Emerging Technology Convergence: Is It Fact or Fiction?

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In the world of IT and software development, it seems that new technologies are emerging faster than ever. Driven by the incredible demands of digital transformation, big data, and the Internet of Things, it seems that there is a “must-have” tech coming to the market just about every week. However, one of the common misconceptions about these new technologies is the way in which they are converging—or whether they are really converging at all. Many IT professionals believe that these technologies are converging in such a way that new technology cannot stand alone. Let’s explore why that’s not technically the case and how technology is becoming more specialized than ever.

While it is certainly true that there are common threads connecting new and emerging technologies, the reality is that new tech is focused on specific solutions and challenges. As a result, tools are becoming increasingly specialized. 

This trend doesn’t just exist in software—take the medical field as an example. While there have always been specialists, doctors have become increasingly focused on specific practices and even specific ailments. Drugs are targeting very specific diseases and there are treatment centers focused solely on a patient with a certain type of condition. It’s not a very surprising trend if you break it down and really think about it. As we learn more about the world and complexities around us, it is logical that we focus more closely on the most acute challenges. IT has followed a similar trajectory as to what we’ve seen recently in the medical industry.

Take, for example, data storage. Not too long ago, relational databases were the answer to almost any problem when it came to storing information. Whether it was highly sensitive financial information or any given large collection of data, IT pros in all industries looked at relational databases as the gold standard. But, if you fast-forward to today, there are many more data storage options that can meet your specific needs—cloud data warehouses, non-relational databases, graph databases, document databases—the list is truly endless.

The challenge then becomes not convergence or trying to decide what technology can work well with the tech stack you are already using, but rather finding the right tool for your ecosystem and then figuring out how to integrate it into your pipeline.

All of this is not to say that convergence is not occurring at all. In fact, all-in-one solutions are growing. A good example is the low-code platforms that are making a comeback. They provide an end-to-end solution for certain types of tasks. But some of the most innovative solutions on the market, which are grown in small and agile shops are making a name for themselves by doing the exact opposite—finding specific and common problems and being hyper-specific in solving them. The question for your organization then becomes the best way to approach your specific business challenges and whether a converged solution is the right choice—or if honing in on your challenges and dealing with integration is a more cost-effective and efficient strategy.