On the basis of some interesting affirmations by Jared Diamond and a study performed by Juniper Networks, we will try to take a look at possible technological innovation trends for 2017, particularly in the field of network technology
Jared Diamond, in “Guns, Germs, and Steel” (Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1997), has some interesting reflections on inventions and technological development. Basically, he takes the celebrated proverb “Necessity is the mother of invention” and flips it on its head, asserting that, in reality, “many ideas came about thanks to curiosity or the desire to monkey around with machines, needless of a specific external request.”
On these bases, of course, making predictions on future technological trends turns out to be even more difficult, since the variables that must be taken into account multiply. Limiting ourselves, however, to one sector – that of networking – it is possible to take a look ahead, as a study performed by Juniper Networks, a company that specializes in solutions and services for networking and its related economy, demonstrates. There are five technological trends this study identifies that could influence business over the course of 2017. They range from cloud technology, which is indeed undergoing strong development and could bring new generation IT services to be managed entirely in the cloud, with evident possibilities of savings, all the way to open networks. Given that companies ever more frequently tend to adopt open strategies that are not tied to a sole supplier, with solutions for interoperability, agility and flexibility, 2017 could be the year of the turning point for open network architecture. Then we have the security side: the model of security defense seems to be destined to change, with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). The “surface” exposed to attacks grows substantially and a greater effort for network security will be necessary, with systems that allow networks to protect themselves, for example. Finally, automation and “Everything as a Service”. According to the study, network automation will push itself deeper into companies and among Service Providers even more in 2017 than in previous years. As a base strategy for the simplification of company IT, the model centered around service will permit vendors and partners to focus on the construction of software-defined solutions that reduce costs and, at the same time, increase flexibility and productivity.
“At the center of every strategy” –the study done by Juniper Networks concludes –“there are benefits generated for a company, deeply incorporating automation in the IT environment.” Certainly innovation, especially in the digital world, follows the rhythm of the ever-greater needs of savings, flexibility and security. But, going back to Jared Diamond, can we truly omit that sometimes it is really the possibility of innovation that generates the same need to innovate? “Often innovation is the mother of necessity, and not vice versa,” he wrote in the distant 1997. If this concept seems a bit forced for digital technology in its entirety, certainly it is not at all unintentional in IoT’s case, in which the possibility of innovation and the reconversion of already existing technology are, effectively, entirely (or nearly) still to be explored.
On with 2017! Happy New (technological) Year to all!
This post is also available in: Italian