Emerging Digital technologies will continue to dominate technology investments in 2018. In this report, we highlight 10 technology trends likely to have the most impact on businesses in the year ahead.
- Corporate Digitization – Technologies have continued to mature in 2017 and ‘digitization’ has moved beyond a buzzword. Business and tech executives continue to execute ‘digital transformations’ that bring greater automation, user-self-service, and enable advanced eCommerce and SMAC techniques to engage with customers.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Cognitive technologies – Tech analysts will remember 2017 as the year when business world finally started getting serious about the disruptive potential of AI. The tech Oligopoly – Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft – announced large investments in AI and began showcasing solution offerings for consumers and businesses. 2018 is also likely to see startups, tech-service firms and the academia addressing the skill shortage.
- Big Data – Analytics, aggregation and visualization – We create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day; and over 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. As the challenges of big-data are being understood, innovative applications are highlighting potential to glean insights from the aggregated sources.
- Internet of Things (IoT) – Internet of Things (IoT) holds a lot of promise in machine-to-machine communication enabling ‘smart’ devices. IoT is really an aggregation of technologies with sensors that gather data, machine-to-machine communication and networks to a ‘gateway,’ big-data and analytics to enable storage, analysis and review of the findings. Innovative ideas range from applications in wearables, smartphones, smart meters, vehicles, factories, machines to other places where imagination takes us.
- Immersive Experiences, Virtual Reality and gaming – A combination of immersive and Virtual Reality technologies have been raising consumer expectations of video games. These technologies, enabled by advances in hardware and high performance computers, are beginning to blur the line between the physical, digital and simulated worlds, creating a sense of immersion.
- Voice recognition and Voice Activated UI – Adoption of voice recognition and voice activated technologies have been advancing at a fast pace. Voice based applications in the corporate world are also continuing to make strides. Widespread adoption of Interactive voice response (IVR) at call centers and for CRM based solutions are beginning to enhance productivity by allowing computers to interact with humans through the use of voice input.
- Blockchain – Bitcoin technology – The blockchain technology – popularized by digital currency Bitcoin – is increasingly being used to enable trust across industries. The underlying blockchain technology is a trust based protocol enabled by globally distributed, secure platform that enables a ledger or database where value could be stored and exchanged without powerful intermediaries.
- Technologies from Self-Driving cars – Auto manufacturers, ride share and technology companies are advancing research and development of self-driving cars. 2017 also saw a lot of mergers and buyout of niche technology companies. Autonomous vehicles are the leading edge of artificial intelligence investment and development and investments in that sector is a precursor of things to come in fields like natural language processing, image recognition, and others as these technologies gain commercial momentum.
- Robotics and automation – Automation, and use of bots aided by emerging techniques like artificial intelligence and machine learning are advancing at fast pace. Intelligent machines and ‘bots’ are already being employed in ways we never thought possible a few years ago. However, automation and robotics continues to be niche and fragmented business. Most large companies and manufacturers aggregate and integrate services from small, niche suppliers innovating on automation and robotics.
- Enabling Digitization – Organizations are interested in solving specific problems using some of these technologies. Such corporate digitization efforts translate to opportunity for consultants, system-integrators and software product development firms.
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