Quantum computers continue to evolve and, in some cases, their advancement is occurring more rapidly than anticipated. As my PMI webinar (link below) suggested, progressive researchers and organizations have begun to forecast the implications of the unique processing capabilities quantum computers will likely have. One of the more concerning implications of the commercial availability of a quantum computer of an appropriate size is its ability to break current levels of encryption. Some have forecast that a quantum computer of this size will be available in the not so distant future – a few years, not decades.
Back in 2016 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced its ‘Effort to Defend Encrypted Data from Quantum Computer Threat.’ In 2019 they announced new efforts given the current perspective for advancing quantum computing capabilities. This is a really big issue; however, currently, there is a viable solution to this pending problem – it’s called quantum encryption (QE) and it is at the very early stages of commercialization. QE is the science and technology that applies the rules of quantum mechanics to perform encryption. Fior Markets projects the global quantum encryption market is expected to grow from $107 million in 2017 to nearly $760 million by 2025. That is nearly a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecast in those early stages of QE’s evolution. In addition, it clearly shows the recognized need to address this problem and to do it now!
The continued digitalization of our information assets and systems is driving cybercrime and the theft of data. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is projected to cost the world more than $6 trillion annually by 2021. Quantum encryption goes a long way to help mitigate the risks and reduce the financial losses associated with the theft of our data and digital assets. Based on current information from a defense organization coupled with projections from technology leaders, quantum computers will likely be capable of beginning to break current levels of encryption by 2024. Efforts need to be made to protect our data, both stored and while being digitally transmitted (including over 5G), from this pending threat. Given the close proximity of the 2024 date and the fact that the planning, analysis and execution of a quantum encryption replacement project will likely take 12 to 18 months for the mid-sized companies, organizations would be well advised to begin now.
Project Management Quantum Technology (a bit dated) Webinar: https://www.projectmanagement.com/videos/573047/Preparing-Project-Managers-for-Quantum-Technology-Projects
Each and every day as of late, new and innovative use cases for emerging technologies are being developed by the innovative creators of the digitally connected world of tomorrow. They are inventing the products and services that will have an impact on nearly every aspect of our daily lives. With that said, properly leveraging emerging technologies throughout our career is becoming just what is needed to achieve the success we seek and desire. Whether it is in our home and personal lives or the business and work environments that we spend an increasing percentage of our time, whether we like it or not, we are more than ever before, connected, interacting and reliant upon with digital technology. We have little choice.
Whether at home, work or somewhere in between, we are connected and the way we are engaging with each other has significantly changed. This is also true in the way we engage our systems and pieces of emerging technologies like Smart Homes, Smart Buildings, Smart Highways, Smart Vehicles and we should not forget intelligent systems that are currently in place today and smarter ones coming in the near-term. The digital/connected aspects of our professional and personal lives have become so intertwined compared to what we had experienced in the past and with what has now become to be known as the norm, has led many to now believe it is essential to keep up with and have a basic understanding of emerging technologies. However, we must break-out and isolate ourselves from time to time. Give our brains some rest and down-time.
One of the more rapidly growing issues that has begun to face and increasing number of professionals is the burn-out now being associated with the digital change (both plus and minus) and the technological sophistication and digital interaction as we move from job to job. It is unclear what is more challenging, moving from a technologically advanced organization to one that is technologically challenged or vice versa. Perhaps that is something we all had better consider when we look at changing jobs from now on.
Chances are, nearly all of us have heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) by now. IoT can be many things and that list continues to grow with new innovative ideas being explored daily. Basically, we can think of it as a non-traditional network connected device. To expand upon that, IoT is a collection of billions of physical (electro/mechanical) devices that serve a wide variety of purposes and are distributed throughout the world and are connected to the Internet. It is a device or system that is electro/mechanical equipment with digital input/output. It is a wide variety of network connected computing components. Each with a unique identifier that enables it to transfer data over a network without any other assistance or interaction. That data is received and processed and utilized by a variety of systems/applications and their number grow minute by minute.
The shrinking physical size and cost of microprocessors is expected to propel the global IoT market forecasts. All things considered suggests that the number of IoT devices will grow to around $1.6 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025. That is up from just over $210 billion U.S. dollars in size at the end of 2019. Link: https://www.statista.com/statistics/976313/global-iot-market-size/ It is important to keep in mind that IoT will be influenced by a number of emerging technologies and that includes blockchain technology as well as 5G. Many believe that IoT will have a transformative and disruptive impact on business, government, industry and our daily lives. Given the projected growth, variety of applications and estimated value IoT brings to the table, program and project managers will likely see initiatives involving IoT devices and technologies going forward.
So, Deep Ledger Technology is another name for Blockchain. Blockchain is a relatively new and emerging technology that is commonly referred to as a ‘Digital Ledger.’ It is a list of records (referred to as blocks). It allows digital information to be entered, distributed, but that information is not allowed to be copied and most importantly it cannot be altered. That makes this highly secure and very desirable for a wide variety of applications. It first appeared as a core component of cryptocurrencies. Here is a link to a webinar on cryptocurrencies. Although a bit dated now (April 2017), it sets much of the foundation.
The Blockchain overall market is projected to grow to $169.5 billion by 2025 from a mere $1.3 Billion in 2017. That is very aggressive growth. Many believe with the explosion data we are currently experiencing and that is expected to continue, these estimates of dramatic growth could be highly likely. In 2018, IDC estimated that data will grow to an astonishing 175 zettabytes worldwide by 2025. It is clear, that much data, demands aggressive management techniques. When asked if Blockchain was a strategic imperative a limited number of respondents felt as follows, only 15% said YES and 35% said NO, with the remainder stating they were unsure. It should be noted, many professionals are not really sure what blockchain is, or how the technology can be used. Clearly blockchain appears to be following Gartner’s Hype Cycle
Gartner’s Hype Cycle – LINK: https://www.gartner.com/en/research/methodologies/gartner-hype-cycle
There is little question, blockchain holds the promise of solving many of the data management problems we currently face as well as reducing our costs. There are a number of new products and services that leverage blockchain that have the potential to become commonplace throughout the digital world. This is another of the many emerging technologies that appears to be on the horizon with disruptive potential. As such, program and project managers should familiarize themselves with the technology.
The VR/AR/HA technology suite recently took a big step forward with the release of a VR glove that uses haptic feedback and motion capture to simulate real touch in a virtual reality environment. Think about that in a whole-body suite. This goes far beyond gaming. Think about this tied to a robot with a mechanical hand and our movement is replicated by the robot! This would close the feedback loop!