2017 Tech Trends from Forrester, Gartner & IDC

As we near the end of 2016, pundits are assessing how internal and external forces will impact businesses in 2017. Not surprisingly, projections for the New Year are largely focused on accelerating digital transformation, its impact on business, and the infrastructure that underpins it.

There are several common themes on the lists of 2017 trend forecasts that have been making the rounds. They include the decisions tech-savvy Millennials will make about where they want to work and how they plan to shop – and the impact those decisions have on business. How the Internet of Things (IoT) will drive 2017 business results as companies leverage sensor-based, analytically rich data. And how the cloud market will grow faster next year as enterprises’ cloud strategies mature.

Underpinning these trends is business leaders’ focus on managing the challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise from a global economy that continues to be re-shaped by digital transformation. In short, they are trying to figure out what to do with all that data.

Here, we share relevant highlights from Gartner, Forrester, and IDC’s 2017 forecasts.


Forrester predicts that the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) to fuel business growth will be accompanied by “multifaceted complexity.” Analysts write, “IoT software will be distributed across edge devices, gateways, and cloud services. IoT solutions will be built on modern microservices and containers that work across this distributed architecture. In addition, AI and machine-learning cloud services will increasingly be used to mine the data coming from IoT devices.” 
Forbes,  Internet of Things 2017 Predictions from Forrester


Fortune talks about how digital life makes everything easier and riskier at the same time. “It is a great irony that a system designed to withstand nuclear war falls so easily victim to a stampede of beeping baby monitors and webcams. We’re talking about the Internet, of course.” 
Fortune, The 2017 Fortune Crystal Ball

Forrester predicts that there will be a large-scale IoT security breach in the coming year.

The (Disappearing?) Data Center

Information Management predicts that next year, 1 terabyte of DRAM will become commonly available, hard drives will remain the only game in town for huge online capacity requirements, and cloud solutions will share more with colocation options. “More enterprises will figure out that ‘the cloud’ is not the only option for future infrastructure. Hybrid cloud solutions will grow in popularity while more scale-out technologies will become available in the enterprise to bring down costs and improve flexibility. Colocation solutions will blossom as enterprises figure out that controlling their own IT doesn’t mean they have to build their own data centers.”
– Information Management, 7 Data Center Trends to Expect in 2017
“By 2018, most cloud providers outside of the top 10 will offer brokered access to their leading competitors’ cloud services. By 2021, the ‘cloud broker’ landscape serving SMBs will become highly industry-specific, offering cloud-based business services.”
– Forbes, Top 10 Tech Predictions from IDC
“It's no secret that organizations are now equally as infatuated with the cloud as they were once wary of it. It's important to remember that, as Gartner analyst David Cappuccio says, ‘even though these workloads are moving, we in IT are still responsible for them.’ So IT has to get really smart about what to put in the cloud and where, and always think of the downstream effects on things such as storage and bandwidth.”
TechRepublic, Gartner's 10 big trends that will change how IT operates
“[Gartner analyst David] Cappuccio's message here was that ‘it's about the application, not the infrastructure’ and ‘it's not about my data center but about delivering compute resources to the business, the best way possible.’”
TechRepublic, Gartner's 10 big trends that will change how IT operates

Digital Disruption

“Digital business innovation creates disruptive effects that have a wide-ranging impact on people and technology. However, secondary ripple effects will often prove to be more disruptive than the original disruption. Digital strategists must actively identify secondary effects when planning change.”
– Gartner, Top Strategic Predictions for 2017 and Beyond
IDC chief analyst Frank Gens said the entire global economy will be re-shaped by digital transformation in the next few years, as enterprises transition from “digital immigrants” to “digital natives.” Gens says, “By year end 2017, over 70% of the Global 500 will have dedicated digital transformation/innovation teams.”
– Forbes, Top 10 Tech Predictions from IDC
Increasingly, the world is becoming what Gartner Fellow David W. Cearley calls “an intelligent, digitally enabled mesh of people, things and services.” Technology will be embedded in everything in the digital business of the future, and ordinary people will experience a digitally-enabled world where the lines between what is real and what is digital blur.
TechRepublic, Gartner's 10 big trends that will change how IT operates

Data, data, everywhere

In their 2017 forecasts, industry pundits are largely focused on accelerated digital transformation and its impact on business. Across the board, these predictions touch on how all businesses are becoming digital businesses, with data as their lifeblood. That transformation, and the emergence of what Gartner calls the “intelligent digital mesh” – a dynamic connection of people, processes, goods, and services – demands a fundamental change in the systems that support it. Many of which have yet to be built.

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