Laurence Baynham’s Top 5 Predictions for 2017

Laurence Baynham, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director – Data#3 Limited

[Reading time: 4:31 mins]

With technology set to continue disrupting and transforming businesses and industries, what will this year deliver in terms of solutions and trends? Data#3 Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Laurence Baynham, gives his top 5 predictions for 2017 in his blog.

Before I start down the path of predictions, I would like to put a few things in context and also provide some comments on the technology industry as a whole.

Over the first couple of weeks of January, I, like many others, get approached to provide predictions for the future. It is an ideal time to sit back and reflect on industry drivers and trends.

What I’ve never seen happen is a scorecard on the hundreds of predictions from the previous year. Who got it right? Which predictions never got out of the starting blocks? I am only too happy to be corrected this time next year or even before!

One confident prediction I have is that hipster beards will rapidly decline during 2017.

Another observation I’d like to make is that the Gartner Hype Cycle is under pressure and may now be irrelevant. For those of you that require a memory jogger, the Hype Cycle uses a methodology that defines how new technologies or innovations go through a lifecycle before becoming mainstream.

                                              Source: Gartner

Going back a few years, the Hype Cycle was absolutely relevant and was a great means of plotting when to invest in new technology. At Data#3, we always aim to invest on the Slope of Enlightenment rather than investing ahead of the curve.

Today, however, technology is moving at such a rapid rate that the time between peaks and troughs is minimal and may not exist at all. A good consumer example was Pokémon Go in 2016. Other great examples where innovation has become mainstream very quickly are Uber, Airbnb and Tesla.

The mantra for many new technologies or innovations is ‘Succeed fast. Fail fast.’ This thinking encourages risk-takers, and in my opinion, accelerates technological innovation.

With the above as context, welcome to 2017! This promises to be an exciting and fast changing year for the IT industry.



1. IoT (Internet of Things)

As IoT continues to evolve, the sheer volume of data created will increase exponentially. The data collected is only valuable if it can be successfully interrogated, and used to deliver analytical insights that deliver real business value. With industry analysts estimating that 21 billion IoT endpoints will be in use by 2020, the requirement for software and infrastructure design, implementation and management will be substantial. IoT will provide the platform for substantial growth in data analytics and will be applied across every business sector.

2. Securing the enterprise whilst growing IoT

Following on from the point above, security will continue to be top of mind for IT leaders and company Boards. As IoT devices and technologies become more prevalent in organisations, the attack surface will increase, adding another security element to consider. Organisations will need to augment their security strategies in order to gain greater visibility as to what is on their network, and subsequently, to put the appropriate controls in place to manage known, and often unknown, devices.

3. Everything as a Service

Companies that are looking for different ways to deliver IT without having to build complex environments, will start to invest in ‘as a Service’ models. We will see an increase in ‘as a Service’ solutions being used for infrastructure, software, platforms, networks and disaster recovery. This prediction is not so much a technological advance, as it is a change in business models – moving from capex to opex. CFOs are demanding more certainty in technology expenditure and the preference for IT spend to be predictable and linear, rather than spiralling, is driving this trend. 2017 will see companies increase ‘as a Service’ expenditure in an effort to free up internal IT departments, and refocus the existing resources onto innovation projects.

4. Hybrid Cloud will be the norm

Hybrid Cloud has quickly become the path for many companies, as not all workloads are Public Cloud ready. This is the year that Hybrid Cloud will become embedded, as more Cloud-based options see companies moving more to the Cloud. Companies will need to focus on a unified approach to managing multiple environments across on-premises, Private and Public Cloud.

5. Blockchain

Blockchain is a fascinating technological development, which is predicted to transform the financial services industry. In simple terms, blockchain uses computer code to engender trust in digital-economy transactions and uses distributed, rather than central, ledgers. Most large banks now agree that blockchain is faster, cheaper and more transparent than their existing practices. I was fortunate enough to see the Commonwealth Bank Innovation Lab in Sydney, where a prototype blockchain system has been built. The use of blockchain is now extending beyond finance and into governments for property titles and even the legal industry is examining how contract exchange can use the technology. 2017 will not see blockchain as mainstream, but it will be a serious option for digital transformation.


In 2017, Data#3 will continue to help its customers achieve their business outcomes through the use of innovative technology. As it can be challenging for IT leaders to decipher the vast sea of information that talks to new and emerging technology trends and solutions, Data#3 will help customers to navigate through the information hype and map out a path to success at JuiceIT 2017. Go “Beyond the Hype” with Data#3 – learn more.