Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017. Read them in this 9th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed by Colin Earl, CEO at Agiloft
Business Users Gain Control of Enterprise Software
The past year has been a milestone one in the enterprise
software world. Machine learning and AI have taken significant steps forward
and adoption of these technologies by new and established companies is changing
the way services are delivered. In addition, low-code and no-code software has
come into the limelight as a way to reduce the burden on IT for software that
requires frequent changes. Watch out for these and additional trends in 2017:
- A power
shift to enterprise business users - Like never before, business users are
shifting control of software buying away from vendor sales and marketing
departments by creating their own communities for review and collaboration.
Where companies once looked to industry analyst firms or consultants to
recommend services, businesses can go directly to their colleagues on sites such
as Capterra, G2Crowd and TrustRadius to get a real account of deployments on an
- Software accelerates
with automation - In a global environment, businesses
are dynamically shifting and adapting to market changes. With the advent
of low-code and no-code software, businesses are finding it possible to
configure applications such as contract management or service desk to
their unique requirements in the space of a few weeks. These can now be
configured in about as much time as people take to build their Facebook
pages. Today, the resulting systems are primarily operated by human staff.
Over the next decade they will evolve to highly optimized automation
driven primarily by artificial intelligence and deep learning.
- Insourcing development
back to the U.S - While outsourcing manufacturing,
engineering and development are trends long underway, a new wave is rising
- insourcing. In manufacturing, some activities have been outsourced to
southeast Asia and then insourced back to North America, but with some
significant differences. Instead of relying on human-based production
lines, the new manufacturing is about robotics and connected devices. In
the same way, no-code/low-code software platforms will change the focus
for developers within businesses. Manual coding can be automated, but not
system design or partner and customer negotiations. In the coming years,
development will be sourced increasingly "in-house," but focus on
higher-level, strategic activities.
- Artificial intelligence takes flight - AI is great at solving "bounded" problems such as creating
a chess-playing bot. The rules are well-defined and there is a large, but
set number of permutations or moves available. A less bounded problem is that
presented by a self-driving car near a primary school during rush hour. AI
will continue to expand incrementally into more unbounded applications,
but it will take time for deep learning to catch up to human quality in
these complex scenarios. In the next year, we will see AI creep into our
daily lives to bring automation to more "human" activities. Hitting an
Amazon button to reorder laundry detergent is just the beginning.
- Will the true Internet of Things emerge? -
Today, we don't see a true internet of things. What exists now is a loose
set of connections and a range of emerging standards. For example, there
is a huge number of personal health tracker devices on the market, but
they're not driving your daily grocery list. Imagine if your health
trackers could tell if you were calcium-deficient and add a supplement to
your shopping list. The IoT is making traction in niche areas and services,
such as driving (Waze), dating (Tinder), or ride sharing (Uber), but not
emerging as the unified web that it may someday become. In 2017, we expect
to see some of these niche areas becoming connected to each other to bring
more value to consumers.
About the Author
Colin Earl is CEO and founder
of Agiloft. He is a software industry veteran with over 25 years of experience
as a developer, product manager and CIO. Colin worked at IBM, General Electric
and three startups before founding Agiloft in 1991. His vision was to
accelerate the building and deployment of enterprise business applications by
removing the need for custom coding. To learn more, follow us on Twitter.