The intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science which aims to create it

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2017 Predictions – From AI and Machine Learning to Security and Mobile | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #Cloud

2016 brought numerous technology breakthroughs, but we predict 2017 to be even bigger and bolder

2017 Predictions -- from AI and Machine Learning to Security, Mobile, IT Employment Landscape and M&A Activity

Specifically, in 2017 we predict that machine learning will show up in new and exciting ways. Some people believe that machine learning is the same as artificial intelligence, but what you are really looking at is this concept of being able to be more human with your IT infrastructure. At the Microsoft Build Event last year developers were shown the concept of bots being able to write code that can interact with you in the communication channel you use - be it Skype, email, or something different. The ultimate concept is that the infrastructure IT you use will have the ability to interface with an intelligent back-end system that benefits you - the everyday user. These interfaces are now exposed to developers and, in turn, are being embedded into business logic. We believe machine learning is poised to have a growing impact on everyday business and everyday users in this New Year.

It seems that practically everybody is using a machine learning algorithms these days. This leads to an interesting juxtaposition when the likes of Stephen Hawking and other very smart people believe machine learning is going to destroy us when it becomes more intelligent than we are. Skynet watch out!

Unfortunately, we believe 2017 won't be the year that the number of cyber security attacks takes a dive. But, we feel strongly that if we get back to "nuts and bolts" tactics and rely more on simple methods to close security holes, more businesses will be spared. When you look at recent high profile attacks, most originated from a past flaw whose patch was released months or even years ago but wasn't properly applied to the attacked company's system. Lack of consistency in our security hygiene opens the door for hackers to walk through and wreak havoc. This year, a greater emphasis will be placed on basic security hygiene like patching systems, installing proper antivirus and antimalware, and backing up systems.

Mobile will be a growing point of entry for security breaches in 2017 because employees everywhere are doing more work on non-traditional devices. When we say mobile, we're not just talking about cell phones, but rather all devices that are not shackled to the normal business. Anything that has an IP address is a risk factor to a business, but at the same time it's also a value to the business so it's a slippery slope-we just need to be smarter.

As we know, cybercriminals look to target entities that lead to the greatest financial gain. Anyone who is an aggregator of data or access is increasingly a high value target for hackers. Once you gain access to their system, you literally have the keys to the kingdom. MSPs and other service providers need to be even more vigilant to avoid becoming the next major security breach headline.

In terms of skills that IT professionals need to stay competitive and competent in 2017, we believe they will be primarily focused on adapting to the cloud environment. IT pros will also have to adapt to the demand for more expertise or specialty in certain applications. For those that have worked for years on knowing how to configure Windows systems and as machine learning capabilities and more workloads move to the cloud, IT pros will need to make sure they keep their skills up to date to remain relevant.

Finally, we predict larger providers will continue to acquire smaller ones in 2017 as these large companies try to fill more and more space. This goes back to the more experienced people who have built a ton of professional equity running IT infrastructure organizations. It is going to be time for their exit soon and so we will see larger organizations pick those people up, not for the "people" so to speak in many cases, but more for the client list or for that ability to expand their automated platforms to be able to consume further revenue. We don't know if there is going to be huge number of acquisitions, but we think we will see a lot of "tuck-in deals" where companies buy small areas of expertise to enhance their business while they continue to find new ways to generate new revenue.

More Stories By Mike Puglia

Mike Puglia brings over 20 years of technology, strategy, sales and marketing experience to his role as Kaseya’s Chief Product Officer. He is responsible for overall product strategy, management and development across Kaseya’s solutions. He most recently served as the company’s Chief Information Officer.

More Stories By Dana Epp

As Kaseya’s Chief Technology Officer, Dana Epp is responsible for driving the company's technology strategy, with a focus on accelerating innovation, product development and R&D. He recently served as the company’s Principal Architect for Security, Identity & Access Management.

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