During 2016, in this blog we have spoken about the fourth industrial revolution or the digital transformation from various perspectives. Both posts discussed technological trends that dominated the year we are about to bid ado to, but we will certainly continue talking about them in 2017 and in the coming years.
In sum, we could say that we continue moving forwards towards an increasingly interconnected digital world, and at the poles of that interconnected network there are no longer just people, but objects, services and content.
The interactions that take place in this great network is what the consulting company Gartner calls intelligent digital mesh - and forms the basis of their top 10 strategic technological trends for 2017. We review them below.
This post is also available in Spanish.
What technological trends will define 2017?
1. Artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning
Continued progress will be made in the development of deep learning, artificial neuron networks and natural language processing. All of this means that in 2017 machines will continue to increase their ability to understand, learn, predict and adapt to our orders and to operate autonomously.
Increased processing power, increasing advanced algorithms and the availability of more and more vast amounts of data will lead to smarter devices and programs for sectors such as banking, insurance, e-commerce and for any other industry that supports digital innovation
2. Intelligent apps
Virtual personal assistants will make our daily tasks increasingly simple, such as prioritizing our correspondence, scheduling appointments and making lists of pending to-dos.
And not only this: smart applications will also cover aspects such as security, or suites or sets of programs that allow companies to manage their financial assets, human resources, and their supply chains in an integrated way.
The intelligence of this new generation of apps will rely on their advanced analysis capabilities, its ever-increasing autonomy and its increasingly immersive environments.
3. Intelligent things
The three most popular groups within this range of things - robots, drones and autonomous vehicles - will continue to evolve and they will impact a growing market segment. Additionally, in 2017 we will see how new ranges of intelligent things will become normal in homes, offices, factories and hospitals.
As the number and variety of intelligent objects increases, so will their ability to collaborate with each other. However, progress in these types of collaborations will be slower, due to the legal and regulatory implications involved, according to Gartner.
The ability of these technologies to create immersive environments will continue to allow the simulation of any type of activity. However, the main news in 2017 will be the growing convergence between price and complexity, and that of the technologies that precede them. Gartner experts do not anticipate that the latter will become completely obsolete in the following year, but we can expect large amounts of investment in everything regarding virtual and augmented reality.
4. Virtual and augmented reality
These systems consist of a machine in operation that, in a given productive activity, shares the data generated with a twin - generally a software, not another identical machine - for it to know all its avatars and its performance. This way, the twin machine can simulate those avatars and performance, and can extract the same learnings to improve them operationally, and to predict what to do in case of an unforeseen event. Despite its conceptual complexity, it is expected that this systems will expand in 2017 and that the maintenance functions of many companies will become a function assumed and lead by IT departments.
5. Digital twins
In essence, blockchain is a network of transaction data where each user is in contact with all the others, and with the entire transaction database. Therefore, there is no original copy of the database, which means that it does not have a sole owner or someone who controls it -- an interesting premise that many predict will profoundly transform much more than just the banking system.
Having risen during the development of the bitcoin, but with ramifications that go well beyond this first project, in 2017 it is expected that most initiatives in this technology will continue in alpha and beta phases, but will keep attracting attention and investments with a view of an even closer future.
Although we still think of bidirectional conversations systems between machines and people as those supported by text or voice, next year we will see a redoubled effort on the use of other languages, supported for example in the use of images, sounds or even textures interpretable by sensors and by an increasing range of objects.
7. Conversational systems
8. Mesh app and service architecturesThe intelligent digital mesh, in which Gartner bases its ten predictions, requires a certain homogeneity of technologies and tools to fulfill its promise to offer dynamic, flexible and modular solutions. This requires a convergence of the architectures that applications are based on, which today still seems like a utopia. But throughout 2017 progress will be made in this convergence with the emergence of new good practices and development tools.
9. Digital technology platforms
Digital companies require several platforms to access and capitalize on all the advantages of the digital world: ones that manage their information systems, others that allow them to manage their user experience, a third group that serves to analyze the market, and a fourth and fifth groups related respectively to the Internet of Things and business ecosystems. Faced with this need, in 2017 new platforms will emerge that will offer all or some of these services to companies that cannot develop their own technology.
10. Adaptive security architecture
And finally, as Gartner predicts the world in 2017 to revolve around the intelligent digital mesh, it can be expected that security challenges to ensure its integrity will increase. It will therefore require a fluid and adaptive response to the threat that hackers will undoubtedly continue to represent next year.
In that context, the US consultancy firm expects multi-layered security solutions to emerge, using behavioral analysis to predict and combat old and new digital threats. In this sense, one of the most vulnerable areas will be the Internet of Things.
From Signaturit we want to provide our own prediction for 2017, based on the work that we have developed during 2016 for our more than 2,000 clients: the digitization of all signature processes will continue advancing at an unstoppable rate, as more and more companies and individuals realize the advantages of using an advanced electronic solution, in terms of profitability, productivity, and information security.
This post is also available in Spanish.
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