Top 6 Technology Trends to Watch in 2018
January 18, 2018

Sridhar Iyengar
ManageEngine

Share this

Making predictions is always a gamble. But given the way 2017 played out and the way 2018 is shaping up, odds are that the technology trends discussed below will play a significant role in your IT department this year.

Growing use of artificial intelligence, machine learning with data analytics, and business intelligence

Business applications continue to churn out large volumes of data, and users are trying to mine that data to determine patterns and predict user behavior. In ecommerce, users want to know customers' buying patterns, which will help market products better. Website designers want to understand how visitors move through their sites in order to improve conversion rates. And companies want to analyze their sales data to correlate marketing dollars spent with sales dollars generated.

Business intelligence and data analytics activities are becoming easier to perform, and that's driving their adoption in mainstream businesses that are seeking to make better, faster decisions.

Rise of AI-powered chatbots in customer service and support

Over the past few years, chatbots — the automated, human-like chat responders — have been more of an experiment, with limited adoption. Now, chatbots are becoming more mainstream as people see the benefits of those experiments, especially in customer service and support.

AI-powered chatbots are learning how to respond to customers and predict what they want

Unlike human customer service and support reps, chatbots don't have the physical and mental inconsistencies that can degrade service levels. Moreover, AI-powered chatbots are learning how to respond to customers and predict what they want. Based on customer history or questions customers ask during a chat session, AI-powered chatbots can ask users what they need and even ask leading questions, all to improve the support experience.

Use of natural language processing as a new form of human-computer interface

"Star Trek" fans aren't the only ones who've been waiting for this prediction to manifest. Business users, too, are eager to have computers understand natural language.

Take a sales manager who wants to generate a quarterly report. If the manager has to ask for it from an analytics specialist, the manager has to explain what she's looking for and hope the specialist accurately translates her request into something the computer can process in order to generate the information she wants. Natural language processing bypasses the analytics specialist and lets the manager work with a computer directly via speech. In response, the computer may generate a visual or auditory response, depending on the manager's preference.

Tightening of data protection laws

Everything is heading toward digitization. Every business process, every technology, everything done with information — from storing, transmitting and processing it — it's all in digital form. Now, a lot of countries are recognizing that their citizens' personal data needs to be protected.

In addition, they're recognizing that users have to opt-in to these digital relationships, and they have to know the reason their personal data is being provided to a data process or data consumer and know what the consumer will do with their data.

Tighter data protection laws are designed to secure their citizens' privacy as well as prevent data abuse and outright criminal activity such as fraud or theft. The most recent example of this is the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While some countries like India are also coming up with data protection frameworks, others will enhance their existing framework.

Continuation of cloud adoption in mid-sized and larger enterprises

Cloud is a mindset. Governments and larger enterprises have been slower to adopt that mindset, preferring a private cloud/private data center strategy as a starting point. Now, the biggest barriers to their cloud adoption — security and data privacy risks — are well understood and processes and mechanisms have been put in place to mitigate them. Enterprises now also recognize that most cloud companies invest heavily in the security of their cloud infrastructure, platforms and cloud applications. And they recognize that, in most cases, the security teams of the cloud companies are much larger and much more experienced than their own.

Overall, the larger enterprises are finally becoming comfortable and confident with cloud security and the cloud itself. Governments are also taking the steps to put citizen-facing, non-sensitive data and applications on the cloud.

Use of blockchain in enterprise security for identity management

Blockchain provides a distributed, secure and unique system of records, so you can have a strongly encrypted authentication mechanism that prevents malicious users from breaking in. This makes it a great choice in terms of enterprise security, especially for an identity access management system, which manages user logins and authentication.

In 2018, we'll likely start seeing blockchain adoption in areas such as banking, financial services and healthcare.

Sridhar Iyengar is VP, Product Management, at ManageEngine
Share this

The Latest

November 16, 2018

Everyone talks about automating the software development lifecycle (SDLC) but the first question should be: What should you automate? With this question in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what steps in the SDLC should be automated ...

November 15, 2018

We all know artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic — but beyond the buzzword, have you ever wondered how IT departments are actually adopting AI technologies to improve on their operations? ...

November 14, 2018

How can IT teams focus on the critical events that can impact their business instead of wading through false positives? The emerging discipline of AIOps is a much-needed panacea for detecting patterns, identifying anomalies, and making sense of alerts across hybrid infrastructure ...

November 09, 2018

In a recent webinar AIOps and IT Analytics at the Crossroads, I was asked several times about the borderline between AIOps and monitoring tools — most particularly application performance monitoring (APM) capabilities. The general direction of the questions was — how are they different? Do you need AIOps if you have APM already? Why should I invest in both? ...

November 08, 2018

There's no place like the web and smartphones for the holidays. With the biggest shopping season of the year quickly approaching, retailers are gearing up to experience the most traffic their online platforms (web, mobile, IoT) have ever seen. To avoid missing out on millions this holiday season, below are the top five ways developers can keep their apps and websites up and running without a hitch ...

November 07, 2018

Usage data is multifaceted, with many diverse benefits. Harvesting usage-driven insights effectively requires both good foundational technology and a nimbleness of mind to unify insights across IT's many silos of domains and disciplines. Because of this, leveraging usage-driven insights can in itself become a catalyst for helping IT as a whole transform toward improved efficiencies and enhanced levels of business alignment ...

November 06, 2018

The requirements to maintain the complete availability and superior performance of your mission-critical workloads is a dynamic process that has never been more challenging. Here are five ways IT teams can measure and guarantee performance-based SLAs in order to increase the value of the infrastructure to the business, and ensure optimal digital performance levels ...

November 05, 2018

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 5, the final installment, offers some recommendations you may not have thought about ...

November 02, 2018

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 4 covers the infrastructure, including the cloud and the network ...

November 01, 2018

APMdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on what IT departments should be monitoring to ensure digital performance. Part 3 covers the development side ...