Cisco's top 'game changers' for 2018
Putting data to work should be the top tech trend for digital leaders to invest in next year, says Gordon Thomson, MD of digital acceleration for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) at Cisco.
Thomson's top five 'game changers' for 2018 are:
1. Put data to work
Thomson says organisations now collect more data than a human brain could possibly process in a lifetime (or several).
"We're using machine learning to gather and analyse data from everywhere. All to help you do things better. Hospitals can track if nurses and doctors wash their hands when they should. Banks can find and fix issues with their mobile apps before users call in. The list goes on."
2. Re-invent how networks work
He says tweaking hundreds of network settings by hand is a thing of the past and most companies will shift from manual to automatic in 2018.
"Now your network is like a self-driving car. You tell it the destination, it figures out how to get there. Ask your network to set up a new office site, and it's done in milliseconds, not hours," says Thomson.
3. Automate your virtual assistant
"Picture this: you step into a meeting room. The smart room checks your calendar and starts your meeting on time. Oh, and because you're the only one in the room, it raises the temperature. So you can focus on your meeting, not finding a sweater. It sounds like sci-fi. But it's reality," Thomson explains.
4. Embrace all the clouds
He says it's no longer a journey to the cloud, singular, but rather about putting things in whichever cloud works best.
"So adopt a private cloud in your data centre. Pick a public cloud. Any cloud. Or do all of the above. Now you can manage and secure your data everywhere - whether you're using one cloud or 100."
5. Embed security in everything
Security can now be embedded into everything you do, he says, which allows you to watch how people or things behave, learn the patterns, and get alerts if something changes.
"So, if an employee accesses a file from a server they've not used recently, your systems will notice right away, which helps you catch security breaches before they happen. Or, at least, respond more quickly."
However, Thomson points out these trends are all connected.
"The companies who thrive in the digital era are the ones who master all five. So don't think of them as separate trends. They're a digital platform for everything you do," he concludes.