
- Personal Cloud
- The Internet of things
- Hybrid IT and cloud computing
- Strategic big data
- Actionable analytics
- Mainstream in-memory computing
- Integrated eco systems
- Enterprise app stores
- Mobile device diversity and management
- Mobile apps and applications
- The Internet of everything
- Hybrid cloud and IT as Service Broker
- Cloud/Client architecture
- The era of the personal cloud
- Software defined anything
- Web-scale IT
- Smart machines
- 3-D printing
If you allow for the slight rewording of a few trends, I see a number of carry-overs with quite a few young upstarts. Mobile devices and cloud computing are clearly trends that continue to supply cutting edge change and mindshare. New additions, such as 3-D printing, demonstrate how something that wasn’t even on our radar screens a short while ago can capture our attention and development dollars.
Of course, this is a SIP blog and I tend to view these lists in how they apply to the current and future states of unified communications. For the past few years it has hardly been a stretch to apply SIP to several of the list items and this year it was especially easy. Throwing out 3-D printing it’s easy for me to relate SIP to absolutely everything. Taken one by one I see the following:
- Mobile device diversity and management. As I have written in the past, SIP is everywhere. I run SIP on my deskphone, my PC, and my iPhone. Until I gave my Android phone to my wife, I had a SIP client on that. I don’t own an iPad, but many of my coworkers do and most run SIP phones on them.
- Mobile apps and applications. It’s easy to get the above mentioned SIP applications from standard app stores. I searched for SIP on my iPhone and I see a multitude of free or cheap SIP soft phones. I didn’t count them, but there are at least 30 SIP apps to choose from and the average price seems to be free. In fact, I didn’t see anything more expensive than CounterPath’s $7.99 Bria soft client.
- The Internet of everything. What could be more Internet-ish than SIP and with WebRTC we will soon see SIP clients inside our web browsers.
- Hybrid cloud and IT as Service Broker. As I speak with companies around the country I am constantly showing them how they can merge public and private clouds together. IT departments can implement internal SIP solutions in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model or take their SIP from a public provider. They can then blend that SIP with SIP solutions and services from different clouds.
- Cloud/Client architecture. SIP was built on Internet technologies and is a natural for the cloud. I currently work with two strong SIP in the cloud solutions and see many more on the horizon.
- The era of the personal cloud. While I can see SIP here, I still envision it more in the enterprise and public cloud space. However, I could easily be proved wrong and people may already be moving SIP into their personal cloud.
- Software defined anything. This seems to be a fancy way of saying virtualization and SIP is there, too. Some SIP components, such as session border controllers, have been more hardware centric due to media processing needs, but that is changing, too. I work with three major SBC vendors that either sell virtual SBCs or are on the cusp of doing so.
- Web-scale IT. SIP can scale big. An Avaya Aura SIP solution can support hundreds of thousands of SIP endpoints and that number will only grow.
- Smart machines. Read my blog on SIP vs. H.323. SIP endpoints are smart and will continue to get smarter.
- 3-D printing. I’ve changed my mind on this one. While I haven’t heard of one today, I bet that someone out there is thinking about creating a cheap SIP physical phone that can be downloaded from the Internet and “printed” at home.
Okay, ten more reasons why I am and continue to be excited about SIP. I challenge you to find another communications protocol that can lay claim to fit as many niches as SIP can. You won’t.