What will the next 12 months have in store for us? Here's our top predictions:
The last few years have seen numerous ground-breaking technologies come to the fore, from artificial intelligence and machine learning, to the Internet of Things, Big Data to blockchain. But, however amazing these innovations may be on their own, the most cutting-edge companies are now realising that their true power comes from combining them. To give an example, the consulting firm EY has had huge success in combining robotics, data analytics and artificial intelligence, to increase accuracy and speed when auditing clients' inventory and data. And many believe that future innovation lies in finding other ways that these tools can work together, rather than operating in silos. For example, with the help of AI, the data collected from the Internet of Things could provide untold insights about how all sorts of processes and operations can function more effectively. Add to this the use of augmented reality and users will have the ability to visualise insights related to the world around them. So, expect more of these merged technologies in the next 12 months!
**Life on the edge**
As the Internet of Things becomes more prolific, many are predicting that cloud computing will be overtaken, or at least challenged, by edge computing, as the best way of providing the processing power required. In basic terms, edge computing involves the processing of data at the edge of the network, near the source - be that a laptop, smart TV or self-driving car - rather than pushing it back into the cloud. The main benefit is reduced latency, which will become increasingly important for sophisticated IoT devices that demand real-time processing and instantaneous decision-making. Some big names already have edge computing products on the market, for example Microsoft has its Azure Stack, which it says: "brings the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to on-premises environments." We're confident this trend will develop and expand further in 2018, bringing new IoT cyber challenges in its wake.
**The blockchain debate rumbles on**
The tech world has been talking excitedly about the potential of blockchain for a number of years now, despite the fact that it's still primarily known as the technology behind bitcoin. Gartner has placed it in the 'trough of disillusionment' on its hype cycle, predicting it still has five to ten years before mainstream adoption, but there are signs of breakthroughs in a number of industries, particularly financial services. For example, 22 major banks, including Barclays and HSBC, have teamed up with the fintech firm R3 to build an international payments system using the technology, with a prototype due to launch by the end of 2017. There are also numerous of startups developing innovative solutions, such as TradeIX, which we recently profiled on our blog. It's safe to say the 'will it, won't it?' debate will continue to surround blockchain next year, and we're hopeful there'll be some exciting developments to report!
A subject close to our heart, 2018 looks set to see some big news in cyber security, with innovative businesses developing smarter ways of keeping the bad guys in check. These include the use of AI and behavioural analytics to monitor system and user activity, with the aim of spotting – and responding to - anything abnormal in real time. Another breakthrough is in the use of deception technologies, which aim to trick hackers by planting thousands of fake access details, and other traps, on a system, in order to catch criminals in the act. The premise behind both these developments is that the cyber criminals are always going to have the power to break through firewalls, so security needs to accept that fact and focus on preparing for it instead.
**Real time risk management**
It's a bit of a mouthful, but Continuous Adaptive Risk & Trust (or CARTA) has been defined by Gartner as the next generation approach to digital risk management and security, designed for a world in constant flux. The basic concept is that the security and risk management of yesterday is too slow and inefficient, leading to an average delay of 99 days to detect a security breach in the US. CARTA aims to tackle this problem, by putting security front and centre at all times and in respect to every element of the business ecosystem, from DevOps right through to the partners an organisation chooses to work with. It also encourages businesses to take a more pragmatic approach to risk, focusing on where the threat is greatest, rather than arbitrary rules regarding passwords etc., and crucially, being ready to adapt on a continuous basis. It's a sea change in how the tech world views security, and we're sure to see and feel its impact over the coming months.
There is so much going on that it seems crazy to limit our selection to just five. But we're going out on a limb to say these are the trends that will really dominate tech in the next 12 months.
Worried you'll get left behind? Then check out our blog how to future-proof your business, so you're ready for whatever the world throws at you. And despite advances in cyber security, no doubt we'll see more high-profile attacks in 2018, so it makes sense to be as prepared as possible. To discuss how the right insurance can help, give us a call on 0333 772 0759 +31 10 8080 889 or drop us a line at email@example.com.