The smart machines theme describes how information of everything is developing to extract greater meaning from a rapidly expanding set of sources.
Our top 10 strategic technology trends for 2016 fall into three groupings (see Figure 1) that are mutually reinforcing with amplified disruptive characteristics. The digital mesh revolves around three key trends that are bringing the virtual and physical worlds together and driving the expansion of digital business.
Three distinct trends are intimately linked in the smart machines theme. They represent an evolution in how systems deal with data, and the machines and people that create and consume this data, culminating in intelligence everywhere:
- Trend 4: Information of everything. Massive amounts of data from traditional systems, cloud sources and the IoT create an overload that must be addressed by more-advanced analytics integrated into the fabric of applications, business processes and routine user activities. In “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016: Information of Everything,” we examine the implications and opportunities arising from the massive increase in the volume, velocity and variety of information. We also discuss the implications for advanced analytics and data science.
- Trend 5: Advanced machine learning. Machine learning enables computers to act without being explicitly programmed. 9 Massive amounts of data, unprecedented advances in machine-learning algorithms and new hardware platforms delivering massively parallel compute power are accelerating machine learning. In “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016: Advanced Machine Learning,” we analyze the rapid evolution of machine learning as the next step in data science and the foundation for creating smart machines and the algorithmic economy.
- Trend 6: Autonomous agents and things. Businesses and IT leaders have a broad range of opportunities to exploit machine learning. These opportunities offer the potential to deliver autonomous and semiautonomous agents and things, including robots, autonomous vehicles, smart vision systems, virtual customer assistants, smart agents and natural-language processing. Even everyday objects such as a stethoscope and enterprise software such as CRM systems or security tools increasingly have a smart and autonomous aspect. In “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016: Autonomous Agents and Things,” we look at how information of everything and advanced machine-learning algorithms, supported by advanced system architectures, are leading to more intelligent software and hardware-based solutions. These are creating new market segments and enhancing existing ones.
By using a structured approach to evaluate disruptive technologies, enterprise architects can take advantage of this leading EA technique to help their organizations seize opportunities, while reducing the risks of adoption. The landscape of disruptive technology trends is complex, and not all trends will be equally important to every organization. To be successful, organizations must use enterprise architecture and take a structured — yet flexible and iterative — approach. This will enable them to quickly identify the disruptive trends they must investigate, analyze their impact on the organization and deliver actionable recommendations that drive change.