Technology evolves somewhat like a garden does—with some elements growing slowly over time, and others spreading like wildfire given the right conditions.
The technology trends that we see as influencing businesses, and everyday life, in 2017 are not ones that will reach maturity or become commonplace this year… but rather grow from saplings to small trees. Over the next 5 years however, we think that the conidtions will be right for these technologies will grow to dominate the landscape—at work and at home.
Here are our top 5 technology trends that will begin to influence business this year.
AI and Advanced Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) are composed of many technologies and techniques (i.e. deep learning and natural-language processing [NLP]). The more advanced techniques move beyond traditional algorithms to create systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. This is what makes smart machines appear "intelligent."
This year we predict we will begin to see AI used for an increasing number of everyday uses including physical devices (autonomous vehicles for example) as well as apps and services (Google Home / Amazon Echo).
Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers
Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger in which value exchange transactions (in bitcoin or other tokens) are sequentially grouped into blocks. Each block is chained to the previous block and recorded across a peer-to-peer network, using cryptographic trust and assurance mechanisms. Blockchain concepts are gaining traction, due to their independent, impervious nature and have applications ranging from music distribution to title registry to supply chains.
We think we will begin to see the world’s central banks and largest commercial banks take an active role in blockchain development this year—and if so, that this will be a sea change for banking as we know it.
A digital twin is a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system that relies on sensor data to understand its state, respond to changes, improve operations and add value. Digital twins include a combination of metadata (i.e. classification, composition and structure), condition or state (i.e. location and temperature), event data (i.e. time series), and analytics (algorithms and rules).
Within three to five years, many predict that hundreds of millions of things will be represented by digital twins. Organisations will use digital twins to proactively repair and plan for equipment service, to plan manufacturing processes, to operate factories, to predict equipment failure or increase operational efficiency, and to perform enhanced product development. As such, digital twins will eventually become proxies for the combination of skilled individuals and traditional monitoring devices and controls (things like pressure gauges and valves).
Mesh App and Service Architecture (MASA)
MASA can be described as mobile apps, web apps, desktop apps and IoT apps linking to a broad mesh of backend services to create what users view as an "application." Using APIs, the architecture encapsulates services to allow us to do more, more easily.
What it boils down to is that we will have a continuous experience as we shift across different devices and channels—i.e. with one application we can order dinner, talk about our activity levels for the day with our digital trainer, track a package and reschedule a meeting—even if we start off this conversation while driving using our phone, and then switch over to our home assistant when we get home.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Immersive technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), will likely make a more mainstream debut this year, and transform the way individuals interact with one another and with software systems. Combined with the IoT (Internet of Things) we will see a seamless system of devices capable of orchestrating a flow of information that is hyper-personalised with uniquely relevant apps and services. It is thought that rooms and spaces will become active with things, and their connection to the “mesh” as described above will make for a very immersive everyday living and working experience.
BTA is one of the leading IT support companies in London, providing comprehensive out-sourced IT support to businesses looking for a competitive edge through technology. BTA can help your company navigate the changes that lie ahead with regards to business technology, cyber security, cloud solutions, data storage and more. As one of the most established IT support companies in the UK, BTA offers strategic insight and IT consultancy your business can trust. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.