Welcome to this month’s Technology Trends report. We produce this report to provide insights you can use regarding the rapidly changing technological landscape. We want to help you find the best ways to leverage new technologies to accomplish both your personal and professional goals.
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An Update on The Mega Trends of IT
Throughout 2017 we refined and updated our projections on the future of technology along seven key topic areas:
- Cloud Computing
- Artificial Intelligence
- Big Data
- Internet of Things
(You can remember all these trends at once by use of the easy mnemonic: CAMBRIC).
For the last year we have done so much reporting on developments in Cryptocurrencies that we decided to break that topic out into its own major category for reporting. We have received feedback from some readers that we should do the same for both AR/VR and 3D Printing, but have just not been reporting enough on those to make them their own major categories of reporting. Let us know your thoughts on those as categories please.
Here is more on what we expect regarding each of these key topic areas:
Cloud Computing: The efficiencies of this new architecture are driving compute costs down (notice we did not say they are driving overall IT budgets down). And the agility of this model is helping innovators innovate and developers develop. Now that most businesses have at least experimented with putting workloads into Cloud Computing solutions we should all expect to see this transformation accelerate. New forms of Cloud Computing include ultra-small datacenters which can function as internal clouds, the most versatile of which can be bought in shipping containers and put anywhere, for very low cost. For the next 12 months, expect more IT departments to be buying these small form factor cloud in a box data centers. Also look for more use of software for operating datacenters in scalable ways and for moving workloads between and among clouds. When it comes to orchestrating workloads in the cloud, we expect Kubernetes (a contribution for the community made by Google) to be the defacto standard and having a standard like this is accelerating the emergence of multi-cloud environments.
- A new consensus is forming regarding security and cloud capabilities. Well engineered clouds can be far more secure than the typical Internet connected enterprise. A favored technique for enhancing enterprise security in a way that supports cloud computing models is a Software Defined Perimeter (SDP).
- Follow this link to track the highest ranked, enterprise ready Cloud Computing Businesses
Artificial Intelligence: Science fiction has brought this term to be a household word, but few realize the reality of this field of computing. AI and related disciplines like Machine Learning and Deep Learning are enabling computers to assist humans in performance of their jobs now, and with AI being coupled with incredibly low cost cloud computing we see rapid development of capabilities continuing. In time many lower level jobs will be displaced by this technology. Will the efficiencies make up for that? For 2018 expect every user of a smart phone to have a growing respect for the utility of AI with capabilities delivering useful services on every smartphone device. Web applications based on AI, like x.ia, will grow slow but steady followings and move more into the mainstream. The use of cloud based AI to serve users will be led by Amazon and Echo.
- You can see our reference to Truly Useful AI You Can Use Right Today.
- Follow this link to track the highest ranked, enterprise ready Artificial Intelligence Companies
Mobility: This is the greatest leap in humanity’s ability to stay connected since the advent of spoken word. The only thing that would be better than this always on continuously connected super computer in our pocket would be ESP. But this is not just a connected supercomputer. It comes with 100’s of sensors and millions of applications which can fuel and support use cases we have yet to begin to imagine. Expect 7 Billion cell phones and 3 Billion smart phones in the world in 2018. We expect over 85% of the US will use smartphones this year. As a trend this relates to every other tech of course, but we still need to track it as a category to help inform predictions in where this is all going. We consider the incredible leaps in virtual reality to be due to the mobile revolution and track both VR and AR under this topic. Both VR and AR are poised to transform education and entertainment, and perhaps collaboration as well. In 2018 we will see more engineering and design solutions that leverage VR and AR.
- Follow this link to track the highest ranked, enterprise ready Mobile Tech Companies
Big Data: For years now people and our sensors and our computers have been generating more information than we can analyze. Breakthrough methodologies and new scalable data approaches based around open platforms like Hadoop hold great promise to helping us make sense over increasingly large data sets. Sensemaking is key to success in most all other technology advancements. In 2017 expect every enterprise will have at least a proof of concept based on the Apache Hadoop framework (we include Spark and ML in this construct) with most moving towards production environments. Home-based big data solutions that are easy to configure and manage will make their appearance. The rise of data and digitization of corporations is a trend that is unstoppable, but it is being shaped by external forces. One force all technologists should watch, no matter where you work, is the GDPR. This is a regulation by the EU (the General Data Protection Regulation) that must be followed by any business doing business with EU countries. It goes into effect 28 May 2018.
- Follow this link to track the highest ranked, enterprise ready Big Data Companies
- Also see: All Companies Who Interact With European Citizens Must Check Architecture For Compliance With New Data Rules
Robotics: Operating along a spectrum of human controlled to semi-autonomous to totally independent, robots are already operating in our world. They save lives in hospitals, are taking the place of humans in dangerous jobs, improve our oil exploration and farming, endure the hazards of outer space and now fight our wars. Soon they will make driving safe. In 2018 we expect to see serious political discourse on what to do about the coming job displacement expected because of robotic manufacturing and services work. We also expect IT departments everywhere to realize that they must be qualified not just in dealing with data from robots but in robot repair. There are also software robots of course. Generally these are discussed in the domain of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). According to Forrester, RPA will be a $3B market by 2021, and with increasing functionality and dropping cost we should expect widespread impact of RPA on enterprise workflows.
- Follow this link to track the highest ranked, enterprise ready Robotics Companies
Internet of Things: Today’s Internet connects people, governments, academia and business. The already emerging Internet of Things goes far beyond that. Largely enabled by embedded computing devices and ubiquitous communications, the Internet of Things reaches to vehicles, homes, towns and cities, commerce, manufacturing and every aspect of industry. Use cases include enhancements to education, training, safety, security, healthcare, transportation and optimized manufacturing. The home will be a major avenue for IoT advances. A key device in the category is the Amazon Echo. That is just one of 100’s that will be in the home, and increasingly these IoT devices will communicate directly to each other.
- Follow this link to track the highest ranked, enterprise ready Internet of Things Companies
CyberSecurity: Some of humanity’s greatest thinkers, business leaders and computer scientists have struggled for years trying to enhance the security of our computers and networks. By just about every measure it is clear these approaches are not working. Consider that observation in the light of the trends above. Cybersecurity will have to advance or none of these other technologies will be optimized. We can make a prediction with absolute certainty: In 2018, cybersecurity will be like watching a rodeo. Sometimes the rider will ride and sometimes the rider will be thrown. We can also say with absolute certainty that enterprises that want to mitigate risk will need to realize they cannot do it alone. Everyone needs help. If your enterprise faces serious cybersecurity risks, whether you are in government or not, we recommend you do two things: 1) Sign up for the daily Threat Brief, a free recap of intelligence on the strategic cyber threat, and 2) Contact Crucial Point.
- For 2018, our recommendation is that you Re-position Cybersecurity As An Enabler
- We don’t report on every vulnerability. You have other great sources on that. But some things are in need of additional context, like: Vulnerabilities In Almost Every Chip: “Could Something Like This Really happen?”
- All enterprise technologists and executive leaders should consider these Three Ways To Mitigate Insider Threat Risk
- See the book The Cyber Threat which has been updated for today’s world.
- Follow this link to track the highest ranked, enterprise ready Cybersecurity Companies
Cryptocurrencies: We are early into the disruptions being kicked off by Cyptocurrencies and blockchain technologies enabled approaches, which means it is a great time for mind-expanding visions of what these capabilities can do. We are kicking off a series of reports here in our new section on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technologies to help executives make the most of these new solutions. Dive deeper into cryptocurrencies with:
- Cryptocurrencies and their promise for enterprise technology professionals
- The Clearest Explanation of Cryptocurrencies You Will Ever See
Advances in these tech domains are closely interrelated. Individually they are important and will change businesses and government. Together they are synergistic and will change humanity. The most important thing to track here, therefore, is not the technology, but the business and mission impact of these megatrends. That is where we will keep our focus.
For the very latest market research and assessments on each of these trends sign up for our daily report: CTOvision Hot Topics.
The Cyber Threat:
Our newly updated book on The Cyber Threat is available in both paperback and Kindle formats. The book provides insights into the threat designed for executives and business leaders, including insights from history and current operations. It also provides context around the emerging discipline of cyber threat intelligence. For more see: http://CTOlink.us/
Thank you for reading!
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