Hindsight is 20/20: 4SIGHT is 451

What is 4SIGHT?

4SIGHT is the framework within which 451 Research will foster its coverage in the years to come. It offers our forward-looking vision of how established and emerging technologies will transform business (and the world beyond business) in the short, medium and long terms, and identifies four major themes we see as being the cornerstones of a global transformation blueprint.

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Invisible Infrastructure

The idea of infrastructure becoming invisible is powerful, but also a bit scary to certain segments of our clients. It's a harsh reality that more of the underpinnings of technology are being abstracted in ways that make them seem more trivial by those that consume them. Need a thousand servers in an hour? The cloud will provide. This can be particularly useful in helping infrastructure providers encourage consumption, but it presents challenges in differentiating them to consumers that, at first blush, may seem less concerned about the details. The truth is far different, in that there is massive potential for differentiation, brand establishment and revenue enhancement. It's just necessary to deliver infrastructure with new language and capabilities.

Invisible infrastructure supports contextual experience and pervasive intelligence with the resources to hold and manage all of that data, do the computational work required, and deliver it where it's needed. It depends on pervasive intelligence to operate efficiently, and is secured and guided by universal risk.

Universal Risk

Conventional views of risk have operated at different and isolated levels in the majority of organizations. The people guarding the doors weren't often in the same conversations as those looking at supply chain disruptions or firewall configurations. And that is changing. When supply chains are susceptible to digital disruption and the threat of cyber-kinetic attacks looms, conversations about risk have to expand. It's not all doom and gloom and ransomware, either. Considering risk, security and suitable controls in a broader context opens the opportunity to address these needs in new ways. There is balance in the benefits and risks of technology, but there has to be enhanced understanding of the forces at play to remain on one's feet.

Universal risk guides the use of data that drives contextual experience and secures provenance for the streams that feed pervasive intelligence. It secures the various aspects of invisible infrastructure, while establishing trust across the chain of those creating and consuming value.

Pervasive Intelligence

While there has been considerable discussion of the potential for analytics in IT operations and customer interaction, there is a deeper impact that will be felt as it infuses into not only how technology interacts with us, but also how we expect to interact with the wider world. Pervasive intelligence drives much of the computed context that feeds contextual experience. It depends on the compute, data and interconnection resources provided by invisible infrastructure. It is governed by the assessments from universal risk.

Contextual Experience

The global society is just beginning to see the impact that a richer relationship can have between creators and consumers. A key part of most interactions creates an expectation of greater relevance. Location context guides possibilities, and historical perspectives on what's experienced and liked have become the norm. The progression from redialing the last number to understanding what one might like next has been steep and quick, but there is much further to go. This is the area of technology that has the most direct societal collisions, and, if it is not well managed, can get very ugly when it's not beautifully wondrous. Contextual experience is the proving ground of the human-machine interface and the place where the tendrils of IoT data can find fertile soil.

Contextual experience depends on invisible infrastructure to provide contextual data and analytical results from pervasive intelligence. It relies on universal risk to guide the use of data, manage privacy concerns and ensure that trust isn't broken as part of this enhanced relationship.