Big things are on the horizon for the tech world in 2017. Technology has made leaps and bounds in the last couple of years and what were considered marvels before have become pure reality (virtual or not). Some of the biggest tech trends for the year are expansions of what has already come, while others are just starting to get their feet yet. Either way, here are a few of this year’s best tech trends to keep an eye on in order to keep your company modern and up-to-date.

You may have heard some of these terms before and wondered what they meant. We’ll do our best to explain them.

Augmented & Virtual Reality

This year, we will see augmented and virtual reality get more mainstream use. There are already devices in early stage developments, Amazon Go has already hit the ground running, and Oculus Rift was released with positive reception. With Pokemon Go, we saw AR gaming explode, and it will be in 2017 where we really see things take off. Get ready for AR and VR versions of practically everything as we reach the tipping point in terms of price and capability.

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Blockchain

Blockchain is a kind of public ledger where virtual financial transactions–think bitcoin–can be grouped into blocks in chronological order. Each block is a bit like a bank statement.  In the case of the virtual currency Bitcoin, the blockchain will keep details of every single transaction with the virtual coin and prevent the same bitcoin from being spent twice. Personal user information is not displayed as part of the blockchain. Blockchain could change the way records are kept in areas like title registry, identify verification and music distribution. Blockchain is a crucial part of the  “trust economy.”  As more and more transactions become virtual, (ordering digital music online, getting a taxi ride with an app from a stranger) it can help add trust to untrusted environments.

Intelligent Apps

Technology including virtual personal assistants have given us the potential to change the workplace by making us more effective users and making everyday tasks much easier. Just about any existing software from enterprise applications like marketing to security can be infused with AI enabled capabilities. Tech providers can use AI to focus on advanced analytics, more conversational interfaces, and more autonomous business processes. Gartner expects that by 2018 most of the world’s largest 200 companies will utilize intelligent apps to improve customer experience and refine their offers.

 

AI & Advanced Machine Learning

In the past few years, we’ve seen machine learning make some massive strides forward, even just in enhancing Google’s core search engine algorithm. This year, we can expect to see machine learning leak over into many more consumer applications such as product recommendations based off prior purchase history. Machine learning and AI can also help companies make better decisions, automate increasingly difficult tasks, and embed complex analytics into employee/customer interactions.

IoT

Nearly everyone has heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) today with its interconnectedness of “smart” technology. Between your car, home and work, the IoT makes it possible for intelligent things to move from being a stand-alone to a collaborative model–just about any form of technology in our lives will be able to communicate with one another and work in tandem to complete tasks.

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And the IoT is beginning to take over the centralized hub idea as Wi-Fi has been proven as a tried and true tech and is now being put to use to maximize compatibility. Rather than rely on a hub, manufacturers can now focus on interoperability among devices themselves.

 

Cloud Storage & Connectivity

With over 93 percent of businesses using software saved in cloud storage, it’s important to recognize its profound impact on today’s modern businesses. Cloud storage and connectivity gives modern businesses a multi-user, timely and infinite access to a business, thereby empowering growth and reducing maintenance. Investing in cloud-first technology can reap hefty benefits for businesses among which are the increase in capacity, reduction in host and equipment costs, streamlined operations, increased productivity and enhanced collaboration.

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And don’t worry, with more of our business aspects online and in the cloud, we’ve seen an increase in cybersecurity with virtual guard features to protect our now easily accessible software.

~ Rick Delgado