Top 10 IT Trends, Part 4: Biometric Authentication, Agile Methodology, And Co-Innovation

Hu Yoshida

Part 4 of the “2018 Top IT Trends” series

This series began with my contention that adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) platforms will be the top IT trend of 2018, and went on to examine virtualization, analytics and artificial intelligence, data governance and personal data protection, video analytics, and blockchain. I’ll conclude with the final three IT trends that I expect to gain traction this year.

The time is right for biometric authentication. The increasing numbers of passwords required by today’s consumers will support the shift towards biometric authentication in 2018. In reality, most of us use the same password for the accounts that we don’t think are very important. Unfortunately, hackers also know this, so once they discover a password, they will use it to successfully hack your other accounts. Businesses are coming to the realization that proxies that represent our identity – like passwords, ATM cards, and pin numbers – are hackable, even with two-factor authentication.

Smartphone vendors and financial companies are moving to solve this problem by using biometrics that represent the real user. But choosing the right biometric is important. If a biometric like a fingerprint is hacked, there is no way to reset it in the same way you would a pin number or password. Since we leave our fingerprint on everything we touch, it is conceivable that someone could lift our prints and reuse them. Hitachi recommends the use of finger vein, which can be seen only when infrared light is passed through a live finger to capture the vein pattern, and is the most resistant to forgery.

Agile methodologies will be extended across the enterprise. Digital transformation is all about efficiency and working together to drive faster and more relevant business outcomes. This is why more IT organizations are adopting agile methodology.

IT organizations have a legacy of operations run in silos, with server, network, storage, database, virtualization, and now cloud administrators passing change notices back and forth to deliver a business outcome. In fact, many would argue that IT was more focused on IT outcomes and not business outcomes.

Even when data centers use technology to create shared data repositories to break down the data silos, the different functions are still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now with cross-functional teams using iterative agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business outcomes and deliver it more efficiently.

Under the leadership of CIO Renee McKaskle, Hitachi Vantara has been using agile methodologies over the past two years to drive digital transformation, and the results have been highly impactful. Agile provides us with a nimble approach, where small cross-functional teams, with a clear direction and strategic milestones, can iterate through short sprints to ensure alignment across the board, communicate effectively, and focus on problem-solving and achieving our common business goals. 2018 will see more enterprises move to agile and DevOps in software development, with agile methodologies being used across the enterprise.

The co-creation of value will influence all facets of IT decision-making. Traditional business thinking starts with the premise that the producer autonomously determines value through its choice of products and services. Consumers have typically been consulted through market research, but were passively involved in the process of creating solutions and value. In 2018, we will witness a shift in value creation, away from producer-centric, solution-value creation to a co-creation paradigm of value creation.

Producers and consumers can no longer survive in the digital world with this traditional approach to value creation. It’s too slow, too rigid, and too expensive. In the digital world, the pace of change is relentless, and problems span across multiple domains, with a blurring of industry domains and boundaries. Producers cannot take years to develop a solution, and consumers cannot plan their business on multi-year roadmaps that may not deliver what they need. If consumers and producers are to innovate, both must be active participants in the value creation process as co-creators.

Read more from this series: Top IT Trends, Part 3: Smart Object Storage, Video Analytics, And Blockchain.

Hu Yoshida

About Hu Yoshida

Hu Yoshida is responsible for defining the technical direction of Hitachi Data Systems. Currently, he leads the company's effort to help customers address data life cycle requirements and resolve compliance, governance and operational risk issues. He was instrumental in evangelizing the unique Hitachi approach to storage virtualization, which leveraged existing storage services within Hitachi Universal Storage Platform® and extended it to externally-attached, heterogeneous storage systems. Yoshida is well-known within the storage industry, and his blog has ranked among the "top 10 most influential" within the storage industry as evaluated by Network World. In October of 2006, Byte and Switch named him one of Storage Networking’s Heaviest Hitters and in 2013 he was named one of the "Ten Most Impactful Tech Leaders" by Information Week.