Author: Hu Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer, Hitachi Vantara
This post is part 3 of my Top IT Trends for 2018. Here we will cover three data types that IT will need to store and manage as these applications become more prevalent in 2018. The first is video analytics, the second is Blockchain, and the third is the use of biometrics for authentication.
6. Wider adoption of Video analytics
Video content analytics will be a “third eye” for greater insight, productivity, and efficiency in a number of domains, beyond public safety. The algorithms to automatically detect and determine temporal, spatial, and relational can apply to a wide range of businesses like retail, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, education and entertainment.
Video, when combined with other IoT information like cell phone GPS and social media feeds can provide behavior analysis and other forms of situational awareness. Hitachi has used video analytics at Daicel, a manufacturer of automotive airbag injectors, in its quality management system to increase product quality, reduce cost of rework and root cause eradication.
Retailers are using video to analyze customer navigation patterns and dwell time to position products and sales assistance to maximize sales. Video analytics relies on good video input so it requires video enhancement technologies like denoising, image stabilization, masking, and super resolution. Video analytics may be the sleeper in terms of analytics for ease of use, ROI, and generating actionable analytics.
7. Blockchain projects mature
Blockchain will be in the news for two reasons. The first will be the use of crypto currencies, namely Bitcoin. In 2017 Bitcoin has accelerated in value from $1000 USD from the bginning of the year to nearly $19000 by year end 2017. One of the drivers for Bitcoin is the growing acceptance of Bitcoin in countries that are plagued by hyper-inflation like Venezuela and Zimbabwe where bitcoin provides a “stable” currency.
Japan and Singapore are indicating that they will create fiat-denominated cryptocurrencies by 2018. These systems will be run by banks and managed by regulators. Consumers will use this for P2P payments, ecommerce and funds transfers. This means banks will have to build an IT capacity to manage accounts in cryptocurrencies. Russia, South Korea and China may also move in this direction.
The other reason is the growing use of blockchain in the financial sector beyond crypto currencies. Financial institutions will begin routine use of blockchain systems for internal regulatory functions such as KYC (Know Your Customer), CIP (Customer Identification Program is the KYC + checks against various blacklists or other government watch lists), customer documentation, regulatory filings and more. Interbank funds transfer via abstract cryptocurrencies and blockchain ledgers will expand beyond the test transactions of 2017.
A recent breakthrough in cryptography, Zero-knowledge Proof, may solve one of the biggest obstacles to using blockchain technology on Wall Street, which is keeping transaction data private. Previously, users were able to remain anonymous but transactions were verified by allowing everyone on the network to see the transaction data. This exposed client and bank positions to competitors who could profit from the knowledge of existing trades. Zero-Knowledge Proof is being implemented in several blockchain systems like zCash (ZEC) and ethereum in 2017 and is expected to be widely adopted by FSI in 2018. This could have major impact on IT in the financial sector.
Other sectors will begin to see prototypes with smart contracts, for provenance and identity services for health care, governments, food safety, counterfeit goods, etc. Blockchain provides provenance by building a traceability system for materials and product. You can use it to determine where a product originated, to trace the origin of contaminated food or illegal products like Blood Diamonds. Provenance may soon be added to the list of regulatory requirements that I mentioned in my Data Governance 2.0 trend
8. The time is right for Biometric Authentication
A survey in 2016 showed that the average English speaking internet user had 27 accounts. By 2020, ITPro predicts that the average number of unique accounts will be 200! If every account had a unique password, this would be a nightmare to manage. Imagine updating your passwords every 90 days. That would be 800 passwords that you needed to generate and keep track of. In reality, most of us use the same password for many accounts that we don’t think are important. Unfortunately, hackers know this so once they discover a password they will use it to successfully hack your other accounts.
The use of AI has been shown to crack a 20 character password in 20 minutes. Even if we adhere to the best password practices, it may be disclosed through hacks against third parties as has happened at Equifax. Businesses are coming to the realization that proxies that represent our identity like passwords, ATM cards, and pin numbers, even with two factor authentications, are hackable. In the United States the most common identification is a Social Security card number which was never intended to be used as a national identity token.
Smart phone vendors and some financial companies like Barclays are moving to solve this problem by using biometrics which represent the real you. India has implemented a national identification program which includes iris scans and finger prints. However, choosing the right biometric is important. If a biometric like a finger print is hacked there is no way to reset it, like you would a pin number or password. Since we leave our finger prints on everything we touch, it is conceivable that someone could lift our prints and reuse it. Hitachi recommends the use of finger vein which can only be seen when infrared light is passed through a live finger to capture the vein pattern and is the most resistant to forgery.
Next, I will conclude these trends with Agile methodologies and Co-Creation and how they will contribute to Digital Transformation in 2018.