Predictions 2015: A First Dip

December 1, 2014

As Forrest Gump might have said, predictions are like a box of chocolates. You start off meaning to have just one and, before you know it, the whole box is gone. But, for fear that readers will show no restraint and gobble up all the wisdom from our contributors in one go, I am rationing them and letting you see just a few a day. Here is the first batch in the order I received them. There is still time to contribute if you want; send your predictions to

{b}From Professor Chris Marsden, University of Sussex. Author of Regulating Code (MIT Press 2013) – Internet Co-Regulation (CamUP 2011)- Network Neutrality (Bloomsbury 2nd ed. 2016){/b}

New European Digital Commissioner Oettinger will prove to be a disaster. Not only is he opposed to telecoms competition and instinctively protectionist towards European cartels, but he has never been a regular Internet user in his 61 years and thinks women are to blame for having digital private photographs stolen. The effects of having Deutsche Telekom’s man in charge is offset by the determination of Member States and Council to push through in 2015 the two great reforms of the ex-Commissioners Kroes and Reding: a consumer-friendly telecoms ‘Connected Continent’ Regulation, and the General Data Protection Regulation. Oettinger’s titular boss, Vice President Ansip, may keep the wheels on these regulatory reforms for a while.

I also predict that the Google antitrust investigation will fizzle out in 2015, not least because incoming Commissioner Vestager does not want to use all her political capital up at once. I make no predictions for US net neutrality at all – far too dangerous!

{b}From Kit Burden, Partner at DLA Piper LLP and Global Co-Head of the Technology Sector there. Kit is a noted outsourcing expert and joint author of Morgan and Burden on IT Contracts (Sweet & Maxwell){/b}

We will see the continued growth of the tech community centred around – but increasingly diversifying away from – Silicon Roundabout and the area known as Tech City, but they will still lag behind Silicon Valley in terms of focus from the global VC community. Cloud solutions will continue to gain traction but will also increasingly fall under the eye of regulators, including as to some of the contract terms that the main providers seek to work under.

Data and cyber security will continue to adorn the top of the list of issues keeping CIO’s awake at night, and will likewise dominate the thoughts of compliance teams, especially if the new Data Protection Regulation emerges in anything like the form that has been mooted. Outsourcing continues, but with an increasing focus on the role of the retained organisation and an appreciation of the impact of the loss of ‘formative’ job roles for more junior staff.

{b}From Paul Gershlick, a Commercial/IP/IT Partner at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP with a particular interest in the application of technology to the life sciences and healthcare sector.{/b}

The next few years will see the exponential growth in the take-up of healthcare apps and wearables, measuring pulse, blood pressure, weight, glucose levels, breathing activity and more. People’s obsessions with lifestyle will morph into real healthcare benefits. With key questions around data security and who to trust with the data, we will see the emergence of trusted not-for-profit third parties who store the data with the highest standards and provide access to that data to people authorised by the patients.