IEEE Computer Society Grades its 2016 Technology Predictions – Gets a B+

Capability-based Security Lags Behind 2016 Predictions


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., December 7, 2016 – At the end of 2015, the IEEE Computer Society released its technology predictions for 2016, bullish on the future of 5G, virtual and augmented reality, nonvolatile memory, cyber physical systems, data science, capability-based security, and more. Today, the Computer Society graded itself on its future view and came out looking pretty good.

According to Dejan Milojicic, past president, IEEE Computer Society, “Everyone loves to predict the future of technology but we seldom get the chance to hold them accountable. We decided to change that and rate our own 2016 predictions in preparation for the new 2017 predictions coming out next week. We failed in one 2016 case – capability-based security has lagged substantially behind our expectations – but we succeeded with varying degrees of accuracy in all the other categories. The chart we put together shows our successes and misses.”


How Well We Predicted
5G is still on the growing curve with a bright future. Obviously adoption has not taken place, but the focus of industry on this promising technology is outpacing all expectations.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
There are existing commercial products on the market and increasing research in this area. More research is taking place in the follow on technologies.
Nonvolatile Memory
While a few technology announcements did not materialize, other products are coming to market in anticipation of a radical change to the storage stack.
Cyber Physical Systems (CPS)
CPS and especially industrial IoT represent the most influential source of data for big data analytics. They are also becoming a basis for smart cities, the smart grid, and other verticals.
Data Science
Data science advances resulted in a new industry position: the data scientist. It is a basis for big data analytics.
Capability-based Security
We probably missed most on this technology, as it was too early for adoption. The need for it is still there – to protect huge amounts of data at rest and enable its transfer – but the research has not yet resulted in technology adoption.
Advanced Machine Learning
Deep learning and other machine learning techniques represent the basis for big data analytics and extracting information. This is the most vibrant technology on the list.
Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
NFV achieved a lot of advances, but there is even more to be accomplished in networking to reach the virtualization of computation and storage levels.
Containers achieved exceptional adoption equally in the developer community, in startups, and in mature industry. With improvements in security, they are becoming a thread to traditional virtualization techniques.
We seem to have largely succeeded in our predictions, although we missed some. Overall, though, not a bad score.


Watch for IEEE Computer Society’s 2017 technology predictions coming December 14.

About IEEE Computer Society

IEEE Computer Society, the computing industry’s unmatched source for technology information and career development, offers a comprehensive array of industry-recognized products, services and professional opportunities. Known as the community for technology leaders, IEEE Computer Society’s vast resources include membership, publications, a renowned digital library, training programs, conferences, and top-trending technology events. Visit for more information on all products and services.