10 ways enterprise IT will unfold in year 2017: Top trends to watch

Top 10 trends in enterprise it
In the year 2017, worldwide IT spending is predicted to reach $3.5 trillion. It will be up by 2.9 percent from 2016’s $3.4 trillion.

Wondering where will this amount be spent?

Enterprise IT organizations are going to spend this money to improve current infrastructure, incorporate new technologies, and acquire new services.

What should be the leader’s take on this?

Since 2016, the C-suite has been strongly focusing on strategizing and investing huge amounts. Now is the time, IT leaders should plan how to invest this money to get the best return on this investment.

The market is changing like always. So, what next?

Certain trends like mobile, cloud, data analytics and security issues are on-going concerns. But new innovations like virtual reality, AI, and blockchain are novel and disruptive technologies or we can say
‘The revelations of the IT industry’.

We created our own list of trends in the enterprise IT to watch this year.
If you want to create an enterprise IT organization that can withstand the challenges of the future, look out for these in 2017:

1. Mobility – yes, it’s going to continue

Enterprise Mobility

More and more workers are using their mobile devices for work purposes. Mobile-first is becoming a design trend in application development. Google has started mobile-first indexing to create better search results. Mobile is everywhere.
Thus, investment in enterprise mobility has been a key focus for most companies in 2016. As this trend continues to lay wider and deeper roots in the enterprise sector, investments in mobility will continue to grow.

The challenges of enterprise mobility

With increasing mobile devices getting connected to the IT infrastructure, IT managers must come up with effective strategies to deal with security and management issues. Mobile Device Management (MDM) software solutions will play a vital role in resolving these problems.

The mobile-first design approach for applications and web services will also grow in 2017. This will create challenges in development and distribution. Enterprise IT managers should find ways to optimize for this mobile expansion.

Benefits of having a mobility strategy

With a proper mobility strategy, IT managers can ensure that productivity, development, distribution, logistics, and security issues are resolved with efficiency.

2. Machine Learning & AI

Machine Learning & AI
Machine Learning and AI are no longer speculations for science fiction. It is providing practical solutions to real-life problems.
With the availability of massive data, an increase in computing capabilities, and the discovery of highly efficient methods, it is possible to use machine learning and AI to deal with complex problems.

Intelligent App is the new frontier

Smart machines have been trending for the last few years. Intelligent apps might be the next trend to follow. These apps will be able to harness the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to find faults, make recommendations, and auto correct problems. Whether it is a large company like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, or a small company like turi, enterprises are taking notice of the power of these technologies.

Benefits of Machine Learning and AI

You can use machine learning and AI to develop intelligent applications for internal use to increase productivity. Or you can use them for external use to increase customer satisfaction. You will get better results if you factor in these technologies in your next iteration of infrastructure development.

3. The era of Automation

The Era of Automation
With Uber rolling out its much-awaited self-driving cars, it has paved the way for many more innovations in the world of automation. The same philosophy of self-sustaining systems is taking hold in the Enterprise IT world.

Automation for processes

Large IT organizations are realizing the importance of creating systems that are more self-reliant. Even though end-to-end automation is still a dream, IT departments all over the globe are starting to take serious steps to implement DevOps practices. Managers are trying out tools like VMWare, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Docker, and Jenkins to take their daily processes and automate them.

Benefits of automation

Automating workflows and processes are the holy grail of Enterprise IT solutions. Since the beginning of enterprise infrastructure development, technology leaders have tried to use scripts and software to automate their systems.
We are seeing progress in this area. As an IT leader, you should get acquainted with the best practices of DevOps and automation to improve your company’s workflow.

4. Everything is going to the Cloud

Cloud Computing

Both large corporations and small companies used to be cautious about using cloud-based solutions. But those days are long gone. Thus, CaaS and other cloud-based enterprise platforms are being widely developed to store enterprise data and manage it efficiently.

IaaS, PaaS, and CaaS

The rise of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) has brought in Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers. PaaS made enterprise IT life a little bit easier but PaaS still requires a lot of time investment to build and maintain. So, the rise of Cloud as a Service (CaaS) seems like the natural progression. With CaaS in the forefront and more providers jumping into the market, it seems like there will be greater options to choose from in the future. It will make IT life easier.

Benefits of the right kind of Cloud

Whether you choose to stick to your IaaS or change to PaaS/CaaS providers will depend on your enterprise needs. However, you need to plan what kind of cloud service you are going to invest in the coming years.

5. Blockchain

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, is gaining interest from different sectors. Besides Fin-Tech, retail and medical industries are investing in blockchain as a potential technology for trusted transactions.

Rise of blockchain

With the large-scale hacking and security issues, it is becoming increasingly important to come up with trusted solutions for business transactions and communications.
Blockchain technology is a potential solution to build infrastructure that will inspire trust both on the organizational and technological level. With this technology, we can see groundbreaking changes in financial transactions, private data transfer, and communications.

Benefits of blockchain

Blockchain technology allows two parties to complete a transaction without the need for a third-party intervention. It is one of the trends in enterprise IT today that has the power to disrupt how we do business and communicate today. Blockchain has the potential to upend the current ecosystem of information exchange and create a simplified system that can transform our society.

6. Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are right beside us every day. Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Google Assistant are becoming household names. These digital assistants are simplifying customer support and transforming customer expectations.

Future of customer service and sales

According to Business Insider report, the number of digital assistant users will reach 1,831 million by 2021. Also, we have started to see websites experimenting with chatbots to provide better customer service.
As consumers get used to having virtual assistants and chatting with digital customer representatives, they would want more companies to provide them with high-quality service through this technology.

Benefits of Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants have the potential to improve enterprise customer service. Also, Apple has opened up Siri to make financial transactions. So, other companies will follow. Virtual assistants may become the future key to customer acquisition, conversion, and retention.

7. Big Data and Advanced Analytics

Big Data and Advanced Analytics
Big data is big business. And trying to interpret big data is becoming a bigger industry. Businesses will continue to collect data, not only on consumers but also on their own internal and external processes. The analytics sector must step up to make sense of this massive pool of information.

The power of interpretation and insight

Enterprise businesses have been collecting data for a long time. It is a continuing trend. However, every industry is emphasizing the importance of coming up with a plan to properly analyze and interpret this data to develop real-world insights.
For big data to be useful, companies need to invest in tools and human resources that can mold raw data into easily understandable and actionable information.

Benefits of big data analytics

Without advanced analytics, you may be spending money on data storage and other maintenance costs for junk information. To optimize data usage, you need proper analytics in place, so you can create a multi-tiered data management model. There is no excuse for collecting junk!

8. Augmented and Virtual Reality showdown

Augmented & Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is on the precipice of exploding into every part of the society. Whether it is the retail sector, advanced medicine, entertainment, design or workspace collaboration, augmented and virtual reality will impact all businesses in the future.

Living the sci-fi dream

Incorporating AR and VR technology into the current infrastructure is one of the enterprise IT trends that most companies look forward to with enthusiasm.
Computer games and retail industries are at the forefront of the virtual reality revolution. The medical industry is also using it for 3D modeling and surgical procedures. However, the biggest impact in the day-to-day use of AR and VR technology will probably be in the workspace adoption. Workers will be able to communicate and collaborate using these technologies. It will become as common as a phone call.

Benefits of AR and VR

With major players like Microsoft, Facebook, and Google trying to bring the best products to the market, 2017 should be a great year for AR and VR.
IT leaders should take note and make sure that they don’t fall behind. AR and VR have the potential to create a more dynamic work environment and take the workspace to the new frontier.

9. IoT interoperability

IoT Interoperability
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing. IT industry will see a surge in opportunities due to low operating costs and increased productivity.

Devices are whispering to each other

More connected devices are becoming part of the IoT network. There are concerted efforts to develop open source IoT platforms. Big players are also entering the market with their own solutions like IBM, Google, and Microsoft, amongst those who are trying to capture this market.
With physical devices connecting to each other through the IoT infrastructure, enterprise IT will have new opportunities. Future infrastructure planning might require an understanding of robotics and safety precautions for physically moving parts.

Benefits of the IoT

IoT can mean a significant increase in enterprise IT responsibilities. IT is generally associated with computer hardware and software related operations.
IoT could take IT into new territories of planning and management. Industrial manufacturing can become a part of enterprise IT planning with the advent of IoT interoperability.

10. Information Security

Information_ Security

With large data storage and open-source software adoption, ransomware and cyber-attacks are becoming more common. Enterprise IT must develop strategies to safeguard against such information security breaches.

Information is under attack

White hat, black hat, and gray hat hackers abound the technology landscape.

In 2016, we have seen large-scale data theft like Yahoo’s 500 million user account breach.

As long as there is profit to be made, there will be cyber-crimes committed. Enterprise IT needs to invest in developing technology, processes, and safeguards to handle all forms of attacks against their valuable assets.

Benefits of information security

Trust is an important currency in any business. Security breaches are a certain way to lose trust not only of consumers but also of your employees. If a cyber hack exposes the personal information of your employees, it will put your organization in a precarious position.

Even though budget and resource constraints can get in the way, it is important for enterprises to continue to invest in the best information security technology in 2017.

Conclusion

Enterprise IT works as the backbone of any operation. It provides the services that keep everything running smoothly.

At the same time, IT landscape is a rapidly changing environment. As disruptive technologies like blockchain, machine learning, AI, augmented/virtual reality, IoT, and virtual assistants come into play, infrastructure planning must adapt and adopt. At the same time, IT leaders need to keep track of classical worries like mobile and cloud infrastructure optimization, data analysis, and security issues.

With investments in these technology trends, you will ensure your IT organization will remain innovative, reliable, and productive in 2017.