Back in January of 2017 at CES, Daniel Newman writing for Forbes.com predicted the following trends in IT for 2017:

Cloud Migration

Cybersecurity

AR and VR

Automation for Data Centers and Marketing

Intelligent Apps

Blockchain

AI and Machine Learning

Now that we are nearly halfway through the year, let’s see who are the winners and losers with half a year left to go.

Winners – Two-Way Tie

AI and Machine Learning

Newman predicted that

“Artificial intelligence seemed like the stuff of movies not too long ago. Machine learning done by AI is an even greater leap. By 2017, however, expect more systems that can actually learn and change their behavior—leading the way for more intelligent devices. The race is on, though, to see who will dominate the market. Tech giants like Google, Amazon, Apple, and IBM are all in the running. Machine-learning updates will rise across all tech, but who will be the big winner for this platform war is still up for grabs.”

To date, this prediction has held true and more. Almost daily, leading AI and IT thought leaders are speaking up, if not out, on the coming dominance of AI in human culture around the globe and how prudence demands preparation for the coming societal shifts. Although we may be (fingers-crossed) hundreds of years from The Rise of the Machines, finding fewer and fewer people posted in the jobs we are accustomed to seeing them in, may soon become the norm.

Cybersecurity

Newman predicted that:

“Security in the world of the internet of things (IoT) must be as agile at the components people use. It must be both fluid and adaptive. Designers must consider IT security early in the development of applications, solutions, and enterprise architectures. I expect entity behavior analytics will be required across enterprises, and multi-layered security measures will rule the day.”

Today, we should extend cybersecurity to include phishing scams of critical infrastructure and old-fashioned statecraft. After the election of 2016, rumors of hacking by state-run / influenced entities remain – with no abatement in sight, and expanding all over the world. Although cybersecurity may eventually seem as commonplace as locking your doors corporations, government agencies and individuals still seem surprised when bad actors wish to access or manipulate their valuable information using the tools everyone relies on to collect, process, transmit and store sensitive data. Perhaps by Dec 2017 locking your data will be as commonplace as locking your doors (along with the accompanying stories about how, back in the 1990’s, no one had to lock their data).

Loser-(ish)

AR and VR

Newman predicted that

“Pokémon Go is fun—but we all expected it to change the way we can use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in the marketplace of ideas. This year, we will see AR and VR get more mainstream use. There are AR and VR devices in early stage development but expect versions of AR and VR to pop up everywhere in the upcoming year. In fact, Amazon Go has already hit the ground running by leveraging some of this tech.”

Augmented reality and virtual reality are still working for traction, although better VR platforms have come to the marketplace. So many in fact, that PC Magazine has published The Best VR (Virtual Reality) Headsets of 2017. Time will tell where the AR & VR market goes, likely with the 2017 holiday season as the best indicator of consumer demand.

By the end of 2017, two knowns in IT will occur. A list of trends from the beginning of the year will be validated or disproved, and another list of emerging trends will be produced and validated or disproved in the following year. Perhaps the lessons to learn is that IT is an enterprise that experiences life cycles just like its consumers. Seasons of new birth, fits and starts of growth, contractions of fortune, and death – therefore maintaining a flexible view of emerging trends in IT can keep you on the cutting edge.