Big data, machine learning, cloud computing and analytics have redefined the way our businesses operate today. What advancements can we expect for the New Year? Here are a few tech predictions that will help you stay in the know and optimize for efficiency:

Software Defined Everything (SDX) Gains Momentum

Though the concept is not new, more companies will embrace Software Defined Everything (SDX) to optimize efficiencies. SDX includes software-defined networking, software-defined storage, and even software-defined data centers—though some concepts have matured faster than others. IT teams optimizing storage, compute, and networking will work cooperatively to improve the SDX user experience. SDX allows businesses to create a management layer that’s separate from the underlying infrastructure; by separating the management component, infrastructure services can be sourced from different vendors and scaled independently. This approach delivers faster IT management through automation and allows for greater flexibility—to scale and to adopt cloud services. (Cloud services is another example of software-defined technology, which can be called software-defined infrastructure). Unlike other innovations, the value shift to software affects nearly any organization that leverages technology. The transformation changes delivery models and customer-provider interactions in a way that is yet to be determined.

Application Program Interfaces (APIs) Fast Track IT Transformation

Imagine a seemliness integration between your IT solutions and your infrastructure. Actually, that time is now. APIs will undoubtedly improve the speed of digital business in 2018 and you should take full advantage. “Technological and organizational challenges must be overcome to support faster, more responsive processes … API management is central to this transformation and management is the operative word,” says Creative Editor Michael Endler for Google. Well-managed APIs provide connections between apps, data, services, and uses yet to be explored.  Your team can create or borrow existing APIs to build or reconfigure digital products, with specific business outcomes in mind. IT no longer needs to develop new products for each project, saving precious time and resources.

You can also benefit from APIs’ developer and user behavior analytics. For instance, “Google Maps … is both a standalone service connected to Google’s larger ecosystem of services and an API available to third-parties, such as ride-sharing companies that use Google Maps for their navigational services,” says Endler. Business leaders can leverage API analytics and machine intelligence to gain business insights and improve business security.

One study from the University of Boston found that “Companies that adopt APIs see increases in sales, net income and market capitalization.” The 2016 research indicated that, “of the 200 firms examined with open APIs, there was a 4 to 10% increase in market capitalization.” What’s more, the benefits of using APIs increase as the amount of data exposed to these APIs increases.

The Cloud Continues to Evolve and Expand in Use

“Forrester predicts that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least on(e) public cloud platform to drive digital transformation and delight customers,” says Dave Bartoletti of Forrester Research. If data forecasts continue as predicted, approximately 90% of businesses will continue or begin to use cloud services. Data center providers will offer different varieties of private cloud solutions and computing technologies to deliver on-demand services. More specifically, cloud platforms will specialize in serving industry-specific needs, including the secure and compliant storage of federally-protected private health information. Louis Columbus, a Forbes contributor, projects “Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft will capture 76% of all cloud platform revenue in 2018.” OpenStack is also emerging as a player in the public cloud space. When you combine all the different OpenStack public providers, the footprint may surprise you, with 60+ data centers across the globe powering OpenStack public cloud.

Cloud Security by Design

“Security needs to be built into code development, not added in production.” Jason Warner, SVP of Technology for GitHub

“Security by design” (SbD) offers a proactive approach to infrastructure security through the hardware and software development process. For instance, measures such as ongoing testing and authentication keep the focus on security features at the fundamental level, versus using third-party security products. The goal is to build security into every aspect of the IT management process. “In practice, SbD is about coding standardized, repeatable, automated architectures so that your security and audit standards remain consistent across multiple environments,” says CTO Jason McKay of Logicworks. The SbD approach adds the element of automation to compliance, but does not remove the need for security professionals; instead, it allows security to be part of the equation from the beginning, allowing security professionals to focus on strategy versus the day-to-day repetitive tasks.

What changes would you like to see within your industry for 2018 and beyond? How can we assist? Reach out to our experts to discuss how we can leverage the latest technologies for your business needs.