Worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics will grow from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019, according to research firm IDC. However, most companies today don’t own or have access to the data they need to solve the most critical and high value problems.

Companies will invest in building out and owning data assets, and once they own the data, they’ll know things about their customers that no one else does. Imagine the power that these organization will have to deliver exactly what their customers want and need!

That is just one trend in how technology is changing business. Here are four more trends that are reshaping how value is created – and will determine the winners of the digital age in 2018 and beyond.

The Internet of Trust Takes Center Stage

By 2020, up to 50 billion devices will connect to the IoT, generating data and analytics in support of automated and policy-based decisions. These business decisions will become crucial, shifting the conversation from, “Is the data secure?” to “Is the data correct?” It's this nuance—the Internet of Trust—that will enable tremendous gains in IoT in 2018.

As part of this, blockchain technology will boost IoT in the financial services industry by inherently resisting data corruption – the blockchain market size is expected to grow from USD 210.2 million in 2016 to USD 2,312.5 million by 2021.

In fact, defense giant Lockheed Martin is beginning to integrate blockchain into its developmental processes – specifically into its supply chain risk management. Soon after that, the automotive industry will follow, and communication interaction from devices to the vehicle must be trusted and correct.

The stakes are going to be much higher, and companies are going to begin to differentiate around trust. While security will continue to be important, the Internet of Trust will become the key enabler for adoption and, ultimately, success.

Edge Computing Will Become More Prominent

What happens when real-time context is too late for determining consumer behavior patterns—even enterprise behavior patterns? This is where edge computing’s predictive capabilities come in, and why use cases will pop up everywhere in 2018.

In just two years, 45 percent of all data created by IoT will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to or at the edge of the network. And in just three years, 5.6 billion devices will be connected to an edge computing solution.

Creating Value By Asking the Right Question

From Siri to AI, there’s been a phenomenal growth in computing power over the last 60 years, and U.S. corporations are investing $350 billion annually in education, mostly centered upon STEM. While these disciplines are important, 2018 will be more than just about figuring data. In a world where all the answers are known, value is found in knowing what question to ask.

The Era of Convergence: Business, Social, Political

The integration of social, business and political will force companies to enter what was previously known as a “no fly zone.” As competition for technology talent intensifies, silence won’t be an option for businesses.

Millennials and generation Z – both that will dominate the U.S. workforce by 2020 – will reshape the employment landscape due to their convictions/expectations that employers demonstrate similar convictions. To maintain a workforce and drive success, companies must to listen to their employee base and apply corporate principles to social and political activities. In 2018 and beyond, “taking a stand” will become the norm as companies hire upcoming generations who thrive on a values-driven corporate culture.

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