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For this 300th post, I am going to focus on the future rather than the past. I've always published my technology predictions for the upcoming year, so here are some thoughts as we close out 2016 and look to 2017.
- Industry is just getting started with blockchain because the underlying platforms are still early stage. What blockchain accomplishes technically is extremely significant to businesses that manage assets with transactions with multiple participating parties. Financial services are where the most significant investment is currently focused, but I foresee this being an integral "backbone" in healthcare, construction, and any industry where services are contracted across multiple providers. I expect that we'll see more blockchain pilots and investment as platforms like Ethereum provide more development and reporting capabilities.
- Look for more AI breakthroughs in 2017, but I don't expect mid-tier companies to have success as the enabling platforms are still early stage. Even after you complete the data wrangling required to make data available to machine learning and deep learning algorithms, data scientists must experiment with different algorithms and configurations. I really like what DataRobot is doing to simplify testing data against a large number of algorithms.
- Win at SocialBiz, or lose business as more businesses recognize that they need to improve customer experiences to retain customers and mature many different offline and digital journeys to influence prospects. I expect that Microsoft will look to find an easy quick win integrating LinkedIn to Dynamics CRM while Salesforce looks for a "beyond Twitter" strategy for leapfrogging them.
- The talent skill gap will be even more challenging to CIO and CDO in 2017 as they win more executive support for digital transformation programs but lack the full complement of skills to execute it. Look for CIO to experiment with a number of sourcing and technological options such as developing agile contracts with service providers, growing citizen developer programs, and experimenting with DevOps tools to automate more operations. I also predict that Chief Digital Officers that don't have significant application development and operational backgrounds will have a harder time executing their digital strategies.
Onward to my 400th post!