Top Strategic Tech Trends For 2017: Part Two

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A previous blog post spotlighted the first five of 10 strategic—and potentially disruptive—technology trends for 2017, as identified by research firm Gartner. Here are the other five—with Gartner’s take on which vertical markets may be impacted by each.

6—Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers

Gartner defines Blockchain as “a type of distributed ledger in which value exchange transactions (in bitcoin or other tokens) are sequentially grouped into blocks.” According to this definition, “each block is chained to the previous block and recorded across a peer-to-peer network, using cryptographic trust and assurance mechanisms.”

Blockchain and distributed-ledger concepts are gaining ground based on their potential to drastically change industry operating models. The current hype centers on the financial services market, but Gartner anticipates other possible applications, including—but not limited to—identity verification and supply chain (and hence, manufacturing as well as retail).

7-Conversational Systems

The current focus for conversational interfaces is on chatbots and microphone-enabled devices, among them smartphones, tablets and PCs. However, further development of these systems will lead to their further use in accessing applications and information, as well as in interacting not only with individual people and social communities, but also with governments and businesses.

8-Mesh App and Service Architecture

In the mesh app and service architecture (MASA), mobile apps, web apps, desktop apps and Internet of Things (IoT) apps will link to a broad “mesh” of back-end services to create what users view as an “application,” according to Gartner. The MASA will permit users to have an optimized solution for targeted endpoints in the digital “mesh,” including desktops and smartphones (as well as automobiles), and to have a continuous experience as they shift across these different channels. This architecture will be applicable to a broad range of vertical markets serviced by MSPs, including professional services, healthcare, and retail, to name a few.

9-Digital Technology Platforms

It goes without saying that digital technology platforms provide the basic building blocks for a digital business and are a critical enabler to become a digital business. Gartner has identified the five major focal points to enable the new capabilities and business models of digital business — information systems, customer experience, analytics and intelligence, the IoT, and business ecosystems. Every organization (and hence, every MSP client) will have to have in place some combination of these five digital technology platforms, according to Gartner.

10-Adaptive Security Architecture

The security arena is becoming and will continue to become increasingly complex, thanks to the development of intelligent digital mesh and related digital technology platforms and application architectures. To accommodate such heightened complexity, according to Gartner, those putting technology into place—and, we add, MSPs among them—will need to leverage established security technologies as a baseline to secure IoT platforms.

“Monitoring user and entity behavior is a critical addition that is particularly needed in IoT scenarios,” David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, said in presenting the 10 strategic trends at the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. “However, the IoT edge is a new frontier for many IT security professionals, creating new vulnerability areas and often requiring new remediation tools and processes that must be factored into IoT platform efforts.”

There you have them—the trends you’ll need to keep an eye on as you prepare your business for 2017. These trends may not all come into play next year, and some probably don’t apply to you, but knowing what could be down the road should keep you proactive and support growth going forward.