Technology trends:
2017 will be the year of...


New year, new you technology. To kick off 2017 right, we’re here to enlighten you on all the technology trends, disruptors and themes this next trip around the sun will bring. (Check out what happened in 2016 here.) Each week this January, we’ll share a new blog post from our experts about what to expect in 2017 and how you and your business can prepare. Happy New Year! 

What do you think 2017 will bring? Let us know on Twitter with #TechIn2017. 


2017: The year of IT efficiency

2017 will be the year of improving your IT efficiency. I’m not talking about administering more systems, developing more code and securing more apps with less head count. No, I’m talking about doing more with less computing resources. More and more apps and services are being built and deployed using containers with Docker, AWS EC2 and Kubernetes. But why stop there? Serverless computing options like AWS Lambda, Azure Functions and Google Cloud Functions are all options to upload and code right to the service with no infrastructure to maintain. These newer options to legacy server and development needs help increase scalability and decrease cost while making many apps faster to run. Building services on these technologies will be key for both traditional applications and new IoT applications as it allows under powered IoT devices to provide a good user experience. –Gary Eimerman, VP of IT Ops Content 

2017: The year of data maturity

We already know that awareness of data is a core competency for tech professionals and businesses. But I predict that 2017 will be the year when tech professionals move past a novice level understanding of data and start to think about data in a more educated, informed and actionable way.

During the data revolution, we started to think about what data was available and how to aggregate it. We visualized averages on a graph and built dashboards. But now it's time to realize that much more can be said (and asked) about our data. The most crucial data points may not even be stored anywhere, so we must find out how to work with both people and technology in order to gather those data points. We must realize that statistics are a way to summarize a large dataset, but that a single number is usually not the answer. Unless I can see not only an average, but median, min, max and standard deviation, I start to have a better understanding of what I'm working with.

We want to put full faith in data, but experienced data scientists know that there's always a margin of error. Knowing what that margin is becomes part of the process of working with data.

In the past, we wanted every chart to lead to a direct action. But if most scientific experiments end up being inconclusive, it's not unreasonable to think that most explorations into data will have to make the conclusion that no conclusion is possible (at the moment). This isn't an impediment to the growth of a business; it's an admission of how things are and a way to discover what we really want to know. –Geoffrey Grosenbach, VP of Innovation - Content 

2017: The year of company-wide security ownership 

This will be the year that companies recognize that everyone within the org must own the security of their platform and brand. In 2017, companies will need more training and more testing—and not just the traditional penetration testing done by the IT part of the organization. (Devs often keep making the same security mistakes—check out OWASP's top 10 list of security flaws.) Businesses need to conduct social engineering tests and highlight the risks and potential exploits that employees could be causing. And then, educate employees on these security risks and the ways to mitigate them. Ultimately, a company's security is only as strong as its weakest link. So, they need to focus on strengthening every link in the chain. –Jody Bailey, CTO 

2017: The year of leveraging the full extent of the cloud

In 2017, companies are going to realize just how extensive the offerings are in the cloud. Most enterprises are currently thinking of the cloud mostly from the IT Ops perspective as a way to move hardware off premises. However, the cloud platforms offer so much more, including easing much of the friction involved in launching a software product—from doing entire software development lifecycle management to letting you publish a small snippet of code that the world can consume.

Cloud vendors are also starting to make expensive specialty hardware available. AWS now allows you to program Field Programmable Gate Arrays in the cloud. Buying FPGAs and building a prototype could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, but renting the hardware from AWS drives the risk down to almost zero. –Tod Gentille, Curriculum Director of Developer Content 

2017: The year of DX (developer experience)

2017 will be the year of DX: the developer experience. Multiple advancements have been leading up to this: the availability and awareness of data APIs in the last 10 years, and the rethinking of user interfaces as part of the user experience.

The developer experience is all about creating tools, APIs and workflows that make software development more powerful and more enjoyable. Powerful prototyping tools are part of the developer experience. When we separate discovery from development and the front end from the back end, teams can work concurrently to speed up development cycles. Well designed data access APIs are also part of the developer experience. A snapshot of an entire database may technically be a way to share and open up access to data, but meaningful and well designed APIs expose querying and filtering to developers so they can focus on implementing business logic and data analysis around that data. And, web hooks are part of the developer experience. When a third party application can be enhanced independently, we make experimentation and innovation possible. Additionally, front end web frameworks like Angular and React have seen quick adoption from developers because they consider the developer experience in their design. Frameworks that are designed around efficient workflows, readable code, and reduction of boilerplate are more likely to be used by developers.

2017 is the year that the developer experience takes off. If you're building tools for developers, hiring developers or even building internal software for your business, the developer experience is now a crucial part of your process. –Geoffrey Grosenbach, VP of Innovation - Content 

2017: The year of the data breach 

2017 will likely (and unfortunately) be the year of the data breach. As we close out the year with news of the record-setting Yahoo breach, it’s inevitable 2017 will bring news of additional data breaches. Organizations need to accept the inevitability that they will be the target of an attack and prioritize security within their organization. Prioritization in the form of processes and technologies, yes, but more importantly, prioritization in people and their professional and skill development. There is a lack of qualified security professionals in the world today and every opportunity should be taken to provide and encourage further education for the ones already working in your organization. –Meghan Manfre, Curriculum Manager for Information/Cyber Security Content 

Make sure your business is keeping up with important technology trends of 2017. 

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