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5 IT Trends to Help You Plan for 2017

October 20, 2016

As the saying goes, the only thing constant in the IT industry is change. And if the findings at IDC and Forrester Research—two of the largest and most respected IT research firms—prove correct, the next five years will be a period of significant change and disruption for the IT industry.

With 2017 just around the corner, let’s take a look at five IT trends that industry experts see happening when they peer into their crystal ball—trends to help you get a better understanding of where the industry is likely headed next, so you can begin strategizing now.

1. Big Data Drives Business Value

Contextualized analytics will be a prevailing force, building on the growth of information from digital engagement platforms and data supplied by the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

With various data points giving enterprises a broader picture, including device type, location, language and social network interaction types, enterprises can develop improved insights, personalize products or services or suggest certain actions. More context empowers enterprises to create a more integrated and valuable information experience for their clients, employees, partners and individuals.

2. Cybertargets Increase as Context Increases

The more contextually rich the data, the more valuable it is to an enterprise. Unfortunately, this means it’s also more valuable to cybercriminals.

With the risk of cyber attacks escalating, the need escalates for next-generation techniques for risk management, network defense, identity access management and now—information management. Public clouds will play a role in the integration of contextual data and will need to be included in system architectures. Additionally, context-rich environments will force enterprises to make acceptable risk levels and controls a priority as they share more and more information.

With a broader range of information about users and uses, real-time alerts and network analytics, organizations will be able to maintain a more comprehensive and more consistent security posture, and thereby increase their ability to automatically detect suspicious activity.

3. Developers Becoming the Scarce Commodity

CIOs aren’t “a one man band.” They need a team with the skillset to implement the applications that will make the company a digital enterprise—applications totally different from traditional enterprise applications and applications that require different skills.

According to IDC, by 2017 over 50 percent of an organization’s spending will be 3rd platform technologies, solutions and services—meaning the difference between the “enterprise IT” and “technology vendor” will blur as both try to implement technology solutions that affect how their company operates.

To that end, there will be a war for developers, as enterprise IT shops and tech companies compete for a small pool of next-generation talent. No longer seen as interchangeable commodities, the new reality is developers will become critical resources who can write their own ticket.

4. Strong API Economy

APIs enable information access and exchange between systems, allowing organizations to combine data from both legacy and new applications. Enterprises will continue to recognize APIs as a powerful development tool and build on them.

Additionally, APIs create new channels for service integration, information coordination, ecosystems of information sharing and economies around information derivatives. At the core of digital strategy is democratizing information access, with APIs playing a key role in that process. They are critical to a business strategy for innovation and providing contextual information.

The move towards APIs underscores the move away from in-house IT and instead embraces outside infrastructure, cloud computing, as-a-service options, the freelance economy and participation ecosystem—making an enterprise more open and more agile with IT-centric initiatives.

5. Fast Data Is Just As Important As Big Data

As data velocity continues to rise, enterprises must be able to quickly analyze big data and get reliable, actionable advice instantaneously in order to better serve clients, satisfy stakeholders and boost the bottom line. Fast data, the second iteration of big data, will create a lot of value.

New technologies like Apache Storm and Apache Spark will emerge and be fully embraced by the market as will the emergence of a new class of real-time applications in e-commerce and financial technology services that are powered by high-speed data analytics.

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