Booz Allen Forecasts Hottest Commercial Technology Trends that will Dominate Business in 2016

Major changes coming in Cyber Security, Advanced Analytics

As the pace of technology innovation accelerates, several emerging trends are poised to fundamentally alter how organizations tackle some of the most profound challenges and opportunities in 2016, particularly in two of the highest priority areas right now: cyber security and advanced analytics.

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“As cyber risk and advanced analytics demand increasing attention from the c-suite, we are about to enter a fundamentally different period,” said Bill Stewart, executive vice president and leader of Booz Allen’s commercial cyber business. “The dynamics will change – both in terms of the issues themselves and the solutions available. Skilled leaders will factor these changing dynamics into their planning, investments and operations."

“The developments in the technology market, coupled with greater application of advanced analytics methods and data science, will have a significant impact across the board. Those organizations who can build capability quickly as data plays an increasingly strategic role, will have an exponential competitive advantage,” states Xena Ugrinsky, a Booz Allen Senior Vice President and leader of the firm’s commercial analytics business.

To help companies anticipate the curve in the coming year, Booz Allen has assembled a list of top trends, based on conversations with its own experts from a wide range of subject area and industry-specific expertise, as well as its portfolio of client engagements and relationships at the c-suite level, to understand the emerging needs, concerns and views of corporate leaders. The firm has also identified specific technology trends for 2016 in the financial services, energy, high tech manufacturing, retail and healthcare industries.

Tech Trends

Among the upcoming developments, Booz Allen identified a list of nine key technology trends that will be priority areas for businesses in 2016, all of which increasingly rely on evolving how cyber security and advanced analytics are approached. Bucketed into four broad themes, we expect companies to focus efforts on: identifying and addressing cyber vulnerabilities; building the right workforce for tomorrow’s cyber and analytic challenges; driving returns on Big Data investments by putting analytics to work; and using analytics to deepen customer relationships.

Vulnerabilities: Are We Secure Yet?

The expansion of firms’ “cyber territory” means more and more leaders are evaluating their partners’ cyber hygiene. Next year, companies will examine their supply chains and vendor relationships to reduce the new risks introduced by great connectivity. And within their traditional organizational boundaries, leaders will assess their own cyber strategies — moving from “patchwork prevention” to the fusion center. Click more for Vulnerability trends.


Workforce: Who's the Boss?

As the demand for cyber security professionals increases—driven in part by burgeoning Internet of Things—it will lead to a new wave of innovation that will move cyber security from an “eyes on the glass” approach to more robust analytics and embedded network security. Greater adoption of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will also shift the desired workforce skill set as employers seek talent with more complex reasoning and pattern recognition abilities. Expect the growth of the CIO role, with new additions to the c-suite such as the chief data officer, the chief analytics officer and the chief information security officer. Click more for Workforce trends.


Returns: When Will We See Them?

As organizations build out a “big data” capability, they are finding the results can be slow in coming and c-suite executives are beginning to ask, “What are we getting for the money we’re spending?” A wave of buyer’s remorse and skepticism will lead to the rise of a different approach to adopting advanced analytics. Companies will begin to establish organizational competency in using big data to tackle major challenges before any spending decisions on technology or talent. Click more for trends in Returns.


Opportunity: Get Personal

Advanced analytics will enable organizations to achieve an unprecedented, “360 degree” understanding of their customers—on a highly individualized basis. This intimacy will enable organizations to anticipate needs and better understand the performance of new products, and over time, improved brand loyalty. Click more for Opportunity trends.


Our Insights

Booz Allen’s experts also examined trends for the year ahead in five key commercial sectors. Read more here.

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