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Dell Boomi 2018 Predictions: Technology changing our culture and relationships

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Michael Morton, Chief Technology Officer of Dell Boomi

2018 Prediction Watch List: Technology changing our culture and relationships

Just say it!

Last year I predicted that voice enablement would make inroads into business environments. This is now coming true with the introduction of Amazon's Alexa for Business in 2017, and I am certain that other vendors are not that far behind. It was inevitable that after proving and gaining experience, first by targeting consumers in the home, that there was going to be a natural extension of the use of this technology into business environments such as the office and mobile employees.

In 2018, you will continue to see voice command and control increasingly becoming part of our culture of living. We will still be talking about voice for home and voice for business, but there will be a shift to talking about voice for anything. We will certainly see a surge of new voice skills being developed for business environments. Whether that be something simple like voice skills for calendar manipulations while in the office, or voice enablement for taking inventory in a retail or warehouse setting. Additionally, you will see new security features for voice in business, like the use of voice recognition.

We, of course, will continue to see the flood of voice skills for home users, especially as the market continues to explode with internet connected devices for the home. But, as part of this shift to voice for anything, will we witness a trend of using voice in other new settings. For example, it has already been announced that BMW will add Amazon Alexa to some of their cars in 2018. Now we'll learn what voice skills BMW will introduce. It could initially be voice commands for controlling functions like the windshield wipers, turn signals, garage doors, directions, etc., but this will evolve over time as regulations permit and it will eventually become second nature and to be expected. Will we see voice enablement in cars to order items off of Amazon while driving or to order a pizza? We could even experience the introduction of voice for finding items in a home improvement or grocery story or at an ATM for performing a financial transaction.

What do your devices say about you?

With the vast increase in types and uses of connected devices, personal data is being constantly collected. The more data that is being collected, whether that be a sustained long-term collection of data being produced from one device associated with you, or the aggregation of data being produced from multiple devices, a lot can be deduced about how you live. Even more thought-provoking is that with the proliferation of voice assistants, these are not only recording your voice commands history, but they are always listening in general. Any idea if all the sounds of your home, or business, are being recorded and stored? Currently there is not much in the way of regulations or oversight of the data that vendors of modern-day connected devices can collect and make available to other entities.

In 2017, there were multiple examples of lawsuits against connected device manufacturers for collecting personally identifiable information, using that information to create detailed profiles of the customer based on usage habits, and then sharing this information with marketing companies. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and in 2018 I predict that there will be an explosion of lawsuits and stories written about unregulated and unscrupulous collection of data from smart devices. This will drive a transformation in the industry around new regulations that will force companies to be more transparent about the data they are collecting from their devices and what they are doing with it. Additionally, the regulations may go as far as forcing these companies to give their users the option to opt-out from their data being shared, as well as providing the ability to delete their smart device generated data upon demand.

Excuse me, I would like to talk to you

In 2018, we will see new and unexpected company partnerships as a result of the ever-changing technology landscape. Businesses with a progressive innovation vision will increasingly figure out how new technologies can be leveraged in order to give their businesses a competitive advantage, or provide more cost-effective ways of doing business.

I have a thing for you

First let's take the internet of things. As a society, we are at a point now that because of the wide-spread availability of internet connectivity in the home, business, and in public, along with the seemingly endless number of smart devices, we are increasingly taking for granted and expecting any "thing" to be connected and provide us with information to enhance our lives or businesses.

We are already familiar with the fact that manufactures of items for our homes are increasingly becoming available with internet connectivity like garage door openers, refrigerators, toasters, ovens, etc. In 2018, we will see an increase in many more common items for the home and business with built-in sensors and internet connectivity. This will require companies to build new partnerships they never would have considered just a few short years ago.

One example that exists today is a mattress manufacturer integrating sensors into their mattresses to measure the presence, or lack thereof, of people on the mattress. This means that the mattress company realized the competitive advantage they could achieve as a result of new technologies, and needed to build a partnership with an appropriate devices company in order to bring this smart mattress to market. In 2018, we will see an increase in this trend with businesses requiring these new relationships. Will it be windows and doors with integrated movement and temperature sensors, and video cameras, for security and energy solutions? Will it be a mailbox with an integrated camera?

Please trespass

Another new technology that will stimulate unexpected business partnerships will be blockchain. Many areas of business and industry are currently trying to understand what blockchain is and trying to figure out the competitive advantage it may bring. This will result in the realization that one benefit of adopting blockchain technology is to gain a more secure and cost-effective way to perform electronic business functions.

In 2018, we will see new partnerships form with businesses in related industries and even amongst competitive companies. Businesses will increasingly discover that belonging to a blockchain with their competition will be more cost-effective and reduce business risk compared to operating as a silo. This trend is and will continue in the finance industry, but will also gain momentum in other industries where there is inherent competition, like healthcare and insurance.

For 2018, we will see technology driving many cultural changes and expectations, new business partnerships, and new coopeititve relationships. Dare we say that this will give internet dating a whole new meaning?


About the Author

Michael Morton 

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. 

Published Thursday, January 11, 2018 7:42 AM by David Marshall
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