Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tech Megatrends in 2017 - The bigger Picture

Problem: What are the major technology changes that are going to shape the enterprise over the next 5-10 years? 

Initial Hypothesis: Working within technology and making businesses more competitive I see the speed at which technology changes.  Working with multiple large customers, I know that people are generally looking at a handful of strategic technology trends.  While technology trends are actually all connected and a hierarchy.  Basically, I am classifying the significant tech trends and not drilling down to lower levels such as Mobile application patterns or particularly technologies such as O365.

While technologies are not so kind as to make themselves easy to segregate I feel the big trends are:

Analytics - Storage, mining, analyzing data and reporting.  Basically, this is an old industry with new trends such as larger data sets, new data sets e.g. social media, additional reporting formats/media, AI is really trended recognition on steroids.  The trend has been to make analytics available closer to real time and not it's moving into predictive.  Robotics is a closely related working with data. 

Security - We have so much more data and devices, the old world of protecting your own assets and monitoring outside people in a regulated fashion is no longer the main way of securing.  Key is understanding that identity is king.  Be this an individual or a computer; we need to be able to know the person or system are whom they say they are (non-repudiation).  Block-chain - While I think it's important and in some industries absolutely critical, this to me falls under security.  We need to trust and share between machines and transactions. Once again an old industry with a shift in focus in that identity and collaboration is now central to security and not using a centralized castle like security models.

Cloud Computing - Low-cost computing paid for on demand is simply a continuing trend for businesses, only now we are good at virtualization and cloud computing and the big three (AWS, Azure & Google) are getting better quickly.  Cloud computing ties to Analytics and security. Virtualization has progressed and we are getting better at providing computing safely and at a lower cost.

Sub Trends:

Robotics/Automation - Automation goes manual steps on behalf of a human and historically this has been more around manufacturing.  Going forward I see it taking over rudimentary information worker roles.  Ingesting legislative data is a great example and coupled with machine learning, we can build up models to identify what laws are applicable in different jurisdictions. Medical diagnosis are often referred to under AI is not intelligence, it's pattern recognition and analytics to determine a likely problem from the data picked up and cleaned.  The medical example will be essential to us thriving on this planet; doctors will only get complex issues, the rudimentary stuff will disappear and be dealt with better meaning fewer returning patients.

IOT - not exactly new just we have to do it better on a larger scale.  So while technology is changing, systems communication is not.  I see drones more as a subset of IOT, hardware devices using analytics.  Pretty similar to fully automated self-driving cars.

Augment Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality - will be big but like block chain will have unique application is different industries.  It relies on Analytics and security as its underpinning.

Here is some research I gleaned from 5 key firms on current technology mega-trends (this is how I see these firms views on the tech mega trends,):

PWC
===
Artifical Intelligence (AI)
Augment Reality (AR)
Blockchain
Drones (UAV)
IOT
Robotics
Virtual Reality
3D printing

EY
===
Artificial Intelligence - Cognitive learning
Robotic Automation (RPA)
Blockchain
Analytics
Internet of Things (IOT)
Cybersecurity

Deloitte
=======
Dark Analytics
Machine Intelligence
Mixed Reality
Inevitable architecture (cloud computing)
Everything as a service (cloud computing)
Blockchain

KPMG
====
Big Data & analytics/AI
Cloud Computing
Cryptocurrency/Digital Payments
IOT
Robotics
CyberSecurity
Virtual and augmented reality - stock and glasses -Google glasses

McKinsey
=======
AI
Analytics
Robotics

Possible Resolution:  Most people in technology are aware of the mega trends, how relatively important each trend is and the details of how quickly change is happening.  For me analytics, speed to market and trust need to underpin everything I deliver.