Digital Cohesion – To Infinity And Beyond

Digital Cohesion is the future in which applications connect and self-assemble to deliver compelling mega-services that enhance our lives.

To be useful these services will need to be instantaneous. With access to large amounts of knowledge including incorporating all of the sensor data around them. Moving large amounts of information quickly and securely to and within the cloud will be critical. And the key competitive differentiator in this new era.

It will put tremendous pressure on networking technologies with new approaches needed for automation, security, interoperability and performance. Because trends show Digital Cohesion is coming fast and that users will adopt quickly. As a result, service providers and enterprises who embrace this vision will quickly be in a unique and enviable position in their industries.

How is Digital Cohesion different to Disruption?

As users grow accustomed to simplicity of use, they will demand that technology adapt even more to their behaviour. We are adopting newer technologies faster than ever before. In the future, technologies will automatically and continually adapt themselves to us, and will “disappear” into the background of all we do. The mundane will be automated, our needs anticipated. Our lives enhanced, as Digital Cohesion ushers in an era of substantial change in the way we interact with technology:

  • 1. From learning curve to natural interface
    Whenever new technology is introduced to a population, people have to learn how to use it. Yet with Digital Cohesion, the learning curve is eliminated. There will be no instructions because they won’t be needed since the technology will mould itself to the users’ natural behaviour. The user will instantly be able to use the device or service to its full capability.
  • 2. From user initiated to autonomous
    Today when someone wishes to complete a task, they typically start the process by pulling out their phone and using an application. In the future services will act autonomously; people will not have to summon services, they will appear and serve when needed. This will enable a more frictionless and enjoyable experience.
  • 3. From repeatable tasks to adaptive and predictive services
    Hand in hand with the autonomous actions taken by these services is their ability to not just do repetitive tasks. But also learn, adapt and ultimately predict needs. Tailoring specifically to the individual and continuously adapting and predicting what is needed before the person does.

The dawn of ‘Mega Services’

  • 4. From many individual services to mega services
    Today, people have many services resident on their devices, each with its own interface, payment method, login etc. In the Digital Cohesion era, many of these services will be offered as a bundle. With one interface, login, payment and tight integration that makes them all work seamlessly together. Rather than a one function service, “lifestyle” services will become popular.
  • 5. From negotiated interoperability to open interfaces
    Devices from different companies work together only because each company got both of their engineering teams in one room to work out how to make the equipment or services talk to each other. Open application programming interfaces (APIs) and interoperability will be table stakes otherwise service companies will not survive.
  • 6. From low trust to high trust
    Services today handle highly sensitive information. With the future proliferation of devices, more security vulnerabilities will appear. Consequently, to gain user adoption of Digital Cohesion a higher trust level must be achieved through new security approaches.

Technology

There are still some hurdles to overcome. But most of the technologies to make it happen exist today with the rest being planned. Some things are a given:

  • The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT)
    Over 35 billion devices are forecasted to be connected to the internet by 2020. These will range from tiny, low powered devices embedded in building materials to medical devices small enough to be implanted in your body. They will include devices that monitor industrial equipment, pollution levels and illegal deforestation – continually feeding back data.
  • Connectivity
    The devices and people that interact with the IOT need a ubiquitous and continuous connection to the internet (or the “Universal Network”). Bandwidth is increasing and it’s cost decreasing at rapid rates with global fixed broadband speed expected to double to 48Mbps. Put Wi-Fi and the coming 5G technologies together with some pioneering connectivity schemes for less populated areas of the world and this “Universal Network” is becoming a reality.
  • Big and Fast Data + Analytics + Machine Learning + AI
    Once connected, these billions of devices will be producing huge amounts of data. It is forecasted that by 2020, global IP traffic will reach 2.3 zettabytes per year. So more than double what we have today. Furthermore, companies and service providers will need to consume, analyse, and manipulate this data almost real-time to produce knowledge that drives services.

Conclusion

It will be an era in which technology adapts to humans in ways we’ve never experienced before. And leading to fantastic new possibilities in terms of product offerings and tailored services. But this will require changes to how technology is designed. Among the most significant change will be the movement of compute and storage out of devices and into the cloud. This will make networking even more critical with new approaches needed for automation, security, interoperability and performance.

Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. They deliver automated, scalable and secure networks with agility, performance and value.

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Juniper Networks whitepaper: Digital Cohesion – The Era Beyond Disruption.

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