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Dell Boomi 2017 Predictions: A glimpse into the future of business and personal technology

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Michael Morton, Chief Technology Officer of Dell Boomi

A glimpse into the future of business and personal technology

1.      Voice Commands for Business

Last year I discussed the anticipated increase in the use of voice and body gestures to accomplish tasks. During the course of 2016, you saw a lot of media exposure and a rapidly growing ecosystem around the Amazon Echo, then the release by Apple of SiriKit, and the availability of Google Home. There is a subtle situation happening here as to why until now the majority of investments in the voice space has been targeting the consumer market. One way to increase the odds of a technology being adopted and trusted by a business is to first evolve it in the consumer space. This is precisely what is happening and most people don't even realize it. As more people evolve with voice devices in the home, there will be a natural extension to want to accomplish more and more activities via voice in the workplace, or on-the-go. In 2017, we'll begin to see voice enablement take off for business purposes.

For example, let's say I'm a salesperson on the road, and I want to see a list of customers in a five-mile radius who are up for renewal over the next three months. If I can get this information right away, perhaps I can set up useful face-to-face meetings. Thanks to real-time, cloud-based data integration, instead of manually interfacing with an application, or even worse, calling the office and having a sales assistant run a report, what if I can just speak the command into my phone? Additionally, making this even more efficient through intelligent integration: I don't have to explain where I am since the geolocation is automatically incorporated into the search. I don't have to explain my role since the system knows who I am. I also don't have some cumbersome login because I'm already authenticated in via my phone through my fingerprint reader. Seconds later, I receive a list of my sales contacts via email, complete with the contact information I need to begin making calls.

2.      Integration Conductor of Intelligence

Another area that has evolved greatly over the past year is applications offering intelligent services. For example, we've seen the introduction of Salesforce Einstein, which provides predictions and recommendations based on correlations across customer relationship management (CRM), email, calendar, social, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and IoT data. Then we have also seen SaaS applications providing increasingly richer capabilities to emit events for situations to client applications authorized to listen. An example of this is SuccessFactors Intelligent Services. Now taking the broader view, event enablement is spanning across numerous types of SaaS applications: CRM, ERP, human capital management (HCM), social media, messaging, software development lifecycle, content management, and on and on. What we will see in 2017 is a shift by integration platforms from providing transactional data integrations to the orchestration and logical decisions of integrations based on events from a very broad and diverse landscape of applications. This will form the basis for much higher-level, intelligent integrations.

3.      Solving the Challenge of IoT itself

There is no denying that the internet of things (IoT) craze continues. Although many IoT concepts are not necessarily new, it is really the latest generation of networks, devices, and vendor solutions that provide new value opportunities. Businesses are now making progress on defining their IoT strategies, and many are successfully deploying solutions. For 2017, we will start to see a shift from business challenges being solved via IoT, to having to solve more and more IoT challenges.

IoT can be viewed as a living ecosystem of devices, events, and data. There is a natural inclination for businesses to first identify and solve a specific challenge, such as the monitoring and controlling the HVAC of a building to be more efficient. Depending on the scale of such a solution, including the number of buildings, number of devices, amount of data, anomalies to overcome, etc., this is very challenging in itself. In any commercial setting, there will be multiple specialized IoT deployments that are solving specific challenges that mostly depend on their own devices, events, and data. IoT will evolve not only to have multiples of these specialized ecosystems, for example a building's HVAC, security, robotics, etc., but also to support building relationships for the purpose of correlating situations across these ecosystems. This will now present a new level of unanticipated, diverse, and broad challenges. Examples of this include an unpredicted outcome by the security system from the motion sensor on an HVAC panel and an unforeseen data model change from one vendor that throws an unrealized dependent ecosystem into complete chaos due to bad or missing data.

In 2017, with more IoT deployments, ecosystems getting larger, and new value relationships formed from a mesh of ecosystems, we will see a new level of technology challenges that will need to be solved.

4.      Data Privacy - Who Cares?

From both technology and people of the Z generation, we are seeing some very interesting data privacy considerations emerge.  First let's take technology. With the proliferation of devices being used by people for mobile and home, there is an abundance of data being produced about "you." Whether it be your mobile phone, car, thermostat, security system, garage door, sprinkler system, home lighting, flying your drone, fitness tracker, etc., all of this data is being collected and kept by the providing vendors of your devices. Imagine what can be learned of your habits with the aggregate of all your data. What are your rights to this data?

We already know that many data privacy regulations have emerged in regard to healthcare, but what about all of the data from these new sources? Will insurance companies leverage these new sources of data by purchasing the rights from device vendors in order to determine your insurance premiums? Will your home owner's insurance premiums be determined by your security system usage, by your garage doors not being closed when you are not detected home, by your outside lights coming on at dusk, etc.? We know there are insurance companies that are determining your auto insurance premiums by volunteering your car's monitored data, but what about all of these new sources?

Where this becomes very interesting is the sensitivity to data privacy based on your generation. The gen-Z population would rather have the opportunity to influence the price they pay for services than being sensitive about data privacy since they are growing up in a world, in their mind, of data openness. This is in contrast to gen Xers and baby boomers who place a high value on their data privacy and would prefer not to feel personally monitored and indirectly chastised for the way they live.

In 2017, there will emerge at least one new unexpected side effect of a company gaining access and leveraging data produced by a personal device. This may be challenging to detect, but this is what social media is for. This will undoubtedly stimulate discussions for new regulations in the coming year.


About the Author

Michael Morton is the Chief Technology Officer of Dell Boomi, where he drives product direction and innovation. He has been leading and producing a wide range of enterprise IT solutions for over 25 years. Prior to joining Dell Boomi in 2013, Michael had an impressive career with IBM, where he became an IBM Master Inventor and worked directly with a number of Fortune 100 Companies. He was a founding developer and Chief Architect of IBM WebSphere Application Server, providing architecture leadership on the IBM InfoSphere data integration and IBM Tivoli systems management family of products. Michael's experiences have allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the complexities and challenges that enterprise customers face when modernizing while attempting to remain competitive in their industry. Michael earned a B.S. in Computer Science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and an M.S. in Computer Science degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.  

Michael Morton 

Published Monday, January 09, 2017 9:02 AM by David Marshall
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