Technology is on the rise like never before. Every day there are companies formed to solve needs for our ever-growing industries. The year 2018 will see significant technology uphaul and the new technology trends will have a huge impact on businesses, big or small. Let’s take a look at the top six technology trends that every business should embrace, welcome and value.
1. More Practical and Smarter Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence was a potential breakthrough which started years ago and is now seeping into virtually all the existing technology and online products. Exploring and exploiting its potential further will be a major playing field for technology providers in 2018. When everything is moving online, and businesses are scampering to go digital, the amount of data generated and collated has risen exponentially. AI comes in handy to evaluate such big heaps of data, to help create digital business ecosystems, and to deliver digital business outcomes.
Even though we are developing AI for years now, 2018 will see significant developments as there are other trends and business needs pushing innovators to make use of AI more to increase the machine learning capabilities, to analyse and predict consumer behaviour, business trends and social and economic insights. Many businesses will centre their product design and development around the best use of AI.
2. Cloud Shifts to Edge Computing
Cloud, we’re all familiar with and have been using it since past years, however, 2018 will see a shift in how businesses use the cloud to collate, integrate and access information and more importantly how they use Edge computing to distribute this information. Edge computing describes a computing topology in which information processing and content collection and delivery are placed closer to the sources and sinks of this information. It tries to keep the traffic and processing local, trying to reduce traffic and latency.
Edge computing solves many pressing issues, such as high WAN costs and unacceptable latency. The edge computing topology will enable the specifics of digital business and IT solutions uniquely well in the next few years. Businesses can begin using edge design patterns in their mid to longer-term infrastructure architectures.
Immediate actions might include simple trials using colocation and edge-specific networking capabilities. Businesses could also simply place remote-location or branch-office computer functions in a standardised enclosure (for example, “data centre in a box”). Some applications, such as client-facing web properties and branch-office solutions, will be simpler to integrate and deploy. Data thinning and cloud interconnection will take more planning and experimentation to get right.
3. Rise of Intelligence Business with Smart IoT
The report by BI Intelligence on the IoT, states that nearly $ 6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions in just next five years so that we can expect a rapid proliferation of IoT gadgets. Also, in 2018 we can imagine a forthcoming retail shakeup, as IoT brings the waves of change in this sector. More and more businesses will be seen using IoT technology to track their inventory better, reach out to customers in new ways, and manage losses from theft, and.
Apart from retail, IoT in healthcare will also see a boom. As the number of patients turning to big data-driven healthcare solutions increases, the IoT technology is expected more to reshape how people access and pay for their healthcare services. With increasing number of patients, hospitals can turn to networked gadgets which can remind patients when to take their prescriptions, or even alerts patients when their blood pressure levels are too high. Here are some examples of some IoT device categories that will support the real-time health system:
- Security: door locks and entry systems, fire alarms and video surveillance
- Environmental controls: Lighting, room control, water quality, and tissue and blood refrigerators
B) Patient monitoring
- Medical devices: infusion pumps, ventilators, and incubators
- Smart patient room: Smart beds, hand hygiene and fall detection
C) Remote wellness and chronic disease management
- Wearables: Wristbands, bio patches, and smartwatches
- Remote clinical monitors: Spirometer, ECG, and glucometer
D) Real-time location services
- Asset tracking, patients, visitors, and employees
4. Augmented Lifestyle with AR and VR
While there are a lot of changes across platforms affecting how people interact with the digital world, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are changing the way in which people perceive the digital world.
The VR and AR market is adolescent and fragmented. However, investment continues to flow. In 2017, there was a huge amount of funding ($3 billion) much of which was used for core technologies still to be developed or for technologies advancing to their next stage. However, 40% of organisations using or piloting AR find that the technology exceeds their expectations. Businesses can examine real-life scenarios in which they can apply VR and AR to make employees more productive.
Currently, VR is a much-isolated experience. You just put on a headset and immerse yourself in a world that only you inhabit. Going forward, VR and AR will allow people to explore untold worlds together. Businesses can use VR and AR to enhance design, training, visualisation and to provide hands-free information. Only by examining and exploiting real-life scenarios can you drive tangible business benefits with these technologies.
5. The Immersive Blockchain Technology
Many predicted that in 2017, blockchain would move from proof-of-concepts into real-world production. Although we saw some great successes here, like IBM, R3CEV, but the number of real-world applications that entered the market were far less than anticipated.
However, in 2018, the rise of blockchain technology won't be limited to cryptocurrencies. It will move into much more large arenas of society and other businesses. It might just change the government processes as well.
We may see big players in the financial and technology sector introducing new platforms and tools based on blockchain in the maturing space. Larger banks will increasingly be interested in the blockchain payment systems, real-time processing, lower costs and transparency. At the same time, the insurance sector is expected to emerge as a “hot” area for blockchain technology as claims processing, and subrogation will show the business value of blockchain-based automation.
6. Customer Centric Intelligent Apps
Apps are in trend, and for every need, there is now an app. But 2018 will see organisations applying AI techniques to create intelligent apps such as virtual customer assistants (VCAs), apps to carry out marketing and sales functions after analysing the data and comparing user and product behaviour year-on-year. Intelligent apps have the power to help transform the structure of the workplace and the nature of work. AI in intelligent apps can stem for and from the following three target domains:
- Analytics: The predictive and prescriptive analytics derived from AI can be used to further evaluate or to drive autonomous action in applications.
- Process: We can use AI in intelligent applications to drive more actions. For example, we can use AI to analyse email documents to improve service flow, match invoices to reduce processes.
- User Experience: The current best example of using AI to improve user experience is facial recognition used by apps. Apple’s Siri is becoming smarter every year and is a rapidly maturing type of intelligent app. In the next few years, virtually every app, service and application will have some form of AI.
So, these are our picks for 2018: a breakthrough AR and VR with utility, smarter AI, a year of edge computing, blockchain infrastructure slowly building, the evolution of smart IoT, and rise of intelligent apps. These could be foundational to the next generation of advancements.
To create a competitive digital advantage, business heads and innovation leaders must evaluate these technology trends to leverage opportunities for the growth of their organisations.