Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017

Blink and you could miss it. The speed at which technology advances and upgrades can seem overwhelming.

It is amazing to think about the technology we have available to us. It’s astounding to have the power to retrieve almost any information and communicate in a thousand different ways using a device that fits in your pocket. There’s always something new on the horizon, and we can’t help but wait and wonder what technological marvels are coming next.
Breakthrough technologies will continue to create new value and transform experiences for businesses and consumers alike. Here are 10 technology trends of 2017 that will unlock opportunities for growth and enable organizations to provide more meaningful experiences to their customers, employees, and society.

1. Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Machine Learning
AI and Machine learning which include technologies such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing, can also encompass more advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. Systems can learn and change future behaviour, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs.  The combination of extensive parallel processing power, advanced algorithms and massive data sets to feed the algorithms has unleashed this new era. Artificial Intelligence has effectively convinced its necessity to the entire world by proving advantageous across various industries. Almost all the industries including manufacturing, healthcare, construction, online retail, etc. are adapting to the reality of IoT to leverage its advantages. Machine learning technology is constantly evolving and the current trends in the field promise that every enterprise will be data driven and will have the capacity of using machine learning in the cloud to incorporate artificial intelligence apps.

2. Intelligent Apps
Intelligent apps, which include technologies like virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs), have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier such as prioritizing emails and highlighting important content and interactions. These “intelligent apps” combine customer, product and operational insights with modern application development tools and user-centric design to create a more compelling, more prescriptive user experience. These intelligent apps not only know how to support or enable key user decisions, but they continually learn from the user interactions to become even more relevant and valuable to those users. By 2018, it is expected that most of the world’s largest 200 companies will exploit intelligent apps and utilize the full toolkit of big data and analytics tools to improve customer experience.

3. Intelligent Things

Intelligent things are at the intersection of AI and IoT (Internet of Things) and are among the top strategic trends for 2017. New intelligent things generally fall into three categories: robots, drones and autonomous vehicles. Each of these areas will evolve to impact a larger segment of the market and support a new phase of digital business but these represent only one facet of intelligent things.  Existing things including IoT devices will become intelligent things delivering the power of AI enabled systems everywhere including the home, office, factory floor, medical facility etc. As Intelligent things become more prevalent and more advanced they no longer only function as stand-alone entities but in a more collaborative setting in which intelligent things communicate with one another to perform more intensive tasks.

4. Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is an artificial, computer-generated simulation or recreation of a real life environment or situation. It immerses the user by making them feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality first-hand, primarily by stimulating their vision and hearing. Augmented reality (AR) on the other hand is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) transform the way individuals interact with each other and with software systems creating an immersive environment. Over time AR and VR will expand beyond visual immersion to include all human senses.  Enterprises are expected to look for targeted applications of VR and AR through 2020.

5. Digital Twin

A digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product or service. This pairing of the virtual and physical worlds allows analysis of data and monitoring of systems to head off problems before they even occur, prevent downtime, develop new opportunities and even plan for the future by using simulations. Within three to five years, billions of things will be represented by digital twins, a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system. Using physics data on how the components of a thing operate and respond to the environment as well as data provided by sensors in the physical world, a digital twin can be used to analyse and simulate real world conditions, responds to changes, improve operations and add value.  Digital twins of physical assets combined with digital representations of facilities and environments as well as people, businesses and processes will enable an increasingly detailed digital representation of the real world for simulation, analysis and control.

6. Blockchain
Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger in which value exchange transactions (in bitcoin or other token) are sequentially grouped into blocks. These digitally recorded "blocks" of data are stored in a linear chain. Each block in the chain contains data (e.g. bitcoin transaction), is cryptographically hashed. The blocks of hashed data draw upon the previous-block in the chain, ensuring all data in the overall "blockchain" has not been tampered with and remains unchanged. Blockchain and distributed-ledger concepts are gaining traction because they hold the promise of transforming industry operating models in industries such as music distribution, identify verification and title registry.

7. Conversational Systems

Conversational systems is a system that intends to converse with a human via language either spoken or written to assist, enable or entertain. In the near future, it will help the individuals to complete their tasks, find what they want and answer any questions as naturally as having a conversation anytime and anywhere. Conversational systems can range from simple informal, bidirectional text or voice conversations such as an answer to “What time is it?” to more complex interactions such as collecting oral testimony from crime witnesses to generate a sketch of a suspect. This is truly revolutionary in every aspect. Conversational Systems shift from a model where people adapt to computers to a model where the computer ‘hears’ and adapts to a person’s desired outcome.

8. Mesh App and Service Architecture

The  Mesh Apps and Service Architecture (MASA) refers to the design of solutions that link, mobile apps, web apps, desktop apps and IoT apps and their data, whether user or operational into a broad mesh of back-end services to create what users view as the “Application”. The mesh device has several mesh apps running with service architecture. The service architecture gives back-end cloud scalability while the device mesh provides front end experience. It is a multichannel solution architecture that leverages cloud and server less computing, containers and micro services as well as APIs and events to deliver modular, flexible and dynamic solutions.  Solutions ultimately support multiple users in multiple roles using multiple devices and communicating over multiple networks.

9. Digital Technology Platforms

Digital technology platforms are the building blocks for a digital business and are necessary to break into digital. The basic purpose of digital technology platform is that it should provide technology-enabled services to the business.  Every organization will have some mix of five digital technology platforms: Information systems, customer experience, analytics and intelligence, the Internet of Things and business ecosystems. The digital technology platforms are not only providing the much-needed conveniences to the individuals but also helping to scale our business to a new level of growth. The trending digital technology platforms are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, IoT, Data Analytics and Big Data, Conversational Systems etc.

10. Adaptive Security Architecture

The evolution of the intelligent digital mesh and digital technology platforms and application architectures means that security has to become fluid and adaptive. Security in the IoT environment is particularly challenging. Adaptive Security Architecture is a type of security measure that mainly applies to web services, as it allows service operators to take data protection to a whole new level. This technology analyses each incoming data packet and scan for any potential anomalies. If hundreds of thousands of user credentials are at risk, the software needs to respond to an anomalous behaviour within milliseconds in order to avoid any data leakage. Furthermore, ASA works by creating boundaries in the software in order to reduce the attack surface when a threat does arise. As a result, sensitive information is stored securely, without compromising convenience or accessibility. The way it works is by adapting to the environment the server is placed in.

Innovation in technology is emerging at a rapid pace and these are a few top technology trends of 2017 that have been the buzzwords for this year. All the above mentioned exciting tech trends of this year are worth looking forward to. These trends have the capability to change the way businesses work and transform the way we function.


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