Five technology predictions for 2016

Areas CA Technologies predicts will support IT’s evolving, customer-centric mission

Information technology as we know it today is dead. What was once a “keep the lights on” mission has evolved to a mission to get customers coming back for more. And it’s all driven by software.

With software now squarely at the center of the business, organizations are digitally transforming by embracing agile practices and new technologies that deliver innovations to market quickly and securely.

As organizations look to transform rapidly and at scale, here are the areas that CA Technologies predicts will drive the tech and business agenda in 2016.

1. For flexible, scalable development, bring in the containers

2016 will see at least one decades-old dream come true — the creating of component-based development, linked with agile, continuous development practices, that empowers organizations to transform at a more rapid pace than ever before.

The focus will be on smaller services, which can be deployed independently, delivering new features continuously. The days of waiting for entire applications to be revised are over.

Containers and microservices will provide more flexibility and scalability in the development process. They will transform the way developers build, deploy and upgrade applications and will accelerate the need for agile practices to stay ahead of changing market and customer demands.

Container proliferation, however, will drive the need for management and control much in the way that PCs did when they went mainstream. Areas such as security, network optimization, storage, and failover will need to be addressed as these feature-rich microservices deliver continuous upgrades multiple times per day.

Investments will need to be made to manage all this new complexity and to fulfill the full potential of the container trend.

2. “Agile security” gets in on the game

Security can no longer be an afterthought. It has to be baked into every aspect of application design, development and deployment.

Accelerating dev cycles means security must be in on the ground floor of any project or development process. Today’s breach rates, financial impact and board-level attention will demand security’s starring role.

For 2016, all roads lead to the emerging idea of “agile security.” Bringing security into the fold early, together with DevOps and agile practices, adds the much-needed third pillar to high-speed software development at scale.

In combination with the right tools, APIs simplify security challenges for developers, amplifying the impact of agile processes and ultimately driving trust and confidence as core components of the customer experience.

Modern security technology and development methodology can accelerate the creation of innovative applications while both leveraging and safeguarding existing sensitive data and assets.

3. Analytics everywhere will drive customer value

Over the years analytics has evolved from business intelligence to transactional and big data. Real-time analytics that enhance the customer experience by linking predictive insights to prescriptive actions will become the new normal.

In 2016, we enter an era where the “demographic of one” will enable organizations to personalize services, pricing, sales and products in real-time for the individual vs. larger segments.

Analytics will also drive better customer experiences by putting security that safeguards the customer in the background.  New analytics techniques will use behavior patterns and machine learning to help separate the real customers from the fraudsters and provide more seamless transactions and experiences.

Bottom line: analytics is most useful when applied to specific problems – not general ones. Big analytics packages that can crunch data endlessly looking for that needle in the haystack aren’t the answer.

Analytics isn’t ever going to be the solution to anything, but increasingly, it’s going to be part of the solution to everything.

4. IoT moves from the realm of interesting possibilities to the world of real applications

Although IoT, an element of digital transformation, is a high-potential technology, it’s still early days.  Analytics and security hold the key to driving more value for customers.

The multi-layering and hand-offs inherent in the IoT world create more vulnerabilities and attack points than ever before and increase the risk of conflict.  Conceptually, IoT is an elegant next wave, but under the surface is a lot of complexity that needs to be assessed and understood.

As IoT moves mainstream in 2016, the “identity of things” will be a major topic. Just as a person’s ID needs authenticating, the “identity” of a device and any data flow to it must be confirmed and trusted.

Tools, such as identity and access management (IAM) for IoT or IoT interaction tables (similar to drug interaction tables that doctors and pharmacists use with prescription medication), are needed to ensure we’re engaging with the right “things” and they are not conflicting, negating, or duplicating themselves in the environment.

As IoT sensors and smart devices proliferate and interact with us in critical areas, such as the healthcare and automotive industries, they will help simplify — and maybe even save — our lives and improve customer experiences.

5. Blockchain finds its footing

The surprise of 2016 will be the resurgence of blockchain technology and its refinement to where it can truly find a home outside of the Bitcoin transaction ledger.

Blockchain was a key word in many startups two years ago and it’s poised for renewal when you look at the predicted increase in IoT and the need to engage securely among devices and have a record of those engagements.

A technology, like blockchain, that relies on a network of computers and has privacy at its core will be an important enabler of IoT and any organization’s digital transformation as it further streamlines operations for greater agility and customer responsiveness.

Blockchain will have to overcome its “guilt by association” with the Bitcoin problems, but the capability exists for it to become the storage of choice for sensors and IoT in general.

Software is the agent of change

Businesses have the potential in 2016 to exceed customer expectations on every level by living agile practices and digitally transforming their operations.

Whether it’s these five technology areas or something entirely different, finding a partner who has experience working with complexity and heterogeneity at scale will be key.

CA Technologies continues to innovate for its customers against this sweeping backdrop of technological and business transformation.

Business ideas made real at speeds unimaginable five years ago will enable clear winners who will trade on their momentum to become the new leaders in their domain.  All this is made possible by treating software as the vital agent of change it has become in this new world.

 


Otto Berkes
Otto Berkes is the Chief Technology Officer at CA Technologies. He is responsible for technical…

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