With little more than 2 months left before the end of the year, it may be prudent to take a sneak peek what’s in store for us on the IT front in 2016.

Gartner recently released its Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends for 2016 in Orlando. Without much surprise, it emphasized the Internet of Things and smart devices communicating to each other and learning from each other in the process. Through it all though, it is evident that the evolution of digital business will be the core of things to come.

It is clear that the glue that will hold all of this together in the future is something that Gartner refers to as the device mesh. In essence this is the dynamic network linking together various endpoints. Everything will be a smart device and will be communicating with each other.  So in other words, this is a refined concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) by adding the components of augmented and virtual reality as well as end user experiences.

2016 will be viewed as the post-app era, where platform specific apps will become invisible as things become more automated. Here is a brief synopsis of their predictions:

  1. The Device Mesh

A number of devices that we use at a personal or professional level will feature an increase in embedded sensors that will gather data from us on a daily basis. Gartner says that these devices will work together in concert to provide greater insight into our daily life patterns and will actually become smarter the longer we use them.

  1. Ambient User Experience

As devices and sensors become ever increasingly smarter, they will begin to organise our lives without us noticing. This ability to gather contextual data is referred to as Ambient UX. The challenges facing this user experience, will however be the amount of device collaboration and the actual application design.

  1. Printing 3-D Materials

3D Printing will evolve further into applications such as biological material and food by using different materials. Companies such as Space-X and Tesla are already using 3-D Printers to build engine parts and rocket technology spares according to Gartner.

  1. Information of Everything

By the year 2020 (only 4 years away!) there will be more than 25 billion devices generating data on a plethora of topics. In this lies both a challenge and an opportunity. Making sense of this tidal wave of data will be difficult but the company that manages to harness this power will exponentially leapfrog their competition in any given market.

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  1. Advanced Machine Learning

Advanced automation will go to the next level, with much of human analysis today being performed by machines in the future.  This will be due to the smart sensors and devices having the increased ability to self-learn.  Gartner calls this “algorithmic business”. The jury is out whether one could start contemplating running your business on an algorithm…In return, us humans will have to engage at a higher level ourselves as the machines replace functions performed by us today.

  1. Autonomous Agents and Things

The ability for robots to outperform humans in their ability to undertake humans’ tasks will rapidly increase. Examples include self-driving autonomous vehicles.  Other areas of advance will include environments such as airspace where drones will occupy the sky with commercial planes according to Gartner.

  1. Adaptive Security Architecture

With an ever increasing amount of corporates facing cyber security breaches, a majority of CIOs now view this as a top priority.  In the past, most technologies were defensive in nature, such as traditional firewall appliances and software. Gartner predicts that new technologies will include offensive measures using predictive modelling and big data analytics.  In this way, applications will start protecting themselves. Companies will engineer security into all business processes and not as an afterthought, which is currently the case.

  1. Advanced Customer Architecture

Facebook’s Deepface facial recognition technology is an example of companies that are keen to push the envelope on developing technology that can mimic the human brain and natural intelligence. Gartner predicts that a number of companies will start releasing software in this field to enhance customer interaction and user interfaces.

  1. Mesh App and Service Architecture

Software developers will start releasing apps that can plug or mesh together and provide a great value than the sum of the parts. An example that Gartner provides is the Uber Competitor Lyft. It has integrated with comparable offerings in other countries, its ability to expand its offering for traditional customers traveling abroad and the reverse has meant faster growth with minimal cost implications.

  1. Internet of Things Architecture and Platforms

Finally, the IOT platforms that are available today are highly fragmented and in 2016 we will see better engineered ecosystems where data can be shared better from a cross platform perspective. This challenge will persist through 2018 as most companies will continue to procure one-off solutions instead of a more integrated approach to solutions. However Gartner predicts that the adoption rate to cross platform IOT sharing will accelerate in order to provide a better outcome in the future.  

GPU (Graphic Processor Units) will become critical to systems architecture to manage the throughput that goes beyond graphics. Maybe a great time to start purchasing some NVidia shares!

Gartner concludes by predicting that there will be no dominant ecosystem by 2018. Companies will have to produce their own platforms and integrate with the IoT on the back end.

 

We will host our final Techno Forum on the 22nd of October on the subject of Software Defined Data Centres.  If you have not RSVP’d yet, please email jolened@firsttechnology.co.za to reserve a seat for you at Crystal Towers.

 

Thank you once again for your continued support of First Technology in Cape Town.

 

Warm Regards

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Johan de Villiers
Managing Director

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