Talking Trends of Today and Thinking of Tomorrow (Part 1)

The annual KPCB Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker and team was released last week and as usual, it’s the buzz of the tech world. Filled with interesting insights, I think the report gives a good snapshot of the state of the technology sector today - especially around what’s happening with the Internet, digital advertising, gaming, and cloud. Beyond the numbers and the charts, it’s also an opportunity to think about what the future holds for your industry. For me, there were six key points. In this first blog post (of three), I'll be tackling cloud and the internet of things.

Cloudy with a Chance of SaaS

The cloud campaign continues. Public and private cloud spend is approaching that of traditional data centers as organizations modernize their IT infrastructure. But it’s not lights out for the traditional data center. In my conversations with customers, I’ve heard from many who prefer to keep highly sensitive applications on-premises and as a result, I think we’ll see a hybrid model persist. Some apps, data, and services in the public cloud, some in private, and some on-prem. It’s important to have the flexibility to deploy anywhere, as it suits the requirements of your enterprise. Recent security breaches also highlight that in some cases, cloud may not be the best fit.

In 2016, there were more than 14 breaches that exposed over 100 million identities, a number that will only grow as hackers become more sophisticated and the attack surface broadens with the introduction of new connected devices and things. With over 80% of these breaches enabled by stolen credentials and/or weak passwords, identity plays a critical role in securing your digital ecosystem. It’s important to have an identity solution that can support biometrics, adaptive authentication, and other modern security measures. And you shouldn’t be limited by where the vendor can deploy.

The cloud section of the report also mentions the rise of Edge Computing: the processing of data close to where it is generated, at the edge of the network. This is critical for operations that require low latency like connected cars and industrial devices. As these edge devices proliferate, they’ll need security too. We recently announced ForgeRock Edge Security, a new solution that can help you to secure edge devices and the data they generate, collect, and share, from chip to cloud. Edge security will be critical as more and more IoT devices come online. As DDoS attacks, connected car hacks, and other breaches have shown, a lack of IoT security can have very real, very serious consequences.

Connected Everything

While the report notes that mobile growth is slowing, it remains the case that we’re at just the beginning of a new connected world. We’re seeing a transition from connecting mobile devices to the internet to connecting the IoT. In Q1, more cars were connected to the internet than ever before, accounting for 50% of new network adds and Gartner estimates the number of IoT devices will reach 20.5 billion by 2020. All the major wireless providers have rolled out their own IoT specific networks to meet demand for more coverage. Digital identity is at the heart of securing connected cars, IoT, and IIoT (Industrial IoT). The key is finding a platform that can solve not only current customer identity and access management challenges, but that can expand in scope and scale to support IoT initiatives as well.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I discuss the role of Alexa and voice UI and the rise of Amazon.


Mike Ellis is Chairman and CEO at ForgeRock. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeEllis100