Trend Watch: The Transition to Digital


Mary Meeker’s much-anticipated 2016 Internet Trends Report is out, and with it comes a comprehensive look at the technologies that are shaping our world. Compiled each year by Kleiner Perkins partner Meeker, who focuses on the investment firm’s digital practice, the report covers a wide range of topics, from Internet advertising to human-computer interaction to data privacy.

Industry watchers were quick to comment on the report’s key takeaways, such as flat (9 percent year over year) growth in global Internet adoption, with 3 billion people currently connected. Furthermore, global growth in smartphone sales and use is slowing. Meeker points out that acquiring new users will be challenging because there’s already high Internet and mobile penetration in developed markets.

Existing users continue to evolve in how they interact with their devices and with each other. They’re looking to voice as a computing interface, and thinking about their cars as computers. When connecting with others, they’re increasingly turning to visual means—image-based messaging, live-streaming video—to express themselves.

Embracing the Power of Software-Defined

End users aren’t the only ones embracing the exciting possibilities of digital technology. According to the report, non-tech giants are acquiring tech companies to fuel growth and transition to digital—especially as data becomes the next big platform. This trend reinforces VMware’s view that software sits at the heart of today’s digital businesses. Both industry incumbents and start-ups are using software to invent new products and new business models.

A software-defined digital business needs a solid foundation on which to innovate and differentiate. VMware believes that’s what the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) can provide. It brings together compute, storage, and networking virtualization, as well as common management capabilities and intrinsic security, in one integrated architecture.

To drive faster innovation, the SDDC provides a common framework for deploying both new container-based and traditional apps. And it supports a unified hybrid cloud, which enables organizations to serve those apps efficiently. The SDDC can deliver the flexibility and agility enterprises need as they modernize their portfolios to keep up with the demands of today’s users. Meeker points out that Generation Z tends to communicate with images, compared to millennials who prefer text. A software-defined infrastructure can make it easier for enterprises to rapidly develop, deliver, and manage a new generation of visually oriented apps.

Putting Data Security Front and Center

As data explodes, data security concerns are also exploding, according to the Meeker report. That risk is holding many organizations back from fully embracing the benefits of mobility and the cloud. Whether it’s for users, devices, apps, data, or infrastructure, VMware believes security should be intrinsic, highly granular, and policy driven. A software-defined infrastructure can provide full deployment of security controls that are built in.

Overall, this year’s report shows that technology continues to disrupt market economies, driving the push for digital transformation. Finding the way forward in times of great change is always challenging, but it can also be exhilarating. A software-defined infrastructure can help organizations of all types and sizes make the shift to digital. The annual Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report reminds us of the exciting opportunities ahead.


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