Dion Hinchcliffe, the seer of seers when it comes to disruptive technology trends, has just released his annual list of the top technologies shaking up our data centers and organizations. Insurance company executives need to look at the potential implications of these new types of solutions, as they may reshape the way technology services are delivered, both internally as well as to customers.

First, there are the disruptive technologies, which may or may not have made their way onto insurance IT radars. Dion highlights three highly impactful technology initiatives that bear watching:

Blockchain: “We're now seeing traditional industries, from finance to insurance, pilot or rollout the technology to ensure a new level of trust, transparency, and security for transactions of just about any kind,” Dion observes. “Blockchain will become a major industry soon in its own right.”

Digital/customer experience management: It’s all about “creating a consistent, well-organized, and effective user experience across all digital channels -- from mobile apps to strategic online communities,” Dion observes, pointing out that “customer experience leaders significantly outperform the S&P 500.”

Real-time stream processing, or fast data: This is about round-the-clock, nonstop stream processing. “Whether you're handling data streams from millions of ongoing user interactions or looking for instantaneous stock trading insights, technologies like Apache's Spark Streaming enables scalable, fault-tolerance processing of vast streams of information.”

Then there are technologies that may not overturn industry business models, but still make life easier and richer for users and customers. Dion provides his list of the seven top tactical technologies emerging in 2016:

Contextual computing: “Why can't our digital calendars help fill out our time sheets? What can't our CRM system know which client we're currently visiting and bring up the record automatically when we launch it?” Dion asks. This is about to change.

Workplace application integration: “Popular messaging apps like Wechat and Slack have shown how useful it is having important apps integrated in the way we communicate and collaborate,” Dion points out.

Low-code platforms: The era of the citizen developer has arrived. “Emerging platforms now make it incredibly easy to automate the creation, integration and data flow of highly useful simple applications,” Dion points out, adding that 62 percent of low-code developers report completing low code solutions within two weeks.

Smart agents/chatbots: Siri, Cortana and Amazon Echo are just the beginning of the arrival of smart agents and chatbots that will use voice and other high bandwidth channels to deliver and organize information.

Adaptive cybersecurity: This is the merger of IT security and artifact intelligence. Such products “dynamically investigate and respond to unique and emergent security breaches on the fly.”

Microservices architectures: “The approach of lightweight, modular, stateless, API-enabled microservices have come into their own recently,” Dion says.

Fog computing: This consists of “the use of a collaborative cloud of end-user clients or nearby edge devices that can contribute bandwidth, storage, and other resources on demand for higher performance and fault tolerance for demand applications, without the limitations of accessing far away cloud data centers.”

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