Top Technology Trends for 2017

Top Technology Trends for 2017

As 2016 draws to a close, we take a look at the year ahead and the top technology trends we expect to see impacting the enterprise in 2017.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) enter the workplace.

With the unprecedented success of Pokémon Go, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have clearly established themselves as ‘must-have’ technologies in the consumer market.

2017 is now expected to be the year in which VR and AR experience widespread adoption within the enterprise. According to a  report by Tech Pro, 67% of businesses are considering using AR in the future, while 47% are considering VR for the future.

Business leaders are looking at how they can utilise these technologies to deliver an enhanced customer and business experience through the like of 360° tours, interactive training initiatives, advanced communications, and cutting-edge prototyping.

With major companies like Marriot Hotels, Ford and Thomas Cook already leading the way in this field, it’s only a matter of time before others follow.

Big data for revenue streams.

The term Big Data has been around long enough for businesses to realise that it’s not just a passing phase, insignificant buzzword or playing ground reserved for a few front runners. In increasingly competitive markets, 2017 will be the year in which mainstream businesses start to take a strategic look at how they can harness big data to provide valuable insights and generate new revenue streams.

With the impending introduction of new European legislation, data privacy challenges and uncertainty over data ownership, we also expect to see the rise of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) as a key player within larger organisations.

The launch of Narrowband-IoT.

Recently the telecoms news has been dominated by 5G, with advances in technology being widely documented. While we expect to see significant developments in 5G throughout 2017 – it’s unlikely that it will be commercially available until 2020. What we will see however is the introduction of narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) – a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology, that’s works virtually anywhere.

Developed to support the increasing demands of IoT devices and services, the major benefit of NB-IoT is its ability to deliver coverage in hard to reach places such as rural locations and deep in-building where wireless service is unreliable or expensive. What’s more, improved coverage means devices within these locations can transmit at a lower power, resulting in an improved battery life of up to 10 years.

Spotlight on data security.

We expect to see business leaders taking a personal interest in IT security throughout 2017, discussing issues and threats at the highest level.

Throughout 2016 we have seen some of the worst online security breaches ever, and while large organisations are putting up a good fight against cyber criminals, good is no longer good enough. Going forward it’s an issue that must be driven from the top down, and while IT security may not fall within the remit of CxOs, they are beginning to understand the importance it will have on their business goals.

When it comes to SMEs, there are a reported 4,000 ransomware attacks per day – up 300% on 2015. As the world becomes increasingly digitalised, businesses can no longer claim to be invulnerable to attacks, and while consumers will be somewhat sympathetic to a well-managed security breach, blatant incompetency will have a serious impact on company reputation. Going forward resilience and recovery will become key business differentiators.

Flexible Working to reach ‘tipping point.’

Research commission by Citrix revealed that by the end of 2017 over 50% of businesses will have adopted a flexible and remote working policy for their employees.

Key technologies such as video conferencing, cloud computing and IP telephony have revolutionised the way in which we work, providing employees with the tools they need to stay connected, wherever they are.

Flexible working is becoming a fundamental part of the modern workplace and is becoming a key decision factor for new employees when considering a place of work. It’s now down to business owners to make sure they have the right technology in place to support the changing needs of their employees.

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