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Top Tech Industry Trends for 2016

Jan 12, 2016

The world of information technology is ever changing. From year to year, new predictions arise as to what the top trends of the industry will be in the future; it is important to keep these trends in mind when going forward with business, as a modern and aware organization will always have a strong edge on competitors. Keeping this in mind, let’s look at some of the top tech industry trends for 2016.

Cloud Core

We already know how important the cloud is to the IT industry and business, and that importance will only rise in the future. According to the IDC 2016-2018 FutureScape Predictions, at least 50% of enterprises’ IT infrastructure and software spending will be for cloud-based offerings by 2018. They also state that all viable IT suppliers must make the move to a near 100% cloud-architected portfolio by that time. By 2020, cloud-spending will jump to over $500 billion, triple the amount of what was spent in 2015. The cloud is an integral part of any IT business; in 2016, we can expect to see a definitive rise in the number of businesses and suppliers shifting from the old methods to the new.

The Device Mesh and Ambient User Experience

In their Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends of 2016 report, analyst firm Gartner outlines both the device mesh and the ambient user experience, as well as how the two connect. Gartner defines the device mesh as “an expanding set of endpoints people use to access applications and information or interact with people, social communities, governments and businesses,” which includes not only mobile devices, but all sorts of consumer, home, automotive, and environmental devices. The device mesh focuses on the connections between devices; it has the goal of expanding connection models and improving the cooperative interaction between devices. The ambient user experience expands on this by focusing on the seamless flow across a shifting set of devices and interaction channels to blend physical, virtual, and electronic environments as the user shifts from one place to another. The interaction between the user and all of his or her devices and environments is only expected to become a smoother process, resulting in a seamless, interconnected technical world.

The Internet of Things (Intelligent Edge)

Linking to the device mesh and the ambient user experience, IoT is an integral part of making these two things possible; simply put, IoT platforms are what make these two things possible. The Internet of Things, in layman’s terms, refers to anything that can connect to the Internet and share information; this can be a cellphone, a television—anything that can connect to the Internet is a part of the Internet of Things. Gartner defines IoT platforms as “the base set of capabilities for building, managing and securing elements in the IoT.” By 2018, IDC predicts that there will be over 22 billion IoT devices installed, with this number rising to over 30 billion by 2020. Also by 2018, there will be over 200,000 unique, new IoT apps and services developed, and enterprises will spend $725 billion on IoT infrastructure, along with $542 billion in “pull-through” IT. Learning about the IoT and utilizing its uses can result in a highly efficient, intelligent, connected world; focusing on how to improve systems through the IoT and forging connections will be essential in the coming year.

Cognition – Advanced, Autonomous Technology

According to IDC, by 2018, more than 50% of developer teams will embed cognitive capabilities in their apps/services. These cognitive capabilities give rise to advanced technological systems that can learn to perceive the world independently. Deep neutral nets (DNNs) are steadily taking over jobs that used to be done manually, saving both time and money, and improving business efficiency. DNNs are implemented in “intelligent” machines in order to automate data linking and process tasks; these machines are evolving at a rapid pace, and it will soon become crucial for organizations to apply these technologies to gain a competitive edge. The machine learning implemented by DNNs also gives way to autonomous agents—robots, self-driving cars, virtual personal assistants (ex. Siri), etc. Gartner predicts that software-based autonomous agents will have a broad impact in the near future; with this, Gartner also stresses that physical smart machines (such as self-driving cars) need great attention in order to be successfully utilized. IDC predicts that machines with cognitive abilities will provide U.S. enterprises with over $60 billion of annual productivity improvements by 2020; it is now more important than ever before to utilize the power of cognitive technology, as its uses will only continue to grow in the modern world.

Adaptive Security Architecture

The continued advance towards digital-based business conducted online and through the cloud can potentially pose a threat towards an organization’s security. Older methods of security are quickly becoming obsolete due to the new structures of digital business. Organizations are swiftly moving towards using cloud-based services and open APIs for their partners and customers, and in order to reassure their customers and partners, and protect their own services, new security measures must be adopted. In their report, Gartner states that IT leaders must focus on detecting and responding to threats, in addition to more traditional forms of blocking and other measures to prevent potential attacks. Application self-protection, along with user and entity behaviour analytics, will help to improve and fulfil the new and adaptive security architecture needed for safe and secure actions.

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