Tech 2017: CXOToday's Top 20 Technology Stories
With so much happening in the technology world, it had been an eventful 12 months for us. For many, 2017 will be defined by fake news and the various ways to fight it; Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone with the launch of its iPhone X; SoftBank, Uber, Facebook and Amazon were among the most dynamic companies during the year; there has been a worldwide push for electric vehicles and Elon Musk becomes a household name. These are things well known, but the tech galaxy is much beyond that and we, at CXOtoday, always present before you limitless possibilities of technologies and trends that touch our lives, enrich business productivity, create leaders of tomorrow and help decision makers solve their many business dilemmas.
In 2017, our technology coverage was dictated by trends such as artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain and the Internet of Things and these technologies will continue to play a pivotal role in the next year and beyond, with more companies adopting these latest advancements for enhancing their security and business operations. Major tech happenings in the space of tech acquisitions, cyber security breaches, changing role of CIO, gender diversity and digital workplace, among others, continue to take center stage.
Back home in India, it had been a tough year for Infosys. India’s second largest IT services firm had been at the forefront of controversy, dealing with alleged lapses in corporate governance, discord between the founders and the management, and finally appointed a new CEO, who may have to face with a mammoth task to revive its fortune.
We also explored in which direction is Digital India is heading, impact of demonetization and future of cashless payment, how Reliance Jio continued to disrupt the telecom sector as well as how new technologies like artificial intelligence, bitcoins and big data are changing the entire business landscape in the country.
So, what are you waiting for? Read to know more about the 20 exciting news and happenings of 2017 as featured on CXOtoday.
Ever since the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio made ‘free’ the new yardstick for mobile telephony, rivals have been crying foul. The question is do they even realize that price wars are just the tip of the iceberg?While we wait and watch how the future unfolds, we can be sure of one thing – price wars on voice and data calls aren’t really going to define the winners and losers in this highly exciting mobile telephony game. Meanwhile, keep an eye open for the threat from non-telecom players such as Google, Apple and Facebook. Who is to say that these tech giants or others in their shadow might come out with technology that disrupts the current business models and renders them utterly redundant?
The farming industry is on the cusp of a so-called ‘technological revolution’. With drones, robots and intelligent monitoring systems now successfully being used in research and field trials, artificial intelligence, or machine learning, is set to revolutionize the future of farming across the world. In India too, a number of innovative agritech startups are coming up with increasingly accessible technology to transform the daily operations of the traditional family farms. One such entity is Vivek Rajkumar’s Aibono, an agritech startup that is transforming the model of agriculture from the ground up, attacking its inefficiencies by leveraging technologies, IoT, Crop Science and AI for farmers helping them grow profitable agri produce.
A year ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came up with a sudden decision to wipe off Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, a move touted as demonetization, which brought the nation to a standstill. With the passage of time, the Central government pushed for digital payments, compelling people to use various digital modes of payments. While experts have observed that the market for digital payments has become much more acceptable, there have been a number of challenges that needs attention.
With smartphones becoming increasingly affordable and the Internet being offered at lucrative rates (thanks to the service providers’ price battle) while expanding its reach to non-urban areas, digitization at the payments front has seen multifold advancements. Despite that the dreams of digital India are still far-fetched as a major impediment in its path stands out to be security. The question remains: How ready is India for a cyber and digital driven payment ecosystem?
In recent times, cybersecurity is keeping CXOs extremely busy as they are dealing with different areas of cybersecurity, IoT security, cyber resilience and new regulations and policies by the Government. With incidents such as with WannaCry and Petya, and many such cyber threats doing the rounds, CIOs and CISOs and the government legal authorities are solving new puzzles everyday.
Multi-cloud has been discussed within the cloud computing industry for a while, but challenges of interoperability and complexities have often dissuaded enterprises from large scale adoption. Times are now changing, as enterprise awareness of the cloud has increased and many are realizing that the benefits of utilizing multiple platforms heavily outweigh the challenges. This has been the revelation of a recent survey that stated hybrid and multi-cloud adoption increased in the enterprise and will continue to grow manifold in the coming years.
The latest saga in corporate wrangling is the resignation of Vishal Sikka, MD and CEO of Infosys. There is a definite feeling of déjà vu. Last year, Cyrus Mistry of Tata Sons resigned from his position amid a very public spat with the patriarch Ratan Tata. There was open mud-slinging between him and Tata, the previous CEO. Allegations flew thick and fast, resulting in litigations that went to the courts. After the ugly face-off, N Chandrasekharan of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was appointed to the position.
Sometimes, it is better to call out the Emperor and say it aloud that he is not wearing clothes. And that is why, I think that Narayana Murthy’s concept of ‘Compassionate Capitalism (CC)’ is nonsense – yeah, you read it right, it is Nonsense. My question to Mr. Murthy is – where was Compassionate Capitalism when Infosys settled a sexual harassment suit against one of its senior managers in the US? The principles of CC would argue that Infosys and its then CEO (Murthy) ought to have allowed the legal process to continue and not settle. Or, Whenever Infosys has laid off employees, citing market downtrends, was it still pursuing CC, or was it using the market trends to trim and right skill its workforce?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is changing the world, is making its presence felt in the healthcare sector. The use of AI in the medical and healthcare sector has revolutionized the industry and is used in several practices such as diagnostics, personalized medicine, the development of drugs, and continuous monitoring and care of the patients.
With all the layoff news doing the rounds in Indian IT sector, thanks to automation and cost cutting exercises, India’s IT and ITeS companies seem to be on a spree to zero in on leased property for office space rather than having their own constructed campuses. Office space leasing by IT and ITeS companies rose by 10 percent in 2016 at 16.81 million square feet with Bengaluru and Hyderabad absorbing more than 50 per cent of this space. Tech companies have a reputation of quick growth which calls for new hiring in a short time span. The companies look for space which are not rigid and accommodate employee growth.
Dallas, a very business-like city was playing host to Cisco, which just redefined its business all over. if you are thinking routers, switches and other hardware pieces, think again. CEO Chuck Robbins was rather emphatic about it. He talked about intuitive networks, analytics, security, focusing on newer business models such as subscription based revenues, open cloud, multi cloud. There was nary a word about the hardware part of the business that still contributes to around half its revenues. Meet Cisco ver 2, software driven company.
India has been a front runner, when it comes to new technology adoption and blockchain technology has been no different. Right from the possible proposal to legalize bitcoins, other cryptocurrencies and ICOs, India has engaged itself in the cryptocurrency market for some time now. The extraordinary rise in the value of Bitcoin in the recent past, has created ripples in the investment market. On 19th November, Bitcoin value mounted an all-time high of $ 8000, thus emerging as the fastest growing asset in the recent times.
HelpAge India is a philanthropic body that serves the needs of the elderly through its 250 locations across 23 states in India. The charity was however facing a big challenge in getting the right resources and supplies for them, while remain accountable to donors and other stakeholders. In an enlightening conversation with CXOToday, Partha Bardhan, CIO, HelpAge India, mentioned how migration to ERP cloud applications not only helped them automate the processes and reduce operational expenses, but enables them to focus on their core function – caring for the elderly, rather than on the processes.
A Chinese robot has written and published its first newspaper article. You heard that right… we now have a robotic reporter. Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily published its first story written by a robot on Wednesday. This robot reporter had written a 300 characters-long article in just a second. The article is on the Spring Festival travel rush. Experiments like these are creating unease among the staff of the state-run media outlets, not only in China, but across the world as the many believe this could be a dawn of a new era in journalism and in the long-run, staff reporters in print and online might lose their jobs.
Shalimar Paints is India’s oldest paint company, with a century-long legacy and rich heritage. Established in 1902, this iconic paint-maker is also a pioneer in the field of paints and coatings. With digital initiatives disrupting all the industries, the paint industry is also not an exemption. In an exclusive conversation with CXOToday, Ashok Jade, CIO-Shalimar Paints, explains the company’s digital journey.
Certainly, it’s undeniable that technology is becoming more and more commonplace in our present and it promises a huge leap in the days to come. Although there are some technologies which fizzle and dies away silently, there are some so significant that transmute the world we live in. Here are some of the tech trends that will shape up 2018.
In the twenty-first century, the scope of AI tools is growing much beyond domestic smartphone use. It is impacting all industries and affecting the enterprise resource planning technology (ERP) sector in unimaginable ways. Due to the powerful capabilities, AI technologies are already optimizing system-operating models as well as transforming business processes for enterprises and organizations globally.
In today’s rapidly changing markets, CEOs have to make decisions considering the digital transformation, as a recent McKinsey article points out, “Being the CEO of a large company facing digital disruption can seem like being a gambler at a roulette table. You know you need to place bets to win, but you have no idea where to put your chips. In such a scenario, the question that comes to mind is “what makes for a successful CEO?”
In 2017, trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and big data and analytics started permeating into the recruitment scenario. Many organizations also advocated workplace diversity and candidate experience in recruiting for better results. In the next one year, these trends will find a stronger foothold as recruiters have realized that in order to stay relevant and competitive, they need to stay up to date on the latest emerging trends. We would see new practices and trends evolving in the market. So, here’s a list of some of the major trends that’s set to redefine recruitment in the next one year and beyond.
One of the biggest stories of 2017 has been the stunning rise in the price of Bitcoin from $1000 to over $19,000. Many astute observers, like Warren Buffet, have warned that this rise may be an unsustainable bubble. That may well be true but even if Bitcoin itself crashes, the underlying technology behind it: the blockchain, holds enormous promise. It represents a new way of organizing people and institutions digitally which may help solve major development challenges like financial inclusion.
A decade ago, the first iPhone went on sale at an unprecedented pricing, starting at $499. Apple’s ubiquitous phone marked the dawn of the smartphone era overpowering the likes of Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola, and became sort of a ‘cult device’ across the globe. From the launch of the first Apple iPhone a decade ago, Apple has sold more than 1 billion iPhones, and customers have downloaded more than 180 billion mobile applications from its App Store, shaking up the world of enterprise mobility. While enterprise handset makers like BlackBerry and Palm gradually waned in the backyard over the years, Apple made a big shift from what was fundamentally a consumer product, bringing it into the workplace, forcing corporate IT departments to rethink mobility in the workplace.
So, that’s about 2017’s Top 20 tech stories. As technology is moving at a faster pace than ever before, and as we look ahead to 2018, watch out newer technologies and companies disrupting the old world order, more acquisitions, successes and failures in the tech world and more and more innovative ways to solve tech business challenges.
On that note, CXOtoday Wishes Its Readers A Very Happy and Prosperous 2018.
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