With cloud adoption and digitalization rapidly becoming the norm for businesses interested in keeping their “OPEN” signs up, it was little surprise this year’s IT predictions focused heavily on security, evolving vendor/provider/C-level roles and innovations that further equip organizations with new tools and resources to operate at a more sophisticated level.
Sometimes you need more than just the ‘Top 5’ so I’ve compiled numerous IT predictions for 2016 for a more comprehensive picture:
Security Creeps as a #1 Concern…
Adaptive Security Architecture
A majority of CIOs list security as their top priority, especially with an increased number of companies that have experienced breaches. Historical norms have been to play defense, but Gartner predicts that more tools will be available to go on the offensive, leveraging predictive modeling, for example, allowing apps to protect themselves. Gartner emphasizes that companies must build security into all business processes, end-to-end. Having it as an afterthought is tantamount to inviting issues.
Say goodbye to software-centric security
Increased reliance on hundreds, or even thousands, of different security applications and software products will drive organizations to realize that one-size-fits-all software-based security tools are far too risky. Organizations will turn to solutions that secure individual applications and their hardware.
Entrenched Computer Security Company Will Get Hacked
Perhaps it’ll be a veteran firm like Symantec, or an entrenched tech giant with a cybersecurity arm—like Intel INTC 0.92% , Cisco CSCO 1.09% , or EMC (er, sorry, Dell). Point is: Ever since Edward Snowden pillaged the NSA, the world has come to grasp that no organization is sacred—or fully secured. Already this year, computer crackers drubbed the Italian spyware firm Hacking Team and breached the personal email account of the CIA director.
Security 2.0: Machine learning can beat sophisticated
This year, you could barely go a day without hearing about yet another security hack at a major corporation or government agency. In 2016, I believe we’ll see the emergence of a new class of security solutions that attempt to outsmart hackers. How? By using “machine learning,” a field of computer science that leverages pattern recognition to extract malicious intent and make predictions about future exploits. The first wave of this trend was highlighted by Splunk’s acquisition earlier this year of Caspida, which uses machine-learning technology to ferret out cyber threats, and the $25 million raised in September by Exabeam, a big-data security analytics company. But in 2016 I predict we’ll see machine learning used more broadly to keep up with, and even pre-empt, sophisticated cyber attacks.
Cyberspies Will Attack Your Inbox
Your credit card information is probably already for sale on the black market, sad to say. But odds are you’ll be hacked in a more insidious way in 2016, sadder to say. Your identity has by now been logged into some vast spy database in a foreign country (probably China), where an intelligence agency is building up a profile around your persona—sourced from personal information available on social media and through breached health insurers, airlines, government offices, and the like. That means these state-sponsored attackers have everything they need to target you with crafty phishing schemes to help them compromise your networks, your data, your contacts. So think twice before opening that next email attachment.
Providers, Vendors and Roles as you Know Them Will Change…
Enterprises turn into software companies
So enterprises are turning away from traditional vendors and toward cloud providers. They’re increasingly leveraging open source. In short, they’re becoming software companies, or, as IDC puts it:
By the End of 2017, Two-Thirds of the CEOs of Global 2000 Enterprises Will Have Digital Transformation at the Center of Their Corporate Strategy.
Developers are the scarce commodity
By 2017, over 50 percent of organizations’ IT spending will be for 3rd platform technologies, solutions, and services, rising to over 60 percent by 2020.
Software developer shortage continues
In 2016, firms in hospitality, finance, insurance, retail and agriculture will struggle to find great programmers, and they will have to redouble their efforts at marketing and selling themselves as great places to work in order to attract the talent they need to compete, Born says.
Legacy vendors face a bleak future
The thing is, this isn’t a failure of execution, to be fixed with a CEO change or a large layoff. It’s a sign that the nature of the industry is changing, and these vendors aren’t delivering tomorrow’s solutions. The restructuring of the existing industry will be accelerated by a new phenomenon in the tech world – private equity.
Cloud providers will be winnowed down
The major public cloud providers will gain strength, with Amazon, IBM SoftLayer, and Microsoft capturing a greater share of the business cloud services market. Despite excellent technology and scale, Google will only begin to develop momentum in large-enterprise business in 2016. Even with innovative new players like Aliyun and DigitalOcean emerging, the number of options for general infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud services and cloud management software will be much smaller at the end of 2016 than the beginning.
Software failures will be everyone’s problem
Anyone in these roles who doesn’t know what’s going on with their software will be at risk of losing their jobs. I’d expect to see more CEO firings in 2016 that can be tied to software failures. But on the flip side, expect to see more tech- and software-savvy CEOs coming into their own because of software success.
Innovation: To Be Continued…
Agile at scale — finally
Despite numerous acronyms (SAFe, NEXXUS, LESS, for example) and the fact that more than 75 percent of companies have adopted agile development methodologies, we have yet to see agile achieve significant scale at the enterprise level. Tasktop’s Choksi says 2016 will mark the first year enterprise-scale agile transformations will work.
Software development heads to the cloud
The cloud will be where it’s at for the software development world, says Warren Perlman, CIO of human capital management solutions company Ceridian. From Web-based applications to value-adds like software maintenance, patching and updates, there’s no reason not to leverage the cloud.
Advanced Machine Learning
To an increasing extent, technologies will be able to not only collect information, but learn based upon it. In the process, much of the initial analysis that has typically required a human can be done by machines, elevating the analysis in the process. People will need to engage at a higher level as a result.
Big data gets, well, big
But according to IDC, big data is only getting started. Today, only 1 percent of all apps use cognitive services; by 2018 (in other words, in three years), 50 percent will. Essentially, analytics will be embedded in every application, used to facilitate functionality or convenience.
Fast data is just as important as big data
For years now, big data has been all the rage, but it’s no longer sufficient. With data velocity on the rise, companies must be able to rapidly analyze big data and get sound, actionable advice instantaneously. This will help them better service customers and also bolster their bottom lines. I predict new technologies like Storm and Spark Streaming will be fully embraced by the market in 2016, and we’ll witness the emergence of a new class of real-time applications in e-commerce and financial technology services powered by super-speedy data analytics. “Fast data” is the second iteration of big data, and it will create a lot of value.