Top 5 IT Trends to look out for 2017

By Kalyan Kumar, CTO, HCL Technologies

As Enterprises grapple with disruptive forces, new competition and dynamic business environment/client requirements, they are looking for innovative technologies and solutions to drive growth in businesses. Focus and Priorities for businesses have moved from cost and efficiency to innovation and user experience to gain competitive advantage.
A recap of Top trends of 2016, would show how the scale and impact of changes in technology are impacting Business Landscape.

Few of the Top IT Trends that ruled 2016 and continue to do so, include:-

Exponential Technologies: – These are extremely fast Innovations that are poised to create exponential impact on surroundings or the way things are currently done. These include various technology and process innovations that have significant impact. 2016 saw a number of such exponential initiatives being taken across the globe. We expect to see large scale impact of such initiatives in coming months / years.

Augmented and Virtual reality: – AR and VR enables experiences that help users to interact with reality in an augmented or virtual manner. This can be through interactions, displays, gestures etc. This technology is penetrating various businesses and finding various use cases across industries. AR/VR saw increased adoption in 2016 and we expect this traction to continue and scale in 2017.

Blockchain Technologies: – Widely touted to eliminate the concept of a middle man in financial transactions, organizations are taking a cautious approach towards adoption of blockchain. This distributed ledger system, which provides speedy settlement of transactions in a secure manner, is poised to disrupt the FS industry. Which is why the past couple of months saw leading global banks ramp-up investments and collaborate with blockchain start-ups. We expect to see many mainstream adoptions in this space going forward.

Machine Intelligence: – Emergence of autonomous systems that analyse, decide and act is changing the AI space dramatically. Machines are getting more and more intelligent. Organizations are using machine learning technologies to enhance products or create entirely new product categories. The potential overall business benefits of these technologies are much broader than just cost savings. This technology is undergoing evolution and is poised to disrupt status quo big time. We are already seeing big disruption in services market due to this.

Internet of Things: – Maturity in IoT technologies has led to a continuous growth in IoT-adoption rates among business users. Organization have been experimenting with IoT for use cases and potential benefits. The coming months will see more deployments across edge devices, gateways and cloud.

However, as we enter 2017, we are already seeing some new and remodelling of some existing trends. These trends are expected to gain prominence from market perspective, going forward in 2017:-

Cognitive Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Machine Learning: Systems and machines are moving beyond simple Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Solutions are looking at how cognitive intelligence can be harnessed by machines to create an exponential impact on services and human interactions. Rise in digital adoption, increase in computing power amongst other trends are expected to fuel growth in this trend.

Singular Bots: Bots have traditionally performed clerical and repetitive tasks. However, the usage of Bots Powered by machine learning, natural language processing and other technologies including cognitive computing is providing the ability to learn and become smarter with each task performed. Going forward we expect to see, large scale inclusion and prevalence of Bots across services and other customer delivery domains.

Data Economy: Data is referred to as the new currency. Data is driving almost all aspects of business today. Right from board Rooms discussion/decisions to Labs and field exploration. The dependency and expectation from data is on all-time high. Organizations are exploring and realizing, unexpected results and benefits associated with various usages of analytic data and accordingly spending various dollars on the same. We expect this trend to get bigger in 2017 and many organizations to have defined strategy on harnessing the power of data.

Flexi-gent Security: Flexi-gent (Flexible + Intelligent) security is the new way to situation and architecture independent security frameworks and architectures. Security threats are increasing day by day, throwing never known and unimaginable threats. Organizations need to adopt a flexible, self-learning and enabling security architectures to overcome such challenges. We expect to see lot of organization talk about and invest time and money to adopt the same.

In addition to above trends, we expect AR/VR and Blockchain technologies to see wider adoption in 2017. The demand for the latter is largely fueled by increasing cybersecurity concerns amongst Financial Services customers.

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