Since this is my last post for 2016 and since I stumbled over my daughters magic 8-Ball last night when I was turning out her light I thought I would use this space to see what the old magic 8-Ball might think about 2017. As I always say the only thing inevitable is change and in technology that is even more true so if you will indulge me in a little good humored prognostication I will try and make some predictions that may or may not come true. We will start off easy before we really get down to serious things we might want to be aware of in 2017.
Question: Old’ Magic 8-Ball will Apple release a new i-Phone in 2017?
Answer: Are you kidding me, of course they will! But to be fair it is their 10th anniversary and this year they might release something with enough innovation to warrant getting one at the release. What’s more important is the continued march of all of us to an always connected, always absorbing information society. This will continue to push the way people present data and the format of the tools we use to consume it. We will continue to see the lines between desktop, laptop, tablet and phone blur. We will also continue to see people want to be individuals with what they use and how they use it. In business we have to find ways to embrace this without adding cost and complexity to business to do so. In some cases we might even have to decide that we can’t allow different formats for the sake of outcomes. So look for Tim Cook and others to show us a bunch of things we never knew we needed and may not even want but as 2017 rolls along we will all find we can’t live without.
Question: Old’ Magic 8-Ball will this be the year we finally get Jetson Flying Cars?
Answer: Hey that was delivered several years ago the issue is more about how we automate guidance of them. That will probably solved by Elon Musk and Tesla this year. What I can’t see clearly is whether the government both nationally and at the local level will know how to deal with cars that drive themselves and still have wrecks. But what I can see is how more data has continued to push us to consider more and new things. We will all continue to give away secrets about ourselves from our buying habits to our exercise routines and that will continue to inform better technology from Artificial Intelligence to calorie trackers. This may even be the year we get an automated phone system at the DMV that can actually help us or one that we don’t have to give our account number to both the system and then the live person that answers the call. But back to the Elon Musk thing we can for sure know that what they are doing with level 5 driving cars and the “passive mode” that the computers in those cars will deliver more details about driving habits and where computers can and can’t make better decisions than humans.
Question: Old’ Magic 8-Ball will the government be able to shut down all of this Ransomware this year?
Answer: Are you kidding me? You think they have that kind of power? To be honest they are more lost than you are about how to combat cyber security issues. Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden is convinced that the government will not lead on this one and will likely only get around to enacting laws and taking steps beyond their walls once the private sector decides what they want done. This is the only game of safety verses freedom and which you as a people decide you want. We can make technology safe but to do so takes away some freedoms you have said the Internet and all of this connectivity provides. What I would suggest is you decide for yourself and your business what the rules will be and what tools you need to deliver the right level of protection of your data and systems. Even small business are now targets because the way attaches are done now through automation. So we all need to consider educating our teams and adding layers to our security systems. You will never be 100% safe unless you can find you way to another planet with no one else on it and not share any technology or share anything about yourself but you can minimize your exposure at least some through top of mind thinking.
Question: Old Magic 8-Ball will there be anything that isn’t “Internet Enabled” in 2017?
Answer: You are spot on with this one. If there is a port someone will try and fill it with an Internet Connection. Which on the surface is a good thing, who doesn’t want to know that they didn’t leave the iron on or that their pot roast is almost done at 4pm before it dries out. But some things might be better left unplugged, though I don’t think they will. This will lead to new issues from spying on people to Internet DDOS attacks. They used IP cameras and DVRs to do it a few months ago so what says it won’t happen more often in the future. Also as above with the Teslas what would it be like if all of the sudden they all just turned left? You should really consider what you are buying and plugging in both at home and at work and how it will interact with everything else you own and have. Don’t assume that others aren’t bringing them in because they are. We will have to spend more time ensuring we can trust the vendors of these devices as more are IoT enabled as they will both be talking more and also accessible from the Internet.
So as we see more and more security and use of technology is going to be on us to understand and manage. We should also continue to ask what we can do to use all of this data we are gathering more effectively. I also did ask about 2017 lottery numbers but the Magic 8-Ball responded “That answer is cloudy”. So as we move out of 2016 and into 2017 I hope everyone have a great holiday season. It has been a pleasure to serve you in 2016 and look forward to continuing to do so in 2017. As always please reach out with any of your own prognostication, questions or comments.