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Industry leaders suggest Tech Trends in 2018

December 26 2017: On the threshold of 2018, we bring, key industry views on the shape of technology in the new year. Contributors include Adobe, Xerox, ServiceNow, NetApp, Cognizant,  Zoho & Solutions Infini
Ritesh Gandotra, Director, Global Document Outsourcing, Xerox India
Technologies such as blockchain, IOT, artificial intelligence, cloud etc will be the game changers for the year 2018. These disparate technologies will integrate in the year ahead to create extremely practical business solutions.
There was a massive boost in the number of connected devices  in 12017, which is likely to grow even more in the upcoming year. Facets of AI such as Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation are expected to evolve in 2018. AI will help organizations to achieve higher customer satisfaction levels - with chatbots likely to emerge as the key differentiating factor for enterprises to keep that crucial connect with their customers & remain engaged. With the innovations of today providing just a small glimpse into future advancements, the robotics industry will rise in 2018 – especially with increased adoption in military and healthcare space.
Blockchain-enabled solutions have the potential to bridge the gaps of device data interoperability while ensuring security, privacy and reliability. This is due to Blockchain’s ability to re-engineer transparency, trust and security in the wake of recent cyberattacks, an increased adoption of the technology has been noted in the Indian BFSI and many other sectors.
The rise of 3D printing is likely to lead to re-invention of many old products, as well as the  introduction of extraordinary new innovations. I believe 3D printing, is on track to move beyond a mere emerging technology into a truly transformative one.

 Edgar Dias, Managing Director, ServiceNow India
We live in a world where security is about giving the access of right content to the right user. There is a growing need for every organization to adopt serious measures to combat security threats and maintain a balance between protect and response measures more proactively rather than reactive. Improvement in technology will come only through increased awareness amongst businesses and organizations. ”
Top security trends to watch in 2018:
 1: Security “Haves” and “Have-nots” emerge. In 2018, we will see security Haves and Have-nots emerge between those that begin to automate this research portion of security response and those that don’t. Companies with the tools and culture to embrace automation, and put technology to work for real business enablement, will perform better than those that don’t.
2: Security gains a seat in the boardroom. Security programs are about tradeoffs and minimizing risk. To achieve greater success, security teams need to better articulate those tradeoffs by putting the risk and material consequences into business terms, fundamentally bringing security into their business strategy. CISOs need to help executives and board members understand the ROI, cost-benefit analysis, and security program tradeoffs by articulating the business risk versus business value.The boardroom needs to take a step toward security, and security operations needs to take two steps toward the boardroom. Bridging the knowledge gap between security leadership and the board provides the framework to ensure effective security by helping all parties assess the risks and decide how to mitigate them.
3: A breach enters our physical lives. In 2018, we will see a breach impact our physical, personal lives. It might be a medical device or wearable that is hacked and remotely controlled.  Perhaps it will be an industrial IoT device or self-driving car that gets compromised.  Or something closer to home – literally. 
4: Framework for data protection in India.There are discussions around a co-regulatory approach that will involve the government and industry experts for governance of data protection in India. 
A recent paper released on ‘data protection framework for India’ by a government-appointed committee of experts will draft a law based on seven principles — technology agnosticism, holistic application, informed consent, data minimization, controller accountability, structured enforcement and deterrent penalties. One critical element in the paper is that it stated the definition of personal data which ascertains the zone of informational privacy guaranteed by a data protection legislation.

Sridhar Iyengar, Vice President, ManageEngine – Division of Zoho Corp
1. 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. 
2. Rise of AI-powered chatbots in customer service and support. 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.
3. Use of natural language processing as a new form of human-computer interfaceBusiness users are eager to have computers understand natural language. 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.
4. Tightening of data protection laws. 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. Most recent example of this is Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While some countries like India are also coming up with data protection frameworks, others will enhance their current data protection framework.
5. Continuation of cloud adoption in mid-sized & larger enterprises. Cloud is a mindset. And governments and larger enterprises have been slower to adopt that mindset Overall, the larger enterprises are finally becoming comfortable and confident with cloud security and the cloud itself. Governments are also taking the steps to putting out citizen-facing non-sensitive data and applications on the cloud.
6. 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. In 2018, we’ll like start seeing blockchain adoption in areas such as banking, financial services, and health care.

Manish Bahl, Senior Director, Centre for the Future of Work, Cognizant
As we enter 2018, ‘digital’, ‘big data’, ‘artificial intelligence’, ‘automation’, and ‘machine learning’ have become more than just buzzwords. They are increasingly shaping the future of work and jobs. Despite high concerns about humans losing their jobs to automation — a concern that has existed since the dawn of the industrial age — the fact remains that the future of jobs has never been brighter. The reason for this optimism stems from a holistic view of the latest trends in today’s machine age, and it is based on sound logic. There are still many qualities of the human mind that a machine cannot match. This establishes the ingenuity and indispensability of humans in performing jobs, many of which will evolve, enabled by technology.Though work changes, it does not go away. Based on major macroeconomic, political, demographic, societal, cultural, business and technology trends observable today, we have envisioned a set of 21 hitherto unimaginable jobs that would provide sustainable employment to scores of people in the coming decade. And the foundation may well be laid in 2018.
Job descriptions such as walker/talker, fitness commitment counsellor, digital tailor, ethical sourcing manager, AI business development manager, man-machine teaming manager and bring-your-own IT facilitator are among the low-to-mid tech jobs that are expected to be on the HR’s radar in the coming five years. Virtual store Sherpa, highway controller and personal memory curator are also expected to come into vogue in the latter part of the decade.
Jobs such as master of edge computing, data detective, quantum machine learning analyst, AI-assisted healthcare technician, cyber city analyst, chief trust officer, financial wellness coach, genomic portfolio director, augmented reality journey builder and genetic diversity officer would become a reality in the next five years.
All these jobs would share the common theme of 3Cs: Coaching, Caring and Connecting: Coaching being the human ability to help others get better at life, Caring being the human endeavour of improving people’s health, and Connecting being the intellectual leverage only humans can bring in connecting man with machine, traditional with shadow IT, physical with virtual, and most importantly, commerce with ethics.
The year 2018 will be a crucial year in furthering this vision of the future of jobs based on a deep understanding of how humans evolve through change. Work has always changed, and will continue to change. The current work that is tedious and repetitive will get automated. Machines will need humans — always. It would be naïve to underestimate human imagination or ingenuity. And while technology will upgrade all aspects of the society, it will not only solve, but also create new problems, which again would require humans.

Mark Bregman, Chief Technology Officer, NetApp
1: Data becomes self-aware.
Today, we have processes that act on data and determine how it’s moved, managed and protected. But what if the data defined itself instead?    As data becomes self-aware and even more diverse than it is today, the metadata will make it possible for the data to proactively transport, categorize, analyze and protect itself. The flow between data, applications and storage elements will be mapped in real time as the data delivers the exact information a user needs at the exact time they need it. This also introduces the ability for data to self-govern. The data itself will determine who has the right to access, share and use it, which could have wider implications for external data protection, privacy, governance and sovereignty.
2: Virtual machines become “rideshare” machines. It will be faster, cheaper and more convenient to manage increasingly distributed data using virtual machines, provisioned on This can be thought of in terms of buying a car versus leasing one or using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft. If you are someone that hauls heavy loads every day, it would make sense for you to buy a truck. However, someone else may only need a certain kind of vehicle for a set period of time, making it more practical to lease. And then, there are those who only need a vehicle to get them from point A to point B, one time only: the type of vehicle doesn’t matter, just speed and convenience, so a rideshare service the best option.
3: Data will grow faster than the ability to transport it... and that’s OK!  It’s no secret that data has become incredibly dynamic and is being generated at an unprecedented rate that will greatly exceed the ability to transport it. However, instead of moving the data, the applications and resources needed to process it will be moved to the data and that has implications for new architectures like edge, core, and cloud. In the future, the amount of data ingested in the core will always be less than the amount generated at the edge, but this won’t happen by accident. It must be enabled very deliberately to ensure that the right data is being retained for later decision making.
Evolving from “Big Data” to “Huge Data” will demand new solid state-driven architectures. As the demand to analyze enormous sets of data ever more rapidly increases, we need to move the data closer to the compute resource. Persistent memory is what will allow ultra-low latency computing without data loss; and these latency demands will finally force software architectures to change and create new data driven opportunities for businesses. Flash technology has been a hot topic in the industry, however, the software being run on it didn’t really change, it just got faster.
5: Emergence of decentralized immutable mechanisms for managing data. Mechanisms to manage data in a trustworthy, immutable and truly distributed way (meaning no central authority) will emerge and have a profound impact on the data center. Blockchain is a prime example of this.  Decentralized mechanisms like blockchain challenge the traditional sense of data protection and management. Because there is no central point of control, such as a centralized server, it is impossible to change or delete information contained on a blockchain and all transactions are irreversible. 

Anil Valluri, President, NetApp India & SAARC 
 Today, digital transformation is the key to success for enterprises, SMBs and start-ups. At the centre of this transformation is data making data management the prime focus for a company’s IT strategy.  As data becomes self-aware and diverse than it is today, the metadata will make it possible for the data to proactively transport, categorize, analyse and protect itself in coming years. With data becoming incredibly dynamic and the ability to transport it is getting more and more challenging, the applications and resources needed to process it need to be equally efficient. This will have implications on new architectures like edge, core, and cloud. At NetApp, our aim is to enable every customer to unleash their data’s full potential.

Aniketh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of Solutions Infini  
With respect to technology and process implementation, automation plays a key role in the way a business functions. This extraordinary progress in automating the business process across various domains is fueling massive advances towards a revolutionary growth. Most affordable and usable services are pitching in, making the lives of millions easier. There’s no surprise in the fact that ‘Telecommunications as a service’ is going to bring notable progress to businesses. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning sound to be promising technology trends; however the infrastructure and maintenance costs are going to be the key deciding factors for their implementation, especially in startups and SMEs. It’s also just the beginning for “FinTech” services, as more financial corporations are looking ahead for automated blockchain technologies in their industry processes.
Communication platforms are just the way forward for businesses. With interactions becoming smarter day by day, platforms like “Whatsapp” are surging ahead into the marketplaces, paving way for business communication. Undisputedly, Whatsapp has been the facilitator of communication for over 1 billion users across the globe. However, the challenge of adopting “Whatsapp for businesses” still remains a huge challenge.

Shanmugh Natarajan, Managing Director - Adobe India & Vice President – Products:
2017 witnessed India transition into the second wave of digitization with initiatives like Aadhar integration, eKYC, adoption of digital signatures, etc. Benefitting from the digital maturity infused by these initiatives, India is steadily evolving into an ‘Experience Economy’. Housing the world’s youngest millennial population, the need for personalized and seamless experiences in India is levitating. The competency of delivering compelling digital experiences is now a key barometer of success for progressive businesses. As the creators of revolutionary innovations like Photoshop and PDF, Adobe has set the standard for modern day ‘Experience Business’. Our mission of changing the world through digital experiences stands more relevant today than ever before! Advancements in new age disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, etc. are now being looked upon as value propositions by businesses. This is fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation, design thinking and is augmenting India’s evolving R&D prowess.