Personally, I’m amazed at the technology we have available to us. It’s astounding to have the power to retrieve almost any information and communicate in a thousand different ways using a device that fits in your pocket.
There’s always something new on the horizon, and we can’t help but wait and wonder what technological marvels are coming next.
The role of IT is changing with the onset of the customer-driven age and the now digital, connected world. IT leaders, once focused purely on technology operations, are now at the helm of business innovation. “Today, we are seeing a marked shift in the conversations happening with the CIO. Instead of talking about the latest bell-and-whistle, it is increasingly more apt to involve topics about business enablement and growth
Anyone in the tech industry knows that making predictions about the course of technology’s future, even a year out, is an exercise in futility. Surprises can come from a number of different directions, and announced developments rarely release as they’re intended
The way I see it, there are ten major tech trends we’re in store for in 2017. If you’re eyeing a sector in which to start a business, any of these is a pretty good bet. If you’re already an entrepreneur, think about how you can leverage these technologies to reach your target audience in new ways.
- IoT and Smart Home Tech.
We’ve been hearing about the forthcoming revolution of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and resulting interconnectedness of smart home technology for years. So what’s the holdup? Why aren’t we all living in smart, connected homes by now? Part of the problem is too much competition, with not enough collaboration—there are tons of individual appliances and apps on the market, but few solutions to tie everything together into a single, seamless user experience. Now that bigger companies already well-versed in uniform user experiences (like Google, Amazon, and Apple) are getting involved, I expect we’ll see some major advancement on this front in the coming years.
- Digital Transformation: Apps, Mobile and the CDO
Nearly every organization across the globe has been shaken by digital transformation while IT leaders race to leap ahead of new customer expectations and behaviours. As a result, app development has become central to IT strategy.
As the core roles of IT become more customer-centric, so does leadership. The Chief Digital Officer (CDO), a position that specializes in knowledge of customer and digital
trends, was a role scarcely heard of just ten years ago. Today, sixty percent of companies employ a CDO.
- The Skills Gap is widening
As digital dominates, new skills are needed for IT teams to compete. Technology evolves rapidly and it can be challenging to keep employees up to speed. One-third of IT leader’s rate keeping skills update with emerging tech and trends as a top pain point. Top performing companies are responding with increased investment in training and development. They are also using technologies like the cloud to help fill the gap caused by staffing new needs.
- Cloud Adoption Supports Quick Innovation
High-performing IT teams are turning to the cloud to help support increasing development demands. Cloud services allow companies to offload data management, backend development and even design so that their talent can focus on innovation.
- Data Security is a Top Priority
While IT teams turn to technology to help innovate faster, data security becomes a top priority. It’s difficult to improve security efforts when technology is updating so rapidly. This is likely why top performers rely on the cloud services to ensure data security since the cloud can update security features regularly, in real-time, and without maintenance burden on the IT organization.
Marketers will be (mostly) pleased to learn that automation will become a bigger main stay in and throughout 2017, with advanced technology enabling the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks. We’ve had robotic journalists in circulation for a couple of years now, and I expect it won’t be long before they make another leap into more practical types of articles. It’s likely that we’ll start seeing productivity skyrocket in a number of white-collar type jobs—and we’ll start seeing some jobs disappear altogether. When automation is combined with machine learning, everything can improve even faster, so 2017 has the potential to be a truly landmark year.
- Machine Learning.
Machine learning has taken some massive strides forward in the past few years, even emerging to assist and enhance Google’s core search engine algorithm. But again, we’ve only seen it in a limited range of applications. Throughout 2017, I expect to see machine learning updates emerge across the board, entering almost any type of consumer application you can think of, from offering better recommended products based on prior purchase history to gradually improving the user experience of an analytics app. It won’t be long before machine learning becomes a kind of “new normal,” with people expecting this type of artificial intelligence as a component of every form of technology.
- Physical-Digital Integrations.
Mobile devices have been slowly adding technology into our daily lives. It’s rare to see anyone without a smart phone at any given time, giving us access to practically infinite information in the real-world. We already have things like site-to-store purchasing, enabling online customers to buy and pick up products in a physical retail location, but the next level will be even further integrations between physical and digital realities. Online brands like Amazon will start having more physical products, like Dash Buttons, and physical brands like Walmart will start having more digital features, like store maps and product trials.
- Everything On-Demand.
Thanks to brands like Uber (and the resulting madness of startups built on the premise of being the “Uber of ____”), people are getting used to having everything on demand via phone apps. In 2017, I expect this to see this develop even further. We have thousands of apps available to us to get rides, food deliveries, and even a place to stay for the night, but soon we’ll see this evolve into eve
- Emerging Tech Leads the Way
IT leaders are thinking about emerging tech in order to get out ahead of future trends. Increased investment in business strategy emerging tech shows that IT leaders are focused on being able to develop faster and more securely.
Still, it pays to forecast what’s coming next so you can prepare your marketing strategies (or your budget) accordingly. Whatever the case may be, it’s still fun to think about everything that’s coming next.