2018 is mere days away. Are you ready? What opportunities are you most excited to capture as technology continues to reshape our businesses and our lives? Whatever you may be focused on, the year ahead holds a lot of promise for IT leaders and their teams.
We asked business and IT leaders to send us their predictions for the new year. Read on for advice and a few reasons to look forward to 2018. Until then, Happy New Year from the Enterprisers Project team!
AI will not radically transform the enterprise
“There is excessive hype around how AI will lead us to new discoveries and medical breakthroughs. However, it will be very hard to design a model that can determine unbiased truth, because human bias – whether explicitly or implicitly – will be coded into these data analytics systems and reinforce existing beliefs and prejudices. With that said, there are certain applications where systems can make better decisions in a shorter amount of time than humans, such as in the case of autonomous vehicles. In 2018 we will begin to see real use cases of the power of AI appear in our everyday lives – it just isn’t ready to be the shining star for the enterprise quite yet. – Christian Beedgen, CTO, Sumo Logic (Editor's note: For more views on AI, keep on reading.)
Growing comfort level with cloud
“Cloud migration will see a consolidation of best practices in 2018 as the pool of people experienced with multiple migrations grows, whereas early cloud migrations involved much experimentation and learning by failure, requiring everyone involved to develop new tools and techniques. Stabilization in cloud offerings and a growing comfort level with cloud services is allowing customers and consultants to focus on features rather than logistics. In 2018, this will shift the balance of development from cloud vendors pushing what they think customers want to customers demanding what they need.” – Seth Noble, founder and CEO, Data Expedition, Inc.
The year of data autonomy
"Fear of the big cloud players will become the main driver for large digital transformation projects. More and more brands will want data autonomy in a multi-cloud world in order to compete and stay ahead. The need and urgency to meet the big cloud players head on with data-driven applications will intensify.” – Patrick McFadin, VP of developer relations, DataStax
Greater changes in human behavior
“I believe 2018 is set to be a seminal year where technology will drive even more fundamental change in human behavior. With AI (and all its manifestations including NLP, machine learning, deep learning and the like) creating new paths, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) lighting those paths, and blockchain providing the means to negotiate these paths successfully – these technologies will go beyond the changes that smart phones, WhatsApp, and Facebook have brought to our lives, and bring them into the enterprise.” – Monish Darda, CTO, Icertis
Enterprise-wide adoption of analytics
“We’re finally seeing movement toward enterprise-wide adoption of analytics platforms rather than random use of analytics for isolated projects. That’s an important evolution because it changes the way an organization moves forward and remains relevant. Once there was pride around having a cool BI dashboard; now people realize that’s not truly analytics. It’s also important to note that as enterprises move toward predictive analytics, they realize doing so requires significant management and cultural change. Hardware and software takes effort, but changing attitudes and shifting an organization’s culture takes persistence.” – Keith Collins, Executive VP and CIO, SAS
Greater IT complexity will elevate the role of CIO
“The Bring-Your-Own Device (BYOD) movement, remote workforces, and growth of the cloud have given rise to greater IT complexity and inadvertent security threats and other vulnerabilities. This will only continue in 2018 and make it difficult for IT to take stock of all the apps and technology in use across the enterprise, identify the root cause of problems and quickly resolve issues before they impact productivity. As a result of this growing IT complexity, the role of the CIO will be elevated. CIOs will no longer play a secondary role to the business, but become firmly entrenched as vital members of the executive team.” – Pedro Bados, CEO, Nexthink
Fully autonomous data centers
“2018 will be the year that data centers begin to transform into fully autonomous operations. IoT and AI will enable data center issues to be root-caused and resolved automatically by software. Data center administrators will no longer be woken-up at night to troubleshoot outages. Voice technologies will enable data center operators to monitor and manage their data centers from any location. IT infrastructure gear will be deployed and maintained autonomously – you simply stock new compute nodes and disk drives and robotics streamline the technology to the appropriate systems.” – Rich Rogers, SVP, IoT product & engineering, Hitachi Vantara
The rise of digital twins
“Digital representations of physical structures, or digital twins, have been used for years in complex 3D renderings. But innovations in data analytics and IoT have pushed advances in 3D modeling to augment business strategies and decision-making in the enterprise. In 2018, more organizations will implement digital twins to visualize complex technologies and achieve new efficiencies with an increasingly digital approach.” – Laurent Bride, CTO, Talend
Rapid Kubernetes adoption for the multi-cloud world
“We predict runaway success of Kubernetes, but it is running away with the prize of adoption so fast that this may quickly be more of an observation than a prediction in 2018. So far, however, almost everybody is thinking of Kubernetes as a way of organizing and orchestrating computation in a cloud. Over the next year, we expect Kubernetes to more and more be the way that leading-edge companies organize and orchestrate computation across multiple clouds, both public and private. On-premises computation is moving to containers and orchestration style at light speed, but when you can interchangeably schedule work anywhere that it makes sense to do so, you will see the real revolution.” – Ted Dunning, chief application architect, MapR
CIOs will learn how to scale DevOps
“We’ve reached a critical inflection point in DevOps adoption. CIOs will face pressure in 2018 to ensure their businesses are releasing software at speed and quality, without adding cost. CIOs are adopting DevOps as a solution, but there are still many elements of DevOps that are very human intensive. In 2018, CIOs will figure out how to automate DevOps to scale teams while meeting business goals for headcount and recruitment.” – Derek Choy, CIO, Rainforest QA
AI will manage cloud complexity
“2018 will be the first year where machine learning and AI play a meaningful role in our ability to manage the cloud complexity we have unleashed. Just like high-speed algorithmic trading transformed stock markets, so will high speed algorithmic automation transform management. We will start to see machine-driven knowledge and automation driving our monitoring, incident management, cost management, and configuration management. This will ultimately result in reduced costs, higher security, improved SLAs, and better performance.” – Joe Kinsella, CTO of CloudHealth Technologies
Innovation labs will thrive
“Over the last two decades, the largest U.S. companies have grown faster than the economy as a whole, and the biggest of big businesses are making up a larger share of growth –especially in industries like telecommunications and airlines. As companies like Walmart launch innovation hubs in Silicon Valley, organizations will invest big bucks on designated innovation labs, or collaborate with scrappy startups to gain a competitive edge.” – Alexey Sapozhnikov, co-founder and CTO, prooV
AI will guide us through the trees
“AI’s success will continue in new year, specifically in a new area: troubleshooting. Expect to see an impact on troubleshooting for operators, data centers, etc. as AI helps individuals tackle the day-to-day issues, enabling them to focus on critical problems that AI itself can’t help. In 2018, AI will guide and augment humans in solving hard problems as it further cements its value-add as a human cognitive partner, guiding us through the trees to make more impactful decisions.” – Ashfaq Munshi, CEO, Pepperdata
Big data balloons to “overweight data”
"In 2017, enterprises finally started to get a handle on how to leverage data and analytics solutions and use the data that is meaningful to their core business to drive outcomes and increase revenue. In addition, a lot of ‘swamp consolidation’ occurred. In 2018, I think we will see big data balloon into ‘Overweight Data’ due to technology such as IoT, autonomous vehicles, and the 4th Industrial Revolution. This will drive new startups to address the needs to rapidly process and act upon this data." – Mike Kail, CTO, CYBRIC
Trust becomes top focus
“In 2018, organizations across all industries will increase their focus on what is arguably their most important asset: trust. The move will be spurred by the fallout from the high profile and very serious setbacks trust in technology took this year – including instances like data breaches and reports of fake news on Facebook. With autonomous cars, blockchain, and other revolutionary technologies on the horizon, organizations realize they need to move decisively to solve the trust problem, or lose out on any meaningful adoption. If your users don’t trust your tech, it doesn’t matter how cool or transformative it is. It’s dead in the water.” – Amit Prakash, CTO, ThoughtSpot
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