Whether or not you say you want a revolution, one is now changing most business leaders’ worlds: the Fourth Industrial Revolution being driven by the convergence of computing, data, artificial intelligence, and universal connectivity.
In 8 Enterprise Analytics Trends to Watch in 2018, MicroStrategy SVP of Product Marketing Hugh Owen says three types of convergence will impact most data-driven enterprise organizations this year: the convergence of emerging technology as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the convergence of analytics tools within most organizations, and the convergence of vendors in a crowded BI and analytics space.
Emerging Technology Convergence
“The range of technological advances, or waves of tech evolution, are greater in variety and multitude than ever before,” notes Owen. “Beyond mobile, cloud, big data, data discovery, and security are voice, augmented reality, virtual reality, AI, next-gen analytics, IoT, telemetry, and the list goes on.
“In 2018, these emerging technologies will continue to overlap and merge. Next-gen analytics will integrate with AI for augmented intelligence. Machine learning will only reap its full value on big data (that’s structured or semi-structured). Voice and smart bots will require AI to bring truly transformative experiences to users who want to ask questions of information.”
But there’s no stopping there. “Telemetry data from security systems will generate so much information that only big data storage will be able to capture the machine-like data from people – and only next-gen analytics will be able to take advantage of the telemetry data to provide answers and analytics based on proximity,” says Owen. “Next-generation analytics will combine with AI and cloud computing for smart-scaling – tapping into cloud computing which is available like water. The intersections will be various, but the evolution of each technology will increasingly rely on other technologies around it to deliver real value.”
Owen notes that organizations, specific to their analytics needs, have been compiling collections of siloed free or inexpensive products to solve various business problems over the years, but two trends are lessening the chances for all of these tools’ survival: (1) powerful enterprise software is catching up or leapfrogging the free or cheap tools from the web, and (2) more and more big brands are finding that the tools that made an individual purchaser look good in the moment just can’t scale.
“In 2018, we’ll see organizations standardizing on a platform on which they based their analytics ecosystem, and merging as many tools and projects into that solution as possible, and connecting various clients and enterprise assets and third-party libraries to it where necessary,” says Owen. “It’ll act more as the beating heart to the analytics ecosystem. Users will get powerful Mac, PC, web, and mobile clients to connect to their analytics. Managers and executives will see the business running on data they can rely on, and IS will get fewer tools to manage and pay for, the governance they need - and happy business users working alongside them to digitally transform their respective businesses.”
If you look at The Forrester Wave or the Gartner Magic Quadrant, you’ll see a crowd of old and new names. Owen predicts, “the merger and acquisition activity will continue in the broader analytics space and continue to reduce the number of vendors in the space. Yet, it’s such a vibrant space that new vendors will emerge to replace them, innovating at specific tasks for a specific subset of organizations.” For enterprise organizations, Owen recommends, “if you want a quick solution that needs to work in one to two years, pick whatever tool you want. But, if you want something for three years or more, pick a vendor that isn’t courting a big stack tech behemoth or in need of saving from a private equity financier.”
Want to read more from Hugh Owen on emerging technology convergence, or see top trends from analysts and influencers including Forrester Research VP Boris Evelson, Constellation Research Founder Ray Wang, Ventana Research SVP David Menninger and Impact Analytix Founder Jen Underwood? Download this resource: 8 Enterprise Analytics Trends to Watch in 2018.