Top 10 Technology Trends for 2017

Scott Fenton, Former CIO, Wind River & Executive Consultant-IT, Scott Fenton Consulting, LLC
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This is a new year, so I have a new list of the top technologies trends for 2017. This is a collection of technologies and ideas I feel will see significant growth this year. It’s not scientific, but one derived from readings and conversations with my CIO and technology colleagues. So without further ado, here’s the list in reverse chronological order.

10.  Artificial Intelligence – AI will continue its growth in 2017. This technology is what makes Smart Machines work such as robots, self-driving cars, etc. I expect significant growth in coming years for AI as the technology advances, and the applications for consumers and businesses expands. Major players: Microsoft, Uber, Google, Facebook, Tesla, Apple, and IBM.

9. Virtual Reality - Last year we saw advances in this technology with products such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and others. Although still relatively immature and focused on the gaming market, advances are being made at a rapid pace and this year we will see significant growth in the technology and a host of new products. Major players: Microsoft, Google, HTC, Oculus, and Samsung.

8. Digital Transformation (DX) – Often misunderstood, this movement is the advancement and implementation of technologies to transform your business, activities, and customer experience to a fully digital platform. According to Gartner, the five major focal points to enable the new capabilities and business models of digital business are information systems, customer experience, analytics and intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and business ecosystems.  40 percent of CIOs will lead the digital transformation of the enterprise by 2018. DX is expected to grow to 390 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.7 percent. Major players: IBM, Microsoft, GE, many others.

 IoT attacks move from proof-of-concept to mainstream risks, and attackers increase focus on mobile payment systems 

7. Intelligent Things/Intelligent Apps - Utilizing technology based on AI (see #10), applications will begin to take over some of the routine functions currently performed by humans. There is a huge opportunity for this in the area of customer support and virtual assistants. I expect this trend to continue to evolve for the next ten years. Major players include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. Smaller entries include TaskRabbit, TimeEtc., and Worldwide101.

6. Blockchain - Gaining momentum, Blockchain is a distributed database with a high level of security built into the technology. It goes mainstream in 2017 despite slow adoption so far. The initial implementations revolve around the banking industry, and according to an IBM study, 15 percent of banks say they have plans to use Blockchain, and 91 percent of banks are investing in this technology now. Major players include IBM, Microsoft, and Deloitte.

5. Big data/Analytics - Big data and analytics will continue to be hot, with a five-year CAGR of 30  percent, and will continue to advance due to IoT and embedded devices. More sensor driven data is driving this revolution and it may well hit its tipping point in 2017. Big data derived from IoT comes around as hundreds of device makers building the Internet of Things will get serious about big data, or be left out in the cold. Major Players: SAS, Oracle, Teradata, IBM, HP, Palantir, and Dell.

4. Self driving Cars – The Automotive sector is set for the fastest growth in the era of the “Internet of Things”, with the forecast predicting 3.5 billion connected vehicles by the end of the decade. Autonomous driving will hit an inflection point in 2017 with significant advances in technology, and growing consumer confidence will follow in years to come. Major players: Google, Tesla, Uber, and virtually every car manufacturer worldwide.

3. Internet of Things - 2017 brings accelerated disruption, as those technologies which we spoke about last year as being emergent, mature. 2017 will see increased focus on the software and especially the cloud services, to make all these sensors connect, upload data, and drive analytics that generate insights and enable business improvements. 44 percent of developers plan to work in some IoT development this year. Expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions.   Major players: Everyone and their Brother.

2. Cloud - Companies will continue their move to a “Cloud First” strategy as Data Center elimination becomes a key goal. 45 percent will spend more on SaaS and a mix of public, private, hybrid clouds in 2017. Cloud will grow from $30b in 2010 to $250b in 2017. Gartner predicted a 16.0 percent growth in public cloud services in 2016 with a revenue of $204 billion. This growth will peak in 2017 to 17.5  percent and will plateau or slightly decrease through 2020 to a growth of 14.7.  Major Players: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM.

1. Security – Surprised it’s #1?  Me neither.  High-profile security breaches occurred last year at  Homeland Security, The FBI, Seagate, The IRS, FDIC, Verizon, LinkedIn, DropBox, Oracle, Yahoo!, and Cisco just to name a few.  And of course a significant increase in foreign government hacking. Revenue for the information security industry -- hardware, software, and services -- will grow from $55 billion in 2016 to $120 billion in 2020 (CAGR 8.3 percent) according to Gartner as enterprises spend heavily to fend off cyberattacks. There is also a movement to eliminate passwords. Advancements in Biometrics, voice/facial/retina recognition will soon be the norm.  IoT attacks move from proof-of-concept to mainstream risks, and attackers increase focus on mobile payment systems. Major Players: McAfee, Symantec, Trend, IBM, Cisco, HP, Juniper, Check Point, Fortinet, and FireEye.

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