Over the last few years there has been an ongoing trend into all things digital and this is set to continue through 2017.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The number of connected devices is likely to continue growing through the coming year expanding the IoT. This will be a driver for change in the way we do things and also the amount and type of data we produce. There will also be an increase of intelligence in devices produced which will be useful and a challenge.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The use of AI and machine learning will increasingly be seen in smart machines and intelligent apps. This will create systems that learn and adapt. This will also become associated with big data providing systems with a wealth of data on which to act.
The analysis of big data will increase in importance across all businesses. Few companies are currently using the vast amounts of customer data efficiently. But, with intelligent tools, this will all change.
Augmented/ Virtual Reality
As can be seen by the take-up of augmented reality in the form of Pokemon Go where the general public readily engaged with it, we are going to see an increase in the use of both augmented reality and virtual reality in connecting with customers. Both as a sales tool and for training, virtual reality can create an immersive environment that can provide a significant user experience or training environment.
Securing businesses will be an increasing challenge given the weaknesses already seen within IoT devices.
The whole cyber security issue will not be going away any time soon. The increasing sophistication of the attacks seen throughout this year attests to that. The complexity of things like ransomware is increasing and the number of businesses already hit is significant and will continue to grow.
Cloud, or utility computing, has caught the attention of many organisations, especially since Google, Facebook and Apple all make use of this emerging business model. As a prime example of disruptive technology, cloud computing arguably offers as much potential for individual users as it does for the larger enterprise.