The year 2017 had been a rollicking year with technology impacting businesses, and elevating customer experiences to newer levels. With the new year just around the corner, businesses are eagerly anticipating the emerging trends that would shape up 2018.
With technology changing so fast, it is inevitable that businesses need to learn about the emerging trends and plan out ways to incorporate and capitalize on them.
So, we have rounded-up some of the top trends and what to expect from them in the coming 12 months.
- IoT (Internet of Things)
This trend has been on every year’s emerging trends list, and rightly deserves to be on 2018, too. The influence of IoT, such as smartphones, smart devices etc., on our daily is hard to miss. IoT now have entered mainstream business and have held a firm place since. According to Forrester Research, IoT infrastructure will expand and it will redefine future customer value.
Here are its predictions:
- With 45% of US enterprises already commercialized IoT data, the New European guidelines is likely to greenlight the commercialization of IoT.
- Top companies will expand their geographic reach and strengthen their existing IoT capabilities.
- Developers will do device integration through public cloud IoT platform services.
- Blockchain-based IoT adoption will increase by 5%.
- AI and Machine Learning
In 2017 we saw the extensive use of AI in various industries. It looks like the technology is not going to stay just there for serving its purpose. Healthcare, one of the biggest and fastest growing industries, is well on its way experimenting new technologies to boost the scope of its offerings. In 2018, it is expected that AI, along with Machine Learning, will be coupled with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and IoT to redefine businesses. If you are thinking about automation ideas, think AI.
- AI and machine learning will rewrite the laws of how businesses interact with their customers.
- AI-powered front and back-end functionality to empower more businesses in 2018.
- There will be a rise of AI-enabled chatbots for customer service, sales and marketing.
- AI is expected to get into workspaces too.
- The 3rd Wave of Digital Evolution
Digital transformation is quite apparent. We see them everywhere, but the kind of pace its transforming is simply spectacular. We have had two cycles of digitalizations, and now we have entered the third, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Though it is not a seperate trend per se, digitalization is shapeshifting quickly, rewritting the game of technology, something that today’s businesses can’t afford to ignore.
First Wave: It was the age of Websites, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and the much hyped Y2K.
Second Wave: The transformation then led the digitalization into systems of engagement such as mobile, marketing, content and Ecommerce.
Third Wave: At the third wave, digitalization is taking us into the realms of intelligent systems. We have Cloud, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, IoT, AI, where, instead of relying solely on humans, intelligent systems (leveraging these technologies) will be offering services and handling customer queries.
Bitcoins, or any other tokens (there are about 2000 other tokens), is gaining traction and never fails to make periodical news. Cryptocoins or Cryptocurrency, as these are collectively known, are worth anywhere between $150 to $200 billion. That’s seriously a lot of money. And blockchain is the technology behind it, used to establish record transaction, ownership, identity and enforcement of smart contracts. Though it has its own share of detractors, blockchain technology is very much there, and is changing the way data is processed within (and outside) the purview of finance.
We saw blockchain making a splash in 2017, and it is anticipated that this technology will continue to be one of the most looked upon trend in 2018, too.
- Intelligent video apps
If you were keenly following trends you wouldn’t have missed the tech revolution behind photo sharing, selfies, and amazing image editing features on your smartphone. With that rolling out good, now smartphone makers are moving a rung higher and are focusing on revolutionary video capture and editing features in smartphones. With iPhones already tempting users with high-quality video features, other manufacturers will follow suit.
In 2018, we can expect some advanced video processing or editing features at the fingertips of the common people. If your business surrounds around redefining smartdevice videos, this could be the time to tap into the power of advanced smartphone videos.
- Smartphones as your Smart home device
The very thought of the controlling your home through your smartphones and wearables itself creates great excitement. They are no longer ‘home sweet home’, they are now ‘home smart home’.
Home automation trend has been growing at such a rapid rate that even companies who are not into home appliances wants to create smart devices to conquer a piece of pie of this industry.
Image source: TD Smart Homes
Set the temperature of your home before you enter; get alert on your phone when that turkey is done in your oven; turn your phone into a home surveillance device – and the list is endless. The year 2018 is likely to bring us some really cool, out-of-the-world innovations. It is the age of smart homes powered by smartphones and wearable gadgets.
- Redefined cloud storage
Ever since the advent of the cloud storage, one can only image the kind of data is stored in cloud. Upon closer look, you get some staggering stats. According to a Cisco survey, in 2017, the data stored by data centers would be about 370 Exabyte (EB), and global storage capacity would be at 600 EB; however, in 2018 the total storage capacity is likely to hit 1.1 Zettabyte (ZB), i.e. twice the space compared to data centers consumed in 2017.
So, cloud will continue to rule, but its form and structure will change. It is expected that cloud storage will no longer be strictly ‘cloud’. Cisco has created the term ‘fog computing’, where data is stored between the data source and the cloud. In 2018, we hope that small businesses would get customized storage options for much lesser price.
These are some of the top trends, and many are emerging as we communicate. That’s the speed today’s technology transformation. Technology trends continue to disrupt businesses across the globe, but they never cease to exist. And it is up to businesses to match that speed and capitalize on the emerging trends.
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