Another interesting year in the IT and e-commerce world has passed and 2018 promises to be even more eventful. Sven Hammar, chief strategy officer of Apica, identified what he thiks will be the three strongest trends in IT and e-commerce next year.


GDPR will affect all Internet stakeholders

The EU’s new general data protection regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018 and that will have a big impact on all Internet actors, including e-commerce companies. In short, GDPR will regulate the treatment of customer data, much like any data protection law although it introduces some new requirements and strengthens existing ones.

Any successful e-commerce company will handle vast amounts of personal information about customers, which of course must be stored and handled safely. In additional, there will be new requirements for easy access to stored information by all data subjects, and tougher rules on email marketing (a core e-commerce activity). There must be clear consent to receive emailings and opt-in rules rather than opt-outs.

There will also be tough sanctions with fines up to 20 million euros. I expect there will be a flood of frauds, scams and false payment demands for non-compliance. The best way to identify these scams is of course to ensure that you are in compliance with the regulation.


Blockchain steps out of Bitcoin

We have all seen the bitcoin explode in value, not only doubling in price but rising tenfold in less than a year. But besides making some people millionaires, the big story here is the growing use of the underlaying technology; blockchain as a way to delegate and control the time line and access of data.

Blockchain can truly revolutionize the way that access and data can be shared in secure and trustworthy ways. Another area with big challenges ahead is Internet och Things devices and data associated with those devices, e.g. in connected cars. Who owns the data, and who grants access to that data from other services like food, petrol, insurance etc – is it the car company, the driver or the owner of the car? I predict Blockchain will play a bigger role in delegating the access for data in critical applications like the connected car and health care.


DevOps goes API

API (application programming interface) is now the real driver for the Internet economy. Releasing applications has never been easier and faster, but that also drives the need for developers to test and validate their own codes, without using a separate test team. Operation and development teams working together need to have direct end to end visibility with test and monitoring scripts integrated in one process. This is the only way to succeed with fast releases and still keep quality high and performance good.

Operation teams need to deal with API monitoring the same way as software development teams deal with code: using source control, extensive automation and modern artificial intelligence support for pattern based actions. End to end monitoring has never been more in demand as micro service architectures behind the API endpoints makes some traditional monitoring setups obsolete.