Looking back, 2016 was a tumultuous year, at least as far as advancement and innovation in IT is concerned. However, as 2017 takes the field, it would be prudent for a business to look forward and anticipate what the coming year will bring to the landscape of information technology solutions, and which will stand out among the rest.
The common belief is that the use of big data will become more widespread, with a wider range of businesses drawing inferences from statistical trends to fuel their practices and inform the solutions they implement. Perhaps more impactfully, there are also waves that signal a shift from strictly quantitative data to qualitative data. This means that many businesses intend to draw their conclusions from empathetic considerations in addition to an analysis of collected data.
As a result, outcome tracking will be optimized to be more cost-effective, and businesses will be able to capitalize on a deeper understanding of their customers to improve their services and offerings.
The Internet of Things
In the relatively short time that the Internet of Things has been commonly used, it has experienced growth rates that are best described as explosive. This growth shows little sign of stopping, either, as projections place the total number of connected devices reaching 24 billion by 2020. There are already many IoT devices with clear applications to the business world, but a combination of lax security and a lack of cohesive collaboration have prevented the IoT from taking hold. However, large companies with proven experience in creating comprehensive systems, like Google and Amazon, are stepping in.
Now that these entities are embracing the IoT, it’s very likely that there will be some considerable steps taken toward unifying the numerous technologies into a single user experience. As far as businesses go, the IoT will be able to positively influence the quality of customer service. There is a caveat to this prediction: in order for the IoT to be a viable option for businesses to incorporate, the security that surrounds these devices must be improved drastically, so that may be in the cards this year as well.
Developments in technology have been shifting more and more towards mobile functionality, which can help to bring businesses both greater functionality and reduced capital expenses. Improvements made now enable employers to capitalize on their employee’s personal devices as a part of a BYOD strategy, allowing optimized strategies to be developed in terms of their use. These mobile solutions will also allow employees to be more productive and flexible in that productivity, thanks to continued advancements in cloud computing, as well as better preserve the security of the business’s data, through data segregation solutions.
Clearly, technology has made leaps and bounds in a relatively short amount of time, and will only continue to do so, as each shift leads to increased applications and practices. Of course, there’s also the omnipresent possibility of any new innovations having enough impact to turn a given industry on its head–only time will tell which proves to be the case.