Telstra’s Chief Technology Officer is looking ahead to 2018, nailing down the top technology trends that will impact global businesses during the year. From the changing realm of cyber security, to the possibilities of real-time data, businesses of all sizes will feel the effects of these technologies.
Behavioural Analytics-based Systems and Blockchain for Cyber Security
Frost & Sullivan recently found that 95.7 percent of organisations in the Asia-Pacific region are susceptible to advanced cyber-attacks. The rise of cyber-threats that have not been registered or experienced anywhere else is creating a need for tools that can plough through voluminous data and highlight network traffic anomalies. Analysts will then investigate the highlighted data traffic, confirming with a high degree of certainty those that could lead to a “bad” event.
On that note, behavioural analytics-based systems are pulling security into the realm of Big Data-based solutions. In 2018, demand for appliance-based security services should continue to decline as software-based, hosted cyber security solutions emerge. Security management will then follow a deep learning approach throughout the application stack to improve both quality and speed of detection and response.
With users connecting to internet-based applications via laptops, smartphones, tablets and IoT devices, we can no longer ring-fence corporate systems from potential attacks. Security through obscurity is no protection, with malware constantly disguised as legitimate business emails and DDoS attacks often affecting large numbers of small and medium-sized businesses that share the same web host platform.
Interconnected supply chains and industry ecosystems will continue to drive blockchain maturity for trust and verification. The decentralised nature of blockchain makes it inherently less vulnerable to attack. To alter any individual entry, hackers would need to compromise 51 percent of that entry’s copies, providing tremendous security. These features – the multiple verifications, the lack of a single server to attack – make blockchain ideal for use in enterprise security tools.
Enterprises Will Double Down on Real-time Analytics and Digital Twins
Most enterprises have embarked on a digitisation journey to remove manual processes, connect sensors to key pieces of equipment, collect real-time data about their systems, and automate as much as possible. They are also looking to visualise and make physical world decisions based on information across their entire digital footprints.
Real-time analytics and digital twins that run in the cloud will provide individuals with the optimal interface for dealing with digitised parts of their companies. A visual representation of a company’s connected ecosystem (via a dashboard or VR) throughout the enterprise will require real-time analytics capabilities beyond network and application performance and across the supply chain. This consolidation of first-hand and third-party data environments will create integrated views that allow, for instance, a warehouse ERP system upgrade window to be moved or changed due to emergency services information in a geography not directly connected to the enterprise.
Taking this further, through digital twins, an energy company, for example, can use its digital environment to inform the configuration of each wind turbine prior to construction. By analysing the data from each turbine that is fed into its virtual equivalent, this allows the generation of efficiency gains. Digital twins eliminate guesswork when determining the best course of action to create or service critical physical assets.
In this approach, real-time data is displayed as a virtual instance of a real machine or process – it’s “digital twin” – and the human operator monitors or manipulates this instance in a familiar way. This lowers the training effort, allows the operator to be located remotely, and provides a rapid path to value.
IoT is one of the drivers for the emergence of multi-source data integration and “digital twins”. By end-2017, the Asia-Pacific region is set to have more than five million new industrial IoT connections, driven by Industry 4.0 initiatives in countries like China, Japan, Korea and Singapore. These technologies are transforming manufacturing processes to reduce costs, monitor assets, optimise maintenance, reduce downtime and enable the creation of connected products.
Beyond industrial use, real-time analytics and digital twins will drive innovation and performance across the broader enterprise. According to IDC, companies that invest in these technologies in 2018 will see a 30 percent improvement in response and lifecycle times of critical processes.