It’s getting to that time of the year where two things happen – the best / worst lists of 2016 start rolling in, and people start looking forward to what 2017 has in store.
That’s certainly true when it comes to tech, so let’s ask the pros which tech trends will dominate – or disrupt – business in 2017?
We spoke to Colin Thornton, who founded the ever-popular Dial a Nerd in 1998, and here’s some of what he had to say:
For business owners, technology represents both the biggest threat and the biggest opportunity in the coming years. It all depends on whether one can foresee the trends, and find ways to immediately incorporate and leverage their inherent benefits.
Automation will be even more automated
Many financial experts are predicting that automated banks are the next big disruptor for the banking sector. According to a recent study, automated banking could replace 30% of bank jobs over the next decade. Indeed, some foresee that analysts are due to be replaced by robo-advisors that render them moot… with Big Data in the wings, robo-advisors have the data required to make split-second, uber-informed decisions.
On the back of this trend, the payments and mobile banking industries are riding high.
Big Data will guide more business decisions
Big Data will soon be a critical asset for companies in all sectors. From trucking and logistics to e-commerce, massive data sets that can be analysed computationally to reveal patterns and trends will alter the business landscape.
The Internet of EVERYTHING
The Internet of Everything – in both the consumer and B2B market – will continue to rise, connecting data, things, processes and people. Intelligent systems will grow rapidly in 2017, particularly after the release of the Home app from Apple this quarter.
Essentially, it means that security, lights, electronics, and climate can all be controlled for the first time – in one app. Alongside this trend, wearable devices will continue to gain momentum and begin to mesh with healthcare and Big Data.
Mobility will drive the modern workforce
Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile. People are becoming more comfortable and confident working from home/remotely, and tech software and communications will begin to reflect this. From mobile storage for work-from-home employees to advanced security, mobility has only just begun to gain traction.
Kinda like how with Dial a Nerd you can have your own IT department at the ready, without having to worry about cramming everyone into the office.
More people will be able to afford a trip to space
In 2017, we can expect to see huge developments in the realm of space exploration. Costs will go down drastically, with what would previously have cost billions of dollars now costing only millions.
AI will adapt to protect us
This was one of the trends predicted for 2016, but we believe it will continue to occur and gain momentum next year. Let’s be quite clear, the cyber threat is growing all the time. The more connected and smart devices out there, the more weaknesses there are available to exploit.
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. As cyber attacks become more frequent and hard hitting, “conventional” security techniques and human analysis are being bolstered by artificial intelligence (AI) methods. Put simply, AI is able to create software that is capable of intelligent behaviour. This means that an AI system can “learn” what is normal, and detect events that fall outside of this pattern of behaviour. Such a capability enables security teams to pick up the “unknown unknowns” that they didn’t even know they should be looking for.
Virtual Reality becomes a reality
Any forward-looking technology discussion would be incomplete without the mention of virtual reality (VR). Although analysts have long predicted that VR would enter the mainstream sooner than expected, we are for the first time seeing businesses sink their teeth (and their money) into emerging platforms and devices.
One only has to glance at the mouth-watering investments being made into VR by tech juggernauts to understand its potential. Facebook, for one, spent $2 billion to acquire Oculus VR.
Other big name VR pioneers and investors include Google, Sony, HTC and Samsung. As CCS Insight noted in its forecast, “gaming is the low-hanging fruit for virtual reality devices, but video, entertainment and user-generated content will also drive adoption of this technology”.
So are we excited, or does that all seem like we’re venturing into dangerous territory?
Whatever the case, make sure you have someone on board who understands how to use the above to you or your business’ advantage.
The Dial a Nerd team is made up of experienced and qualified IT professionals. Whether you are looking for ad-hoc or fully managed IT solutions anywhere in South Africa, they can engage with you to improve performance, reduce downtime and ensure a seamless and productive IT experience.