This blog is misnamed. Instead of '7 Technology Predictions for 2018,' it should really be “what are the technology trends between now and the end of the 2nd decade of the 20th century.
As I view the last third of the decade, I see that there are political drivers outside that will impact our IT focus.
1. Political and Technology Gap will Widen
More than ever, the gap between political power and knowledge of the current state of IT widens. The average age of a House member is 57 and a Senator is 62. This demographic embraces technology at a marginal rate compared to groups only 10 years younger. They will not see the importance of standards for cybersecurity, Internet of Things, and crypto currency until others have already made decisions. To complicate matters, those providing them what they deem to be knowledge of the issues (Warren Buffet, et al) have no conviction that they need to be overly concerned with these matters. This has nothing to do with the political party in control. It has to do with the disconnect in values placed on technology. Heck, I got an email from a Congressional assistant that I have repeatedly worked with earlier this week, and it was obviously a phishing attack that used information from their account to target me. If they aren’t safe, they won’t get overly concerned whether or not we are safe. I was hoping the Hillary Clinton email fiasco would draw a positive light to the issues associated with cybersecurity, but they didn’t. Shame on me for thinking otherwise.
2. Increase in IoT Devices
Human propensity to take the easy way will lead to the creation of more IoT devices, controlled by mobile devices that aren’t secure. On my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy), I have apps that control light switches, fans, a thermostat, and my garage door opener. These apps aren’t getting updated when my operating system is, and I can only imagine that exploits are already out there/under way to make it possible for people to get into my house. As part of this technology prediction, privacy concerns may be the only item that drives government to really get serious about creating standards and regulating communications between devices created with GoFundMe capital and my safety.
3. Shift in Passwords
Passwords, as we know them, will go away. An ever-growing industry exists to manage the overt password management issues that we all face. Tools that allow you to get back to a single password to get into everything are nearly as commonplace as the devices that they operate on. In essence, we are migrating back to a world of negligible security, once you get through the front door. As facial recognition/fingerprinting technology becomes commonplace, we will see an end of Pass@words as part of the use of technology.
4. Shift in Medicinal use of IoT
Medicinal use of IoT will be the catalyst behind the medical industry’s drive to address HiPPA concerns and the need to keep down costs. Health insurance costs will not decrease without the ability of providers to offer more services via automation than they currently do with office visits and procedures. IoT is the Obi-wan Kenobi of that movement. Expect some take-your-breath-away applications of IoT in the medical devices that we use.
5. Networking Migration will Continue
Networking will continue on its migration away from the wired world to the wireless world. I anticipate that 5G will be immediately adopted, and many individuals will go to work and bypass the company’s network altogether as the access cloud based apps that they use to do their jobs. Why use a 1 GB network that is being shared when you can have your own 1.2GB network that doesn’t have any restrictions? It will demand that companies offer services to the users that are better than 5G or give up on offering anything at all. Bring your own lunch will be as common as bring your own cloud connection. Bank on this one happening beneath the sheets, when none of the executive management are watching.
6. Cyber Jobs will Increase
Jobs in cyber will grow at record-setting rates, and attract far more than the stereotypical tecno-geek types portrayed in movies and on TV. Cyber and counter cyber represents a way to add another venue for social equality that folks on the edge of society living 20 years ago couldn’t dream of.
7. Technology Services will Shift
Technology services are on a path not much different than automobile maintenance. Early on, everyone learned how to change their own oil, brake pads and alternator. Now, with computers knowing more about what is going on under the hood than even the designers, it makes nearly no sense to learn how to diagnose issues and fix a car. This is coming from a former motorcycle mechanic. People will have technology services companies like mine take care of everything possible, so they can focus on business. No more “who is going to change the oil on the network” conversations. Folks like us will do it, every time.