Digital Catapult predicts top data trends for 2016

Blockchain, data standardisation and the evolving Internet of Things network all feature on the ones to watch over the next 12 months

London, UK. 7 January, 2016 – The Digital Catapult has revealed its predictions for the data industry in 2016. Based on insights from the experts at the Digital Catapult, the forecast reflects emergent trends from 2015 and predicts the most prominent and important trends for 2016.

“2016 sees the start of the next stage in the UK’s  digital transformation, with Ed Vaizey calling on the public and industry’s input to the UK ‘s new Digital Strategy. This type of open innovation and collaboration is essential if we are to deliver the best digital services, drive economic growth and remain a digital leader globally.  The UK has reached a pivotal point, ready to maximise the huge potential of sharing proprietary data – boosting productivity, growing our startups both nationally and internationally and creating a better UK for everyone.” says Neil Crockett, CEO of the Digital Catapult.

The top trends that the Digital Catapult believes will shape the UK digital economy in 2016 are:
1.    Blockchain boost for business
2.    Security by design
3.    Standardisation of data sharing
4.    The Internet of Things (IoT) tipping point

Blockchain boost for business. “Blockchain will continue its steep growth in 2016. This should come as no surprise – the UK prides itself on its financial services industry and many blockchain products target this sector. As financial institutions understand the potential of blockchain technology, the race to make of the most of its benefits will continue to grow. While it is still mostly known purely as the backbone of bitcoin, the innovative potential of blockchain applications goes way beyond its early implementation and is fast being adopted by fintech startups and fast-moving corporate innovators keen to disrupt the market and reap the benefits of its potential to deliver increased efficiency, transparency and trust.” Anat Elhalal, Lead Technologist – Data, Digital Catapult.

Security by design. “With an increasing number of high profile breaches in 2015, security as an afterthought is no longer conceivable for businesses big and small. As the strain on the network increases and the value of data for competitive advantage becomes more obvious, addressing only the present vulnerabilities is no longer effective and can prove costly, with a single breach now costing large businesses between £1.46m – £3.14m. A ground up approach to security will be essential in 2016, as businesses continue to invest greater amounts in digital solutions and innovation to grow their businesses. The legacy ‘bolt on’ approach to security will be replaced with end-to-end security, as businesses ensure that by embracing IoT technologies throughout their organisation they don’t compromise the security of their systems or data.” Andrew Carr, Chief Operating Officer, Digital Catapult.

Standardisation of data sharing. “One of the inhibitors to fluid data sharing is the legal frameworks that govern the ownership and use of data. Rightly this is there for privacy, but it does however inhibit cross industry data sharing from happening as a normal activity for businesses. In 2016, we will see a trend towards building common standards and best practices for data sharing. In its very nature, building such standards with the aim of increasing trust has to be a collaborative activity.”

“The latest ruling by the EU is just one example of this, and is an important milestone in the sharing of personal data. By providing greater transparency over how information is used, we expect it to help increase trust that businesses are using information in the right way. Yet organisations will need to be honest, open and transparent about when and why data is being used to be able to realise the greatest value from it. Once achieved, the opportunity from opening up and sharing closed datasets to deliver the best digital services and drive economic growth will be significant.” Andrew Carr, Chief Operating Officer, Digital Catapult.

The Internet of Things tipping point. “2016 will be a critical year of partnerships as more companies realise that IoT business opportunities require an increasing ecosystem play. AllSeen, OIC and Thread are some examples of such emerging alliances to grow market confidence, however, many smaller partnerships will be formed between different stakeholders along the IoT value chain to unlock new commercial opportunities.”

“2016 will also provide stage to some major IoT security breaches and expose security to be the biggest risk factor for enterprise failure, as well as the greatest opportunity for commercial success once proven that security measures can manage any risks effectively.”

“We also expect 2016 to be the breakthrough year for low power wide area network (LPWA) technologies, which is vital if the opportunities that IoT offers are to be realised. While a number of such technologies have been brewing for the past few years, the race for market share is now fully on. Proprietary technologies, such as SigFox, LoRA or nWave will be battling it out on a global stage to build the next layer of connectivity for IoT devices alongside cellular, WiFI and short range wireless. We expect to see new network operators emerge over the next twelve months and we could even see networks that are built through crowdfunding campaigns.” Alex Gluhak, Lead Technologist – Internet of Things, Digital Catapult.


About The Digital Catapult
The Digital Catapult develops breakthroughs for the UK’s data sharing movement by focusing on four areas of opportunity around proprietary data:
1.    sharing closed data between organisations
2.    sharing personal data in a way that’s secure and trusted
3.    sharing licensed data more simply
4.    sharing data generated across the Internet of Things

The Digital Catapult draws on its specialist expertise around trust, data sharing, interoperability and security to make UK innovation happen. By sparking pioneering collaborations and marketplaces and bringing people together, the Digital Catapult takes actions to fix real problems that are either too complex, financially risky, or time intensive for market forces alone to deliver.

The Digital Catapult is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation, whose work is always in collaboration with others, with the aim of accelerating economic growth and productivity across a wide range of UK sectors.  For more information about the Digital Catapult’s projects and programmes please visit:

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