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Automation meets the programmable economy

JudyGoldman

Guest post by Eric J. Bruno

In 2015, Gartner predicted that autonomous software agents would invade fintech, with five percent of all economic transactions being handled by "smart agents" by 2020. This is part of Gartner's overall definition of the programmable economy, where traditional human-driven activities are replaced by autonomous software systems. In the near future, technology could move away from just being a platform for human innovation, and instead drive the large economic value in terms of executing direct transactions.

This new, autonomous business model is what Gartner predicts will drive the true business value of the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, the success of IoT may hinge on this radical transformation of the twentieth century business models still in place. As a result, corporate data centers, public cloud providers, and born-in-the-cloud companies need to pivot now to be ready for the programmable economy, regardless of business. These include the increase in electronic communications, the need to create and program autonomous systems, and the need to prepare for new security risks.

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Exponential increase in electronic communications

As a growing number of "things" are connected as part of IoT systems—with estimates staggering the closer we get to 2020—devices of all sizes will be communicating autonomously. Beyond the planned communications of telemetry data, these things will also send requests for service and support at unpredictable time intervals and rates. Systems and strategies need to be in place now to handle this volume, to reliably store the requests, to analyze them for future improvements, and to respond to them in real time to resolve their issues. These responses will also become automated, and the results will turn into additional messages that need to be analyzed and stored (for example, details about how each issue was resolved).

Machine learning and automated responses

Algorithms are being developed and constantly improved to build automated systems that can expand their usefulness beyond the original use cases they were built for. This means automated responses and adaptation to changing real-world events limited human intervention. Take this one step further, and the programmable economy will include "electronic bosses" that oversee human activity, such as fintech transactions and other business-related activity. The potential to help speed up transactions (and their value to stakeholders, including you), adjust parameters in real-time to maximize profits, and detect and prevent mistakes and outright fraud is too great to ignore.

The new face of security

New security issues—those that go beyond the already serious malware and data breaches—need to be addressed prior to becoming full-fledged outbreaks. These include the malicious control of IoT connected systems (the manipulation of building electrical, heating, and cooling systems for example), the forgery of electronic currency such as Bitcoin and blockchain technology, digital vandalism, and the skimming of value from online autonomous transactions in fintech.

Embracing cryptocurrencies; advanced data encryption in general; and new standards in identity management, authentication, and secure API publication and consumption are starting points. On one hand, the growth of the programmable economy sounds risky—but on the other hand, it does equate to a greater level of auditability and accountability as a result. As with most new technology movements, those who embrace it will likely be better off than those who fight it (and in turn get left behind). Are you ready now?

To learn more about how automation accelerates IT and supports the digital enterprise, visit our infrastructure solutions page.

Judy-Anne Goldman
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About the Author

JudyGoldman

My work with HPE's Enterprise.nxt team gives me a way to share my passion for emerging technology. I love connecting people to innovation, and sharing stories that help others engage with and understand the world around them. I'm a digital nomad, often found traveling with my micro companion KC, a 10-pound mini Dachshund.

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