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Key Technology Trends For 2017

This year, be it Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, wearable technology, self-driven cars or data driven analytics, 2017 promises much more

Every year, technology introduces new ways of doing business. In 2016, we witnessed significant technological advancements. This year, be it Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, wearable technology, self-driven cars or data driven analytics, 2017 promises much more. At the onset of this New Year, we take you through some of the key technology trends for the times ahead…

1. No hardware enterprises:
The year 2017 would be a software era. More and more companies would invest in software development and cloud enablement. Software as a Service (SaaS) products will have a higher adoption, reducing the need for physical data centers. Thus, infrastructure requirements and subsequent spending would fall considerably.

2. IoT will impact every aspect of life: The growing realm of IoT will not only be limited to sensors. In fact IoT will include robotics, automation and much more. While in 2016, IoT was focused on passive reporting and sensor-based control, 2017 will see IoT actually doing things rather than just sensing. Growth will be seen in industrial IoT and Omni-channel IoT solutions. Further, start-ups will leverage their agility and freshness of perspective to carve out a bigger share of the IoT market. The Philips Hue lights for e.g. can change colors and turned on or off from smartphone. These bulbs can also be synced with music in the house to have a great light and sound party in your home.

3. Digital will be the new reality: The lines between digital and physical world will blur creating new opportunities for digital business in the year 2017. As a result, digital products/services like driverless taxi services will emerge. Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) will get extended with new digital technologies. More and more companies would adopt a two-speed IT architecture which allows companies to roll out improved website offerings that could greatly enhance customers' experiences with the company. Overall, there will be a shift from Customer Experience (CX) to Digital Customer Experience (DX). However, all this would demand strong governance of digital initiatives. Tech and retailing company Amazon launched a store called Amazon Go in December 2016 which works differently and empowers customers: Shoppers simply use an app, also called Amazon GO to automatically add the products they want to buy to a digital shopping cart. Then they can walk out of the building without waiting in a checkout line.

4. Increased use of AR and VR technology: Gartner predicts that by the end of 2017, one in five leading global retail brands, or 20%, will be using augmented reality (AR) as an integral technology supporting the shopping experience. While Virtual Reality (VR) makes it possible for users to immerse themselves in manufactured surroundings that depict actual places or imaginary worlds, Augmented Realty (AR) overlays contextual information on the immediate physical environments users see before their eyes. AR blends digital components and experiences with real life. Thus, by providing interactive customer experience through senses, touch, feel or gestures, in future both VR and AR are touted to take the world by storm. Companies such as Marriott Hotels use VR to connect consumers with tech and travel innovation. Apart from Marriot, other brands such as Better Cloud are also increasingly using AR/VR technology. BetterCloud's 360 video gives applicants and new employees an insider's view

Talking specific about industries, we also foresee its growing use in the healthcare sector for virtual consultation, complex surgeries and so on. Travel, hospitality, leisure, IT firms will also increasingly make use of VR and AR technologies.

5. Voice interfaces will make life easier: Be it web, mobile or TV, voice-based technologies and conversational systems will have a huge impact on them. Simply put, voice interfaces will use voice as the exclusive interface to communicate across the digital device mesh. On demand and on command services through developments such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or OK Google will make the work much easier.

6. Intelligent apps will transform the workplace: Intelligent apps, which include technologies like Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs), will transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier. What more? Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled capabilities would also be infused in marketing or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). It is expected that in the year 2017, majority of the companies will exploit intelligent apps to increase productivity and efficiency.

7. Blockchain technology will start to show its usefulness: In the year 2017, Blockchain or the distributed-ledger concept will gain more traction because of the promise it holds to transform the operating models in various industries. For e.g., Blockchain is helping companies to streamline the inventories and payments. It is also widely used by banks. Citibank has 3 different systems within that deploy Blockchain technology. Citi has developed Citicoin. Nasdaq has also unveiled its new Blockchain based platform which facilitates share transfers and sale on its private market.

8. Security breakthroughs will become the need of the hour: Last but not the least, the evolution and advancement of digital technologies will put forward the need for high-level security for advanced programs and technologies. Hence, this year will see security teams working with enterprise architects to consider security early in the design of applications or IoT solutions and the market will see lot of products that decrease vulnerability. Particularly, multilayered and adaptive security measures and the use of user and entity behavior analytics will become a requirement for every enterprise.

We all have witnessed amazing products and cool services that were launched in 2016. Constant evolution in technology and innovation in product ideas will be even brighter in 2017. With the development of Blockchain, robotics and machine learning, 2017 will bring forward high-tech smart products across multiple industries. Right from smart homes, AR/VR technologies, intelligent applications to Cloud migrations, 2017 will definitely be an exciting year.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.



Deepak Mittal

The author is CEO, TO THE NEW

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