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December 15, 2017 By Melissa Beck

2018 Predictions: ICO Frenzy, Advance of Multi-Cloud, GDPR and More

This is an exciting time to be in enterprise software. With the rise of serverless, the power of hybrid computing and the endless uses of artificial intelligence (AI), 2017 will likely go down as the most disruptive ever. But what does 2018 have in store? Sumo Logic executives weighed in in our yearly prediction series. Read on to see what they predict will influence the coming year in technology the most. Also keep these in mind and check back in mid-year to see how many come true!

Demand for multi-cloud, multi-platform will drive the need for multi-choice

Over the past few years, there has been much debate within enterprise IT about moving critical infrastructure to the cloud – specifically, around which cloud model is the most cost effective, secure and scalable. One thing is for certain – the cloud is the present (and future) of enterprise IT, and legacy companies continuing to predominantly or solely house their infrastructure on-premises to support existing or new modern applications will become increasingly irrelevant in a few years from now as their competitors will prevail.

Moreover, this problem is further exacerbated as cloud users are demanding choice, which is going to drive massive growth in multi-cloud, multi-platform adoption in 2018. As a result, enterprises will need a unified cloud native analytics platform that can run across any vendor, whether it’s Amazon, Microsoft or Google, including what’s traditionally running on-premise. This agnostic model will serve as the backbone for the new world I refer to as the analytics economy, defined by positive disruption at every layer of the stack.

–Ramin Sayar, CEO, Sumo Logic

ICO creates another Wild West

Next year we will begin to see the results from the growth in the initial coin offering (ICO) frenzy from this year. Investors have poured more than $300B into more than 200 ICOs this year, but it’s still a very unregulated market with a mix of players attempting to gain early entry. While legitimate companies are seeking and benefiting from crypto-token funding, there is still a lot of dubious activity from questionable characters in the space trying to make a quick buck. If crypto-token equity begins to take hold and legitimizes its worth to investors who pursued ICOs this year, then in 2018 the startup market will become the wild freaking west.

AI will not transform the enterprise in the near future

Previous predictions and claims about the direct impact of AI on enterprises have been overblown. There is excessive hype around how AI will lead us to new discoveries and medical breakthroughs. However, those expecting AI to be the ultimate truth conveyer are mistaken. It will be very hard to design a model that can determine unbiased truth, because human bias – whether explicitly or implicitly – will be coded into these data analytics systems and reinforce existing beliefs and prejudices. With that said, there are certain applications where systems can make better decisions in a shorter amount of time than humans, such as in the case of autonomous vehicles. In 2018 we will begin to see real use cases of the power of AI appear in our everyday lives — it just isn’t ready to be the shining star for the enterprise quite yet. When you look at the maturity of the enterprise, only half of the Global 2000 offer fully digital products. So, despite all of the buzz around digital transformation, there’s a lot of catch-up to be done before many of these companies can even consider looking at advanced developments such as AI.

Christian Beedgen, CTO, Sumo Logic

GDPR regulations will turn massive tech companies into walking targets

It won’t take long after the May 25 GDPR deadline before the gloves come off and the European Union cracks down on audits of big tech companies. We’re talking about Uber, Google, Apple and so forth. This will be EU’s effort to reinforce the severity of meeting GDPR regulations and to show that no business – not even the household names – will be immune to complying with GDPR stands. After the EU cracks down on the big tech companies, financial institutions and travel companies will be next, as these types of organizations are the most globalized industries, where data flows freely across geographical borders. And regardless of the EU’s efforts, the reality is that many companies won’t meet the May deadline, whether due to lack of resources, laziness or apathy. You better believe that those businesses that don’t get on board – and get caught – will be crushed, as business will come to a grinding halt.

Government will continue to fall flat with security

If I were a hacker, I would target the path of least resistance, and right now – and into 2018 – that path collides squarely with government agencies. What’s scary is that government organizations hold some of our most critical data, such as social security numbers, health records and financial information. It’s shocking how the government generally lags in terms of security and technology innovation. Over the past few years the government has been a prime target for bad actors. Take a look at the Office of Personnel Management breach in 2015, and more recently the hacks into the Department of Homeland Security and FBI in 2016. Next year will be no different. Even with all of the panels, hearings and legislation, such as the Modernizing IT Act and the executive order, reaffirming its commitment to updating and implementing stronger cybersecurity programs, the government is already 10-15 years behind, and I don’t see this improving over the next year.

Millennials will be our security saving grace

Millennials will inspire a societal shift in the way we view security and privacy. If you follow the data, it’ll make sense. For instance, Facebook is now most popular among adults age 65 and older. It’s less appealing to younger generations who’ve moved on to newer, more secure ways to express themselves, such as disappearing video chats with Snapchat. As social media evolves, privacy, user control/access and multi-factor authentication have become a natural part of protecting online identity, for both users and developers alike. My personal resolution for 2018 is to step up my mentorship to this younger generation. If we can encourage them to channel this “Security First” way of thinking in a professional capacity, we can continue to build a resilient and robust cybersecurity workforce that makes us all more secure.

–George Gerchow, VP of Security and Compliance, Sumo Logic

Now that you have read Sumo’s, tell us your predictions for the coming year. Tweet them to us at @SumoLogic

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Melissa Beck

Melissa Beck is the senior director of global communications at Sumo Logic where she drives communications and engagement across employees, customers, and the social media sphere.

More posts by Melissa Beck.