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Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends


The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) meets each quarter with its national Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) to discuss the needs of the IT workplace. Everyone knows that IT evolves quickly, but in the last year or so things seem to have accelerated. More and more, the National CTC is hearing about advanced terms and concepts that weren’t a regular feature of BILT meetings just 18 months ago. The future seems to have arrived.

A recent report by Gartner exploring the “Top Ten Strategic Technology Trends” backs that notion up by showcasing a number of cutting-edge topics that have the potential to disrupt industry and impact business. Perhaps even more interesting is the realization that many of these concepts have been discussed by the CTC’s BILT group in recent months. Be sure you leave ample time on your business council agenda to let your business experts share their perspectives on the current and future state of the industry. It’s one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve and prepare your faculty and your curriculum for workforce changes before they arrive.

Specifically, items from the Gartner list that’s been mentioned at recent BILT meetings…

Digital Twins – This term refers to a digital representation of a real-world system that allows a way to respond to changes and improve operations. Gartner predicts billions of dollars in savings just from using digital twins to optimize maintenance and operation. When this came up at a recent BILT meeting, the example given was how during the Apollo space program, NASA kept a physical twin of the capsule on hand to help troubleshoot problems during missions. Today, one application for digital twins is in health care where surgeons can practice without risk on digital simulations of a patient before conducting the procedure on the actual patient.

* GE explains the digital twin concept on its Predix platform enterprise site.

Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust – Gartner notes that traditional security “ownership and control” techniques are not effective in the digital world. It’s harder and harder to detect intrusion or deal with the possibility of employee bad actors. Instead, CARTA (continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment) provides real-time adaptive responses to risk-based decision-making. At a recent BILT meeting, it was pointed out that even as hacking has grown into a sophisticated billion-dollar industry, many companies still spend only 3% of their overall budget on IT and then 3% of that 3% on cybersecurity.

* Folio1 dives a little deeper into CARTA.

Immersive Experience – This includes not just virtual reality, but also augmented and mixed reality “where the user interacts with digital and real-world objects while maintaining a presence in the physical world.” With so many immersive reality apps and kits for smartphones available to consumers, Gartner predicts intense marketplace competition for 2018. This topic was discussed at length at a recent BILT meeting regarding how this trend will tie into IT infrastructure and networking foundations. For one, augmented reality is driven by sensors which are all networked together. Two, the expansion of augmented reality will drive workforce demand for technicians that can do software engineering using digital sensors or use augmented visual overlays to video programs.

* Adobe’s offers seven ways businesses can use immersive technology.

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