Tech Trends 2017: An Overview.
Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - TMT
13 June, 2017
Technologies such as machine intelligence, blockchain, and inevitable architecture are likely to play increasingly important roles in CIOs’ IT innovation agendas.
For the eighth consecutive year, Deloitte Consulting LLP is unveiling its list of enterprise IT trends likely to transform businesses within the next 18 to 24 months. The theme of this year’s Tech Trends report, “The Kinetic Enterprise,” refers to companies that are developing the dexterity and vision to overcome operational inertia while thriving in a business environment that is—and will remain—in flux. The eight technology trends identified in the report reflect macroeconomic forces fueling business innovation, such as the cloud and the modernization of core systems, as well as the changing role of IT within the enterprise.
Deloitte Insights in CIO Journal will provide in-depth coverage of each of these areas in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, here’s an overview of Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2017 report:
IT unbounded. As organizations modernize their IT operating and delivery models, some are creating multifunctional teams and breaking down silos across IT. They are also looking beyond organizational boundaries to explore the open talent market and to form new types of partnerships with vendors, startups, incubators, and academics. Finally, with technology dominating strategic business priorities, some companies are educating executives and staff to increase awareness and understanding of both core and emerging technologies. For many, embracing this multifaceted approach may require adjustments to organizational models, IT processes, and supporting systems. There are systematic approaches that can make the task more manageable, resulting in IT services that are “unbounded” and more efficient.
Dark analytics. In some organizations, ever-expanding stores of data remain unstructured and unanalyzed. Likewise, few organizations have been able to explore nontraditional data sources such as image, audio, and video files; the torrent of information generated by internet of things (IoT) devices; and the enormous troves of raw data found in the unexplored, unindexed recesses of the deep web. However, recent advances in computer vision, pattern recognition, and cognitive analytics make it possible for companies to shine a light on these untapped data sources and derive insights that can lead to better experiences and decision-making across the enterprise.
Machine intelligence. The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) has given rise to myriad distinct AI capabilities such as machine learning, deep learning, cognitive analytics, robotic process automation, and bots. Collectively, these and other tools constitute machine intelligence—algorithmic capabilities that can augment employee performance, automate increasingly complex workloads, and develop cognitive agents that simulate both human thinking and engagement. Machine intelligence represents the next chapter in the advanced analytics story.
Mixed reality. The enterprise potential of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) continues to grow as companies explore use cases and move beyond pilot applications. Increasingly, these efforts intersect with opportunities made possible by IoT sensors and devices that can help build a more integrated and extended digital and physical landscape. Yet many overlook the larger implications of the emergence of AR and VR.
Design patterns are evolving dramatically, with two-dimensional screens giving way to tools that use sensors, gestures, voice, context, and digital content to help humans interact more naturally with the increasingly intelligent world around them. It may be several years before mixed reality’s ultimate endgame materializes, but enterprises can begin to explore this dynamic new world—and its digital assets—now.
Inevitable architecture. Many organizations are overhauling their IT infrastructures by combining open source, open standards, virtualization, and containerization. Moreover, they are aggressively leveraging automation, taking steps to couple existing and new platforms more loosely, and often embracing a cloud-first mindset. These actions, taken individually or in the context of larger transformation initiatives, are part of an emerging trend toward what some see as inevitable: the standardization of a flexible architecture model. Such a model can drive efficiency, reduce hardware and labor costs, and support speed, flexibility, and rapid outcomes.
Everything-as-a-service. Many organizations are reorienting their business capabilities and approaching their products, offerings, and processes as a collection of services that can be used both inside and outside the company. This approach means IT may need to revitalize legacy core assets by upgrading to the latest ERP platforms or refactoring aging custom code—improving the code’s internal structure without altering its external behavior. Though sometimes daunting, these and other legacy remediation efforts can help improve efficiency and save costs in the short term, while also laying the foundation for longer-term strategic shifts.
Blockchain and the “trust economy.” Blockchain is outgrowing its adolescent cryptocurrency identity. These distributed consensus ledgers are increasingly serving as facilitators of smart contracts. Beyond creating efficiencies by removing the legal and financial intermediaries in a contractual agreement, blockchain is assuming the role of trusted gatekeeper and purveyor of transparency. In the emerging trust economy, where a company’s assets or an individual’s online identity and reputation are increasingly valuable—and vulnerable—this may be the most beneficial use of blockchain to date.
Exponential technologies. Business applications for nanotechnologies, energy systems, biotechnology, and quantum technologies may seem light-years away, but in reality they are approaching rapidly. In the next three to five years, companies can expect to see use cases emerge and pioneering deployments accelerate for these once-futuristic technologies. Increasing numbers of CIOs, CTOs, and business strategists are already exploring these and other exponential technologies and establishing deliberate, disciplined innovation plans.
By Bill Briggs, chief technology officer, and Craig Hodgetts, U.S. national managing director for technology, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
This article was first published in the Wall Street Journal. Please click here for the article.
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For further information, please contact:
Clare Lu, Partner, Qin Li Law Firm, a Chinese law firm and a member of the Deloitte Legal global network.
Mark Schroeder, Qin Li Law Firm, a Chinese law firm and a member of the Deloitte Legal global network.