Understanding The Top 10 Technology Trends For 2017

October 24, 2016
Icon Scrolling Bar


Last week, I noted Gartner’s picks for the top-ten technology trends for 2017. This list differed from the lists for 2016, 2015, and 2014 inasmuch as there are more trends that are not yet implemented by even leading CIOs than in years passed. My informal polling of CIOs suggested that most have roughly half of these trends on their roadmap, with many suggesting the number is less than 50 percent. That said, CIOs are interested in better understanding each of these to determine how many more should be added.

My team and I put together our picks for books, articles, and podcasts to better understand the concepts described. Use these as solid primers for your team to better understand the concepts and to translate their validity to your strategic imperatives.

AI and Advanced Machine Learning

My pick for the best book on this topic in recent months is Kevin Kelly’s The Inevitable. A founding editor of Wired magazine, Kelly is in his mid-60s, but maintains the curiosity and flexibility of mind of someone much younger than him. He has seen trends come and go, and is a good filter for unwarranted hype, as a result. His book is an entertaining foray into the future of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and what it will mean for us.

Intelligent Things

The authority on the Internet of Things is Stacey Higginbotham, who is a former editor and writer for publications such as Time and GigaOmni Media. She moderates the Internet of Things Podcast.This podcast discusses all angles of the Internet of Things, including interviews with top IoT leaders, as well as unique viewpoints and in-depth analyses on the latest news and trends in the field

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Marc Prosser is a freelance journalist and researcher living in Tokyo and writes about all things science and technology. He has written a great number of pieces on virtual and augmented reality that can be found on SingularityHub.  One of the best isAugmented Reality, not VR, will be the Big Winner for Business. Digi-Capital estimates that AR companies will generate $120 billion in revenue by 2020.This article reviews how Boeing and other companies are experimenting with the technology, and the types of benefits it can provide to companies.

Digital Twin

Michael Grieves is the Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design at the Florida Institute of Technology. his paper Manufacturing Excellence through Virtual Factory Replications is the seminal work on the topic of digital twins, and it explores how digital twins can act as the critical connection between the data about the physical world and the information contained in the digital world about the physical asset.

Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers

Don Tapscott is a consultant and author who has written a number of books on digital trends and their impacts on business and society, including the business bestseller, Macrowikinomics. In his latest book, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World, co-authored with his son, Alex, the concept of blockchain is explained in clear terms with an eye toward practical recommendations on how businesses might adopt the technology and reasons to do so.

Intelligent Apps

S. Somasegar is a former Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division at Microsoft, where he worked for 27 years. In the past year, he he joined Madrona Venture Group as a Venture Partner. In may of this year, he wrote an article entitled The Intelligent App Ecosystem in TechCrunch, describing how every new application built today will be an intelligent application. He offers an overview of this evolution, and highlights companies that are positioning themselves to realize significant competitive advantages in the years ahead.

Conversational Systems

John Smart is a global futurist and foresight consultant. He is CEO of Foresight U, which is a strategic foresight and entrepreneurship learning and development company. He has written a series of articles on The Brave new World of Smart Agents and their Data part 1, 2, 3 & 4. In this series, Smart explores the five to twenty year future of smart agents and the knowledge bases used to build them. Over the course of these four in-depth articles, Smart articulates how any why smart agents will soon become central to how billions of people live their lives.

Digital Technology Platforms

Salim Ismail has spent the last seven years building Singularity University as its founding executive director and current global ambassador. SU is based at NASA Ames, and its goal is to “educate, inspire, and empower a new generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.”

In his book, Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it), Ismail notes that as businesses become increasingly digital and the pace of change continues to accelerate, traditional organizations will increasingly struggle to compete. Ismail highlights an organizational model that closes the gap between linear organizations and the exponential environment they operate in.

Mesh App and Service Architecture

Author and entrepreneur, Lisa Gansky has focused on building companies and supporting social ventures where there is an opportunity for well timed disruption and a resounding impact. In The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing, she notes that in the last few years a fundamentally different model has taken root; one in which consumers have more choices, more tools, more information, and more peer-to-peer power.

Also, Bala Iyer is a professor and chair of the Technology, Operations, and Information Management Division at Babson College. Mohan Subramaniam is an associate professor of strategy at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. Together, they authored “The Strategic Value of APIs“ in Harvard Business Review. They note that to shift to an event driven model, organizations must shift their attention from internal information exchanges to external information exchanges, and APIs are at the core of enabling this transition.

Adaptive Security Architecture

To my mind, there is no deeper thinker in the world of cybersecurity than National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fellow, Ron Ross. He leads the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Implementation Project, which includes the development of security standards and guidelines for the federal government, contractors, and the United States critical information infrastructure.

In my interview with him on these pages, entitled “A Conversation with the Most Influential Cybersecurity Guru to the U.S. Government,” he details how cyber threats will increase as our appetite for technology increases. He describes the TACIT acronym for technology leaders to keep in mind when managing cybersecurity, which stands for Threats, Assets, Complexity, Integration, and Trustworthiness. He articulates concepts to bear in mind in each case.

Special thanks to Brandon Metzger for his assistance in aggregating this list.

Peter High is President of Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. His latest book is Implementing World Class IT Strategy. He is also the author of World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs. Peter moderates the Forum on World Class IT podcast series. He speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Interested in working together?

We’d love to hear from you.
contact us

Contact Us


    Thank you for your submission

    We will get back to you as soon as possible. Back to site