The year 2016 was a good year for emergent technologies like Blockchains, AI, internet of things (IoT). And now, according to IT industry analyst firm CompTIA, the year 2017 is only going to be better.
Well, if you thought it is all going to be good in the tech world, here’s a catch. While CompTIA in its IT Industry Outlook 2017 does say that the emergent technologies are going to have a good run in coming years, it also mentions that these technologies will be facing a strong opposition from some of the most oldest and pervasive problems of the industry: less inclination towards security issues, lack of qualified people, and whether or not they represent solutions still looking out for a good problem.
According to CompTIA, the emergent technologies of the coming years will include software-defined components, which are the enablers of “hyperconverged infrastructure”, blockchain technology, and machine learning/artificial intelligence. The firm’s IT Industry Outlook 2017 also mentions that as with the cloud environments most of these emergent technologies will grow in, they’re “primarily focused on the back end, and [we] will see initial adoption at the enterprise level before moving downstream into the SMB space.”
One of the most difficult problems would be funding out where all these could efficiently be used. Bitcoin, which was blockchain’s first and original brand application, has now emerged out to be only one of the various uses of the innovative tech, with tamper-proof databases and automated contracts also figuring out on the same list. Currently, blockchain is a hot deal in the tech market with technology biggies like Microsoft and IBM making use of it for various purposes. When we talk about small businesses, the tech is being mostly used by small tech companies in things that they already know about (eg: databases), and not necessarily on fully new applications.
While most of us believe that machine learning and AI have already achieved a lot and are currently being used in various different kinds of applications, but CompTIA believes it has potential to offer much more. According to it, machine learning and AI “will provide a new layer for technology interaction.” This means, AI still has the potential to massively enhance the utility of any given tech.
Internet of Things, which has been hailed as a game-changing tech since its inception, also earned itself a mention in CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2017, but unfortunately it came along with a lot of caveats. According to the analysis, “The complexity of IoT and the regulations and protocols required for integration will drive a long adoption cycle.” When this is combined with security/privacy threats, a patchwork of competing standards, and a lack of good expertise–it gives us all the reasons that why IoT has always been a game changer on paper but we haven’t seen anything dramatically game-changing happening in real life.
Another big hurdle being faced by emergent technologies is the lack of good expertise. The CompTIA analysis finds out that all the emergent technologies have a hard time in finding the right people with the right skills. “Finding workers with expertise in emerging tech fields” acquired the top place on the firm’s report on list of “factors contributing to a more challenging hiring landscape in 2017.” The second and third rank were acquired by “insufficient pool of talent in locale” and “competing with other tech firms.”
CompTIA’s report also has a list on “emerging job titles to watch for” in the coming years which has numerous AI and data-centric specializations: data visualizers, AI/machine learning architect, chief data officer, and data architect. The report also mentions about how the “cloud services engineer” title could be expanded to include ML/AI, as cloud platforms have a lot more to offer. While grasping machine learning is getting much easier because if such services, but they still need knowledgeable developers to extract most out of them.
CompTIA’s list also reflects the firm’s strong belief that many of the technologies that have already hit prominence still suffer from lack of manpower. For instance, Data visualization is not something new, but the way in which data is being accumulated and analyzed in the company– and the whole army of new tools available — has led to analytics gaining a whole new importance and an urgent requirement for data visualization experts.
Security is another major skill set that finds a mention on CompTIA’s list. “Information assurance analyst/security auditor”, “computer security incident responder,” and “risk management specialist” all are visible on CompTIA’s list, showing that the firm believes that security for enterprises and small businesses will be getting worse before it sets on the path to get better.
The report also mentions though as bad as “headline-making breaches” of the past few years have been, big enterprises have still been successful in shrugging of their costs, and based on it analysis, the firm believes any event that “creates a tipping point will need to have greater consequences before there is a broad shift in transforming security technology, processes, and education.”
According to CompTIA, one of the many reasons that tech biggies go on playing a catchup game on technology moves when it comes to security, is the disproportionate distribution and the diverse affects that security breaches can cause. For instance, the growth of healthcare firms has crippled heavily by attacks because of the heavy payoffs involved.
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