Summary: As technology evolves, it plays an increasingly important role on the business world. More than ever, the modern CIO must stay ahead of the ever-changing technology curve, and understand how new technologies might affect their business. What technologies could have the biggest impact on the business world in the coming year? In this article, we explore a few more technologies that the modern CIO cannot afford to ignore.
In this first part of this article, I shared a surprising statistic from Forrester: “Seventy percent of the companies that were on the Fortune 1000 list a mere ten years ago have now vanished–unable to adapt to change.” In another 10 years, I’m sure we’ll see a similar statistic.
The fact is, we’re living in a time of rapid technological change. New technologies crop up on a regular basis. Those who succeed in this era aren’t necessarily the largest companies. It’s those who adapt to these changes.
What are the important technologies that you can’t ignore in the coming year? In the first part of this article, we explored the first five:
- Self-service analytic platforms
- Augmented and Virtual Reality
Today, let’s take it a step further and identify a few more. Here are five more technologies that CIOs cannot ignore in 2017:
1. IoT platformsThe “Internet of Things” (IoT) is picking up steam in the business world and shows no signs of slowing down. Gartner estimates that the number of connected things in use worldwide will reach 20.8 Billion by 2020. As a comparison, they estimate connected things at 6.4 Billion in 2016.
As IoT grows, we’re seeing the rise of IoT platforms. What is an IoT platform? As defined by Gartner, “IoT platforms bundle many of the infrastructure components of an IoT system into a single product.” In short, they help businesses handle the deployment and management of IoT devices.
As IoT continues to expand, CIOs will need systems to monitor these devices. As explained below, these platforms cannot be ignored if you hope to remain competitive in the coming years.
“With an industry-wide CAGR over 30%, and future value estimated in the trillions, service providers, utilities, tech, auto, and CE are jumping in headfirst,” says Preston Tesvich, the COO of Droplit. “The push is to extend the internet past the screen and into all of the devices around us—lights, locks, HVAC, etc. At scale, these systems provide full organizational awareness, asset tracking, cost and resource optimization—dovetails with the green movement; reduce the carbon footprint, improve employee efficiency and harmony– fine-tune our environment to accommodate the foibles of our biology– attention to detail and automation of lighting, sound, temperature, food. On the consumer side, new ways of interfacing for purchases– voice ordering, dash button. New ways of capturing value– when you sold a toaster in the old days, you didn’t know who bought it, how long they used it, if/why it broke– now they are now able to stay connected to their consumer 24/7– this is a looking glass that goes both ways, and customers will demand more, forcing a shift from product model to service model. To be competitive, companies will need software platforms that handle the heavy lifting while they focus on creating meaningful experiences for their users.”
2. Artificial Intelligence
Chances are, you’re already using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in at least a few areas of your life. From smart personal assistants (like Siri, Google Now, Cortana), to purchase suggestions on Amazon, to credit card fraud detection, AI usage is exploding.
But, up until now, AI has made the largest impact on your personal life. However, we can expect that to change. In the coming years, AI will impact your business on multiple levels.
How so? AI has practical business uses in areas like cyber security, analytics, customer service, and much more. I won’t get into all of the practical applications here (as there are so many), but here’s a nice list on Wikipedia that you should check out.
The fact is, AI is here to stay and is only improving. As explained below, it’s already changing the way businesses operate.
“New technology inspired from human intelligence have become pervasive in industries that either deal with large amounts of data (e.g., communication, advertisement, healthcare, finance) or rely on low-risk repetitive tasks (e.g., transportation, accounting, customer support),” says Santosh Varughese, Co-Founder and President of Cognetyx. “Standalone AI applications like machine translation, object recognition, and knowledge extraction are used on a regular basis by the average consumer. Human intuition is now replaced by large-scale smart analytics algorithms that can surface patterns and make robust predictions.”
3. Smart Identity
The world is quickly becoming digital. More and more “things” connect to the web. As a result, we’re seeing security become even more problematic on two levels.
First, we have the data security problem. As more personal data moves to the digital realm, it becomes an even more tempting target for attackers.
Second, securing every user across all devices becomes increasingly difficult. How do you provide a secure, yet usable experience, as users need access to more and more connected things? After all, the traditional password isn’t that practical for the internet of things.
To address these issues, we’re seeing advances in the world of security, namely in the concept of “smart identity.” While still in it’s infancy, this is a concept that CIOs must monitor in the coming year, as it’s poised to revolutionize security.
“‘Smart Identity’ is a hot commodity in technology circles right now — Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Apple are all using behavioral analytics and smart identity as a steel thread for their latest features to help secure and simplify user access to apps and devices,” says Andre Durand, CEO of Ping Identity. “This technology component is becoming more and more critical as smart devices quadruple and passwords fail. The newly coined “continuous authentication” via IAM means that security becomes passive for users, lowering the amount of risk and time spent securing individuals online. Smart Identity breakthroughs, like Geo-Fencing will allow security to become a more invisible experience in 2017, allowing employees, partners and brands to authenticate more accurately by context (like location) than by password proofs.”
4. Remote collaboration tools
As we become more and more connected, the need to physically work in one specific location declines. Increasingly, the business world is moving towards a remote-work environment. This is driven by a couple of trends.
First, more businesses are letting employees work remotely. After all, with the rise of tools and the move towards a digital business, most tasks can be completed remotely. According to recent research, “regular work-at-home arrangements among the non-self-employed have doubled since 2005.”
Second, we’re increasingly living in a “gig economy.” As mentioned in this article, “The number of workers hired as freelance or contract works has risen in the past two years, and it’s expected to increase.” More and more, businesses are turning to remote workers on a project-by-project basis.
In 2017, the modern CIO cannot ignore these statistics. If they haven’t already, they must provide the tools and resources to connect employees from anywhere.
“By 2020, half of the world’s full-time workforce could be working remotely,” says Mariano Suarez-Battan, co-founder & CEO of MURAL. “Remote work is about to boom, and expectations to make remote collaboration as seamless as in-person are mounting. Without doubt, 2017 will be the year businesses tee-up their structures to accommodate the modern workforce. Beyond videoconferencing and coding, this includes generative meetings and workshops in design thinking, the kind of creative work that has been difficult to accomplish remotely before technology made it possible.”
5. Self-service platforms
Digital transformation has really picked up steam over the last few years. In fact, one recent study finds that 88% of companies report being in some kind of digital transformation right now.
This should come as no shock. After all, the world is going digital. Almost everything we do–on a personal and business level–is now digital. This digitalization trend will only increase in the coming years.
The problem is, IT departments are struggling to keep up. While already overworked, the business demand for digital solutions is growing. Internal IT departments will increasingly struggle to meet growing demands.
Gartner highlights this growing problem with a bold prediction in this article, “By the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them.”
And that’s just mobile app demand. Keep in mind that most IT departments already struggle to meet demands for traditional application development. They’re now being asked to handle these challenges while adapting to new technologies and driving digital transformation.
As a result, we’re seeing this trend drive self-service development platforms into the limelight. Also known as “citizen developer tools” or “low-code platforms”, these tools let business users create their own solutions. In short, they let IT departments offload some of their development efforts onto the end users, while giving end users the tools they need to build their own applications.
While not a new technology, these tools have been gaining steam over the past few years. As explained in ZDnet’s recent article, “Low code development is coming: Welcome to the future,” this approach is quickly becoming commonplace. As development demands increase, self-service platforms cannot be ignored in the coming years.
These are just 5 technologies that you can’t afford to ignore in 2017, but the list could certainly be longer. If you would like to add anything to this list, I’d love to hear it. Feel free to share in the comments.
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