With technology constantly in evolution, there should be no surprise to see new innovations in information technology and IT teams across enterprises should pay close attention to any new technologies on the horizon.
And in the wake of the post-pandemic environment, enterprises should keep an eye on these 10 innovations in particular. While many of these innovations are not new, they were not widely adopted or even in consideration until the pandemic happened. And in some cases, some of them may be seen as more “retro” than what is considered to be an innovation.
The rise and dominance of digital over the decades have put analog computing by the wayside and on the brink of extinction. Now, however, some AI architects are taking a second look at it as it has been determined that AI models do not need the same kind of precision in some situations such that even If some of the billions of parameters in a model drift by 1%, 10% or even more, the others will compensate and the model will often still be just as accurate overall.
What this means is that analog computing may be utilized in some AI models which would not affect the model’s overall accuracy while generating less power, which helps save the company resources for them to allocate on more critical processes. Analog computing would be useful for any of the mobile and distributed applications on machines that aren’t always plugged in.
Better API Scrutiny
As cyberattacks have become more frequent and sophisticated, many are recognizing that data may be used in different ways. Some entities are wary of the data on their websites may be used to train AI models that may misunderstand or, worse, misuse such data. Others would want a piece of the action from the IPO when the model makes its debut.
Some sites are already tightly controlling access to the video and textual data that the AI builders crave. They’re limiting downloads and tightening up the terms of service for when it’s time for a lawsuit. Others are building a new layer of intelligence into their APIs so that smarter, more business-savvy decisions can be made about releasing information.
The COVID-19 pandemic has popularized the concept of remote collaboration but while many organizations have embraced it fully, there is also strong opposition to it from enterprises that have firmly established themselves in investing in physical infrastructure and those that feel that in its current form, remote collaboration is inadequate to get significant work done given their operations.
As such enterprises in this post-pandemic environment must carefully evaluate how some (or all) aspects of remote work would be applicable to their operations. IT teams must also test and deploy the second and third generation of collaboration tools that will be effective for their remote collaboration needs.
Physical Security of Digital Systems
Physical security is becoming a real worry as cybercriminals are employing both virtual and physical attacks on-premises to compromise company hardware and networks. This entails more than just locking doors as there is a need to implement more complicated security measures. IT departments must find the practical balance that works for their data and, at the very least, up their game to defeat the new generation of attackers.
Many software developers have long been falling into the trap of watching their code run perfectly on their desktops but fail miserably in the real world. The challenge for IT teams is trying to anticipate these problems and build yet another layer of resiliency into their code.
Some systems such as databases are designed to offer high reliability. Now developers need to take this to the next level by adding even better protections. Some of the newer architectures such as microservices and serverless designs offer better protections but often come with troubles of their own. Developers must look at these designs carefully with an eye toward understanding how and when they collapse.
Software development has been traditionally devoted to duplicating the ease and speed of native desktop code inside the security straight jackets of the modern web browser. This has largely improved thanks to the emergence of web assembly (WASM). The technology opens up the opportunity for developers to write more complex code that offers more sophisticated and flexible interfaces to the user. Sophisticated tools like photo editors and more immersive environments become possible. It also opens up the options for more complex, compute-heavy code with more sophisticated AI models and better, more responsive code.
As a privacy and security measure, algorithms are being built that reveal just enough information to pass through whatever identity check while keeping everything else about a person secret. On another level, the advertising industry looks for ways to stitch together the identities browsing on the web so even if a user does not log in and delete cookies, these clever teams find ways to track them everywhere. So while decentralized identity is an effective security tool, resistance to it especially by certain parties remains a challenge.
Graphic Processing Units are traditionally used to render complex visual scenes but lately, developers have been discovering that the chips can also accelerate algorithms that have nothing to do with games or 3D worlds. Some physicists have been using GPUs for complex simulations for some time. Some AI developers have deployed them to churn through training sets.
Now, developers are starting to explore speeding up more common tasks such as database searching using GPUs. They even tend to perform better when the same tasks need to be done at the same time to vast amounts of data in parallel, speeding up the process by 10 to 1,000 times.
There have been examples of huge new data centers filled with massive computers that are powering the cloud and unlocking the power of complicated algorithms and artificial intelligence applications, only to find that these infrastructures waste so much power and negatively impact the environment. The challenge for many designers is to come up with infrastructure that offers the same powerful computational performance with much less electricity, thus saving money and maybe even the planet.
The benefit of blockchain in the cryptocurrency space has led some to consider applying the principles of blockchain to other areas such as finance, making the idea of decentralized finance a possibility. This makes for greater effectiveness in the guarantee of financial transactions.
These trends are set to direct the pace of what IT will be in the near future and businesses should pay close attention to these and adopt them if they are found to be of sensible use to them in order to continue in their development and growth.