Here’s what we think will be the dominant technology trends in 2018.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) plus analytics will be applied to SaaS services
Here’s an interesting fact. In a survey of more than 1,400 people from Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Colombia, UK and the US, HubSpot found that 63% did not know that they were already using AI.
Using AI in data pattern recognition will enable companies to unlock information from existing unstructured data. AI also enables those functions which previously had a manual component to be automated – meaning that AI will present the configuration a customer expects to see and so support the personalisation of SaaS services. This will reduce obstacles to permit more software services to become a part of each user’s daily life.
AI to write code
Perhaps not this year, but it may even come about that AI can learn to write code. That could help with the analysis and improve the viability of each software patch and update.
AI’s expertise in pattern matching, human factor assessment and just making sense of analytics, means that AI is capable of learning to replicate the actions of a hacker and so will ultimately be able to enhance the security of SaaS products.
The Internet of Things has already entered the next stage of business – value instead of potential. We reckon it will move into the mainstream this year. It is already more prevalent in some industries than others, such as smart buildings and in the health (remote patient monitoring), semiconductor, utilities and manufacturing industries.
- An international truck manufacturer has put predictive maintenance sensors in their trucks. The system automatically orders the parts and schedules the repair.
- Rolls-Royce engines use data from aircraft engines to achieve engine performance and maintenance goals, including reduction of fuel costs.
There is still a huge opportunity for IoT across all industries. IDC forecast that worldwide spending will reach nearly €1.4 trillion in 2021 with manufacturing continuing to have the biggest spend.
3. Blockchain based applications (especially in the finance market)
Blockchain is far more than just the technology behind bitcoin. In the financial services industry blockchain lets everyone on the network know when a transaction has occurred. Last year, most financial institutions started working on projects to figure out how best to use blockchain.
Blockchain will be useful in public sector to managed records and elections, healthcare to keep records anonymous but available and in retail for handling large purchases such as real estate. However, it is going to be particularly useful for mortgage providers and reinsurers.
4. Continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment (CARTA) and SecOps
The ongoing protection of information assets in every organisation will always be critical. CARTA (a new strategic approach to information security from Gartner) and SecOps are key to managing this and enabling organisations to remain competitive. The CARTA philosophy should be applied across all areas of the business and include external partners.
Things to watch out for this year
Crime-as-a-service (CaaS) and Internet of Things will add unmanaged risks. Last year a domain registration services company in the USA was crippled with DDoS attacks that came, in part, from IoT connected devices such as security cameras and baby monitors. The connected devices in ordinary homes and businesses worldwide were recruited into a botnet using malware. Websites for major outfits like the New York Times, Netflix and Twitter were all temporarily unavailable.
Putting CaaS and IoT together will hugely expand available cyber tools and services.