Major Business and IT Trends to Watch in 2016

It’s no secret that IT is advancing at a furious rate. Keeping up with the constant changes is nothing short of daunting. Although the imprint of IT is everywhere, here’s a look at four strategic areas that promise to most heavily define 2016:

Security Everywhere. Let’s face it, current approaches to cyber-security are completely broken. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reported a record 732 data breaches involving more than 176 million records through Dec. 9, 2015. Meanwhile, a Ponemon Institute study noted that 35 percent of surveyed organizations are certain they have been the victim of a nation-state attack. The upshot? Organizations must adopt a multilayered approach and look at next-generation tools such as AI and deep learning along with a greater use of open-source intelligence. Anything less is a fool’s game.

Drones Mean Business. Although Amazon and FedEx have both looked into the feasibility of drones for package delivery, the reality is that the technology is already flying into the business world. They’re being used to film movies and ads for the likes of American Express, Apple, Audi, Chrysler, Nike, and Warner Brothers. They’re also being used for industries as diverse as agriculture, insurance and construction. The FAA has already granted more than 2,500 exemptions and final regulations will be in place in 2016. Market research firm Radiant Insights predicts that the overall global commercial drone market will exceed $2 billion by 2022.

The IoT Goes Mainstream. In recent months, hype over the Internet of things (IoT) has been nothing short of incredible. In fact, it’s difficult to pick up a publication or head to a conference without hearing the term uttered incessantly. But, make no mistake, the IoT is real and it’s already shaping the the business world—and the future of the enterprise. The convergence of mobility, clouds and big data, along with marked advances in sensors and machine-to-machine communication, will rapidly lead to a connected world and the next stage of digital disruption.

Big Data Gets Real. Organizations have been struggling to get a handle on big data and analytics. In many cases, they’ve whiffed at opportunities and wound up with less than stellar results. However, the advent of Hadoop and other open-source tools combined with marked advances in analytics tools from major players and upstarts—in many cases through the cloud—are introducing very real opportunities for CIOs and others who can spot them and plug in the right data—and the right data scientists—for the task.

Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard writes about business, technology and other topics. His book, The Internet of Things (MIT Press) was released in the spring of 2015.

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