Top IT Trends of 2017
Author:CSC Town Hall
What tech trends will have the broadest impact on enterprises in 2017? In a recent CSC Town Hall, our experts discussed six themes you’re likely to hear more about in the coming year. Here are some highlights.
A lot of companies have talked about the digital enterprise over the past few years, but what’s new is seeing board members talk about the operating structure of the company. “I believe we’ll see a huge amount of work to reconfigure the entirety of the enterprise – not just the front office but [also] the back office for the digital execution that’s necessary for the 21st century,” predicts Dan Hushon, CSC’s chief technology officer.
Legacy systems contain information, and information is becoming one of the most valuable things companies have. Hushon says “there’ll be a new impetus to transform and modernize the applications” to unlock that value. As companies rearchitect the front ends of their businesses on the Internet, they will need to move back-office data much closer to front-office data to reduce the latency and cost of processing the integrated information to properly respond to clients and employees.
On the Rise of Intelligent Machines
“I think there will be companies that spend as much time training their machines as they do training their people,” says Jerry Overton, a CSC Distinguished Engineer. For example, once you start training virtual agents with the big, fast data that’s now available, interacting with these agents won’t just be a low-cost substitute for humans, it will also be a differentiator.
“Computers are now doing the things we’ve always expected of them,” says Chris Swan, CTO of Global Infrastructure Services at CSC. “They’ve stopped asking the dumb questions because they can figure stuff out for themselves from the data and models we’ve given them.”
On Maturing of IoT and The Industrial Internet
“Where we are with IoT today is not too different from the first generation of automobiles. We didn’t have roads or a common architecture… Everyone was really trying to get into the marketplace to understand what the value proposition was,” Hushon says. Now we understand the value of IoT, and we’re at the systems design stage. As IoT matures, we’ll begin to see systems and subsystems impart some level of security, Hushon says. IoT devices will understand the environments they are in and apply the necessary safety precautions.
Overton also sees a move toward a more sophisticated network. “I think you’re going to see an intelligent Internet of Things... that either has the intelligence embedded in the devices themselves, or are able to access that intelligence through APIs,” he says. These devices will work together on the owner’s behalf to, for example, lower costs or energy consumption.
On the Emergence of the Sinosphere as an Innovation Leader
“We’ve seen in areas like Shanghai, they had part of the city dedicated to cloud… and that same part of the city has been rezoned to AI,” Swan says. “There’s tremendous investment going on there” in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
“Those areas where the East has a different cultural approach — whether it’s medicine, healthcare or credit cards — are going to create a next wave of innovation, and I do believe that tsunami will come West,” Hushon says.
“Their modern infrastructure allows them to move more data, so if you connect what Jerry said about digging deep into the data with what Chris said about their huge focus on AI and ML, they might have better infrastructure than most of the West with respect to being able to exchange information with much less friction and be able to therefore accelerate how quickly their machines can learn,” he says.
On Increased Adoption and Simplification of Cloud Platforms
“Every single executive I’ve talked to has submitted a business plan to their board… to drive 80 percent of their IT into the cloud by 2020,” Hushon says. “Eighty percent by 2020 into the public cloud is absolutely remarkable.”
While we are seeing the full force of cloud adoption – through intrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service – the serverless movement is starting to take hold. “At the same time, people are looking for opportunities to shut down their data centers, and I think that’s the main thing driving this 80/20 [rule] that Dan referred to,” says Swan.
On Virtual and Augmented Reality
“You can augment reality with data, but you can also augment reality with intelligence,” Overton says. For example, if engineers did a plant inspection to document the safe and unsafe aspects of plant equipment, you could augment the inspection using cameras and record it digitally. That becomes a new source of data for training more intelligent machines. The machines can process this and other inspection videos and build a machine-level understanding of what constitutes “safe.”
But the really exciting part is when you project this content back into a space. You can give augmented-reality devices to less-experienced engineers or plant managers and have the safety precautions projected into the plant floor. As you gather more data you can improve the intelligence of the machine, which leads to improved safety.
“This year, we’ve seen the emergence of Web VR frameworks. That’s making virtual reality as accessible as the Web,” Swan says. For anybody with a text editor, it’s going to be “child’s play” to put together a VR application, he says. And you can run it on your mobile phone.
“The fact that we can overlay data – improve productivity, safety, situational awareness and strategic insight – can make people better and make jobs easier,” Hushon concludes. “We haven’t seen technology with the potential for a productivity improvement this big since the late ‘90s and the Internet wave… I think this will put an exponent on employee and business productivity.”
Read the complete article here.
- Dan Hushon, Chief Technology Officer, CSC
- Jerry Overton, head of advanced analytics research at CSC’s ResearchNetwork and CSC Distinguished Engineer
- Chris Swan, CTO, Global Infrastructure Services, CSC
- Jeff Caruso, Senior Managing Editor, CSC