Top IT Trends Shaping Global Business in 2017

Predictions for the next year include technologies and shifts in areas related to development, security and operations (DevSecOps) that together will reshape how businesses operate, alter organisational structures and revolutionise customer interactions.

Dan Hushon, Chief Technology Officer at digital transformation company CSC, has identified six trends around the philosophy of “DevSecOps” that company leaders need to be thinking about to drive digital transformation.

“A fully digital enterprise is the imperative, and more and more businesses are marching forward toward their digital futures,” Hushon said. “As a result of this, entirely new business models will be built on a foundation of information-driven experiences and analytic innovations, all built on public clouds. In rethinking IT as a core part of the business, organisations across all markets must find the sweet spot of DevSecOps. This refers to a much higher level of engagement between executive management and technologists, along with the requirement to secure information.”

Key technologies — augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and cloud computing — are among the six key trends that will help corporate leaders and CIOs devise winning strategies for 2017.

1) Reconfiguring the Enterprise for the 21st Century
Outside-in strategies continue to reshape the structure of an enterprise and how it operates in today’s changing market. Businesses have to rethink and reinvent new models and processes for agility. This rethinking will affect overall organisational structures, leadership cultures, talent selection, team style and partner ecosystems. Investments will need to be made in employee toolboxes that will allow for rapid deployment of processes and constant improvement.

2) The Rise of the Intelligent Machines
Machines are beginning to outthink their human counterparts and are able to perform much more complex computations and much broader information sets – complete with correlations and causality – to predict the best possible outcome. With the output of this high volume, high velocity data, organisations will need to build and eventually merge it into data ecosystems. It means that executives must become deeply, digitally savvy themselves and trained to weed out any digital biases (as was seen with the recent U.S. presidential election). The business and productivity implications of bringing information to the forefront of every employee’s job will drive this adoption.

3) Maturing of IoT and the Industrial Internet
There is currently broad-based adoption of IoT with pent-up demand for a platform that simplifies enterprise implementation in order to drive a return on investment. With the increase in sensors on the network and the emergence of exponentially more bandwidth with 5G networking, productivity will explode such as it did in the 1990s when desktop computers entered the workplace. A new renaissance of learning will take shape to create much more efficient machines.

4) Emergence of the Sinosphere as an Innovation Leader
The continued rise of the Sinosphere – the East Asian cultural sphere that includes Vietnam, Japan and South Korea – which has been historically influenced by China, is worth watching. This trend is leading to the emergence of the Digital Silk Road, which is beginning to rival Silicon Valley as a centre of innovation. The flow of culture, ideas and goods from the East to the West is poised to create a valuable, leap-frog competition between innovators in California and Asia. Each will build off the other to create even more productivity in the marketplace. All eyes are on the East, where new ideas are formulating and technological advances are being developed by a large, unique and educated culture.

5) Increased Adoption and Simplification of Cloud Platforms
CIOs are starting to implement an 80/20 plan, placing 80 per cent of their workloads in the public cloud by 2020. As companies worldwide increase adoption, the current leaders in the public cloud will continue to outpace the rest of the competition. The leaders will begin to compete on function and capability, creating a new style of hybridisation or cloud diversity. The cloud diversity will allow companies to better meet regulatory and security requirements. A more real-time platform will also emerge as information moves directly from hand to code through a new class of middleware. The reduced complexity will free customers to build new platform business services in search of new organic sources of revenue that were not possible in the pre-cloud era.

6) Next Wave of Digital Interface: Virtual and Augmented Reality
After the mobile experience, the next natural step is augmented reality and virtual experience. Companies are aggressively investing in use cases to firm up adoption strategies, evaluate data privacy and cybersecurity, restructure business processes, step-up legacy modernisation and seamlessly incorporate cultural nuances of the organisation. Augmented and virtual reality are enabled by the combination of advanced computer-generated graphics, machine learning, high performance computing, data collection at the edge and analytics. Augmented reality will be behind IoT devices guiding employees and consumers to interact with their environment in new, more productive ways that are much richer than provided by mobile devices, especially in the areas of service and fulfillment.