7 technology flashpoints to look out for in 2018

As 2017 draws to a close, many CIOs have industry buzzwords like AI, digital transformation and DevOps at the top of their agendas. Despite a growing momentum around these technologies, organisations are largely still in the dark as to how they’ll develop next year. Predicting the future isn’t easy, but the following flashpoints will be areas to watch as we move into 2018.

1. Digital transformations will accelerate

Businesses have begun to understand the linkage between customer engagement and digital transformation. And in turn they’ve realised that using old infrastructure will not help them achieve this transformation.Therefore, more and more businesses will evolve their business models by fundamentally rethinking their data: how it is managed, how it is moved, and how it is presented to the customer.

>See also: 5 technology trends impacting the CFO in 2018

This fundamental rethink begins at the data infrastructure level, enabling the agility that will ultimately lead businesses to reach their digital transformation goals. The re-platforming of businesses’ database infrastructure to modern data platforms — platforms that allow fluidity of data movement and secure management from edge to cloud– will accelerate at an unprecedented pace.

2. Multi-cloud takes off

The cloud has matured from private to hybrid and now multi-cloud technology, which will become the de-facto standard for cloud architecture as companies seek to optimise workloads and avoid vendor lock-in.

>See also: The most disruptive enterprise technology trends of 2017

Modern data infrastructure will accompany the adoption of multi-cloud, as data security and integrity become mission-critical with data moving between clouds and an increasing number of touchpoints. No longer just a competitive advantage, multi-cloud will become the new cloud standard in 2018.

3. Edge computing

Cloud computing revolutionised virtualisation and ushered in the digital era, and now edge computing will bring those digital learnings back to hardware for applications that extend customer engagement in novel ways. Industrial IoT applications, sensors and VR-powered devices use edge computing to provide offline capabilities that deliver the seamless, real-time experiences modern users expect.

Data capabilities and chip technology are now advanced enough to support real-time compute at the edge, and 2018 will see organisations updating infrastructure to take advantage of the benefits of edge computing.

4. Laying the AI foundation

Today, AI is more of a trendy buzzword than practical reality, and it’s difficult to execute because AI is only as good as its data. Data integrity still varies within the enterprise, but the true implementation of AI is still a concept that will not come to fruition for a few years.

>See also: The biggest tech trends banks need to be aware of 

However, the early stages of machine learning applications in verticals such as advertising and retail have been laid down. In the years ahead, more industries, including industrial IoT, digital health and digital finance will begin taking advantage of machine learning within applications to provide more meaningful user experiences. Throughout this transformation, the database will play an instrumental role by accommodating rapidly-changing data at scale while keeping big data sets reliable and secure.

5. Secure by default takes precedence over ease of use in DevOps

DevSecOps – or the merging of security with DevOps – is rising in prominence to combat ever-present security vulnerabilities by incorporating preventative measures in the initial development stages.

There was previous tension between easy-to-use and secure by-default solutions, but security has become top of mind again for developers due to issues like GDPR compliance and increasing data regulations. As NoSQL gains prominence in the enterprise space and databases are filled with more customer data, built-in security will continue to become increasingly important.

6. Containing the database sprawl will be a mandate

One-trick technology solutions that solve singular customer problems will begin to peel away. To maintain a lasting business strategy, companies need to become a true partner for continual innovation rather than point solutions that fill niche issues.

>See also: The top 5 trends for digital transformation in 2018

The cost of integrating numerous solutions to a platform will not be worth the complexity and headache, and the businesses that provide one platform that fills multiple customer needs will thrive. Organisations need to adapt to customer expectations, and having an agile approach to technology will be the key differentiator.

7. Serverless architecture proliferates within organisations

As cloud technology has matured, serverless architecture has surfaced to compose reactive architectures that drive smaller, more efficient services.

Serverless architecture will constitute the next infrastructure overhaul at the application layer, especially as DevOps seeks to drive business value in new ways. 2018 will see serverless architecture spike in adoption, and new use cases will emerge to assemble – and disassemble – the stack in ways that haven’t been possible before.


Sourced by Ravi Maruyam, SVP Engineering and CTO, Couchbase

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...