“We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what can be achieved in tech”
In this article, Todor Gigilev shares with us his top five predictions for the tech field. Digitalization and artificial intelligence and virtual reality, oh my!
I’ve been in the tech industry for a while now, with over ten years of experience as CEO of Dreamix, a bespoke software development company. And every year, analysts and programmers publish lists with their predictions to great fanfare. I’ve been checking out all these predictions and I’m really excited to share with you all my thoughts on what’s going to be hot this year.
2016 ended on a high note, with the releases of both Google Pixel and Apple’s iPhone 7. Virtual reality is also making a comeback. The tech scene is bigger and more exciting than ever.
Here is my list of tech trends which I’ve compiled for 2017:
Digitalization and digital transformation
Digitalization will continue to be a major factor in 2017. As everything moves online, it is of paramount importance that businesses provide a full set of online services that mirror their offline activities.
The digital transformation of industry includes a focus on:
- Cloud services
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
These technologies are making their presence felt throughout the internet. For example, email service providers are expanding into cloud storage services; AI is being embedded into more and more apps, providing a more robust user experience; smartwatches are designed to stay closely in sync with your phone and keep you connected.
Nothing will be left untouched by this wave of transformation, which affects all industries.
Today, you can get your medicines just by uploading your prescriptions. You can order a DNA test with one click. By moving online, business owners can reach a customer-base much larger than before. A physical store can only serve one small community. With a strong online presence, businesses can now reach consumers in even the most remote locations.
Open source culture and intelligent software
In my time as CEO of a Dreamix, I have seen an ever increasing number of customers opting for open source solutions. A key example of open source software is the operating system Linux.
Open source projects are changing the way companies do business. Unlike the traditional model of software development, where source code is proprietary, open source code is shared and developed voluntary among software developers. This leads to reduced costs, greater stability, and security.
Open source represents a new paradigm for business which, ultimately, will be embraced by all software companies. When switching to open source, you are no longer reliant solely on your in-house dev team to maintain your software. You gain access to a massive online community which continually tests and improves your software. Businesses directly benefit from the enhanced community support which, in turn, helps their bottom line.
In addition to Open Source, businesses will rely more and more on Intelligent Software and Applications. By applying artificial intelligence, Intelligent Software Agents (ISAs) can dramatically reduce office workload. Companies can make informed business decisions, using this software to make sense of both structured and unstructured data. One example is IBM’s Watson, which uses a massive repository of knowledge to compute answers to questions posed in natural language.
Going forward, the combination of artificial intelligence with software will revolutionize the way we do business. You can expect to see great intelligent applications and software released by the end of the year. Additionally, we see major updates to Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant too.
Artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and self-learning chatbots
Artificial intelligence is the backbone of the robotics and automation industries. We have already seen autonomous vehicles on the market like drones or self-driving cars. Artificial intelligence will have an even greater impact in 2017. It will make its mark in fields including supply chain management, finance, accounting and other specialized industries.
Additionally, the related field of cognitive computing will help usher in a new era of computing. Cognitive computing is the simulation of the ways in which people acquire knowledge and understand information. With the increased presence of artificial intelligence throughout the IT industry, the demand for computers to process information using human-like reasoning will increase. In 2017, we will see a proliferation of real-time intelligence through services including online feedback and e-commerce.
Self-learning chatbots are a simple yet powerful tool for your business. For example, Facebook introduced Response Assistants for Facebook Pages. Here you can set up automated replies to queries from customers through the Facebook Messenger service. While the user experience doesn’t yet feel like you are having a conversation with a human, we will soon reach a point where conversations with chatbots become more natural. These chatbots, or AI-bots, will become a key part of your customer relations strategy.
See more: Top 5 web design trends for 2017
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) saw a great deal of hype in 2016. We will see significant progress and development in the IoT market in 2017. Currently, the IoT market is primarily occupied by connected electronics and wearables. The Internet of Things is getting smarter. It will become a primary driver for digital transformation in industry. Areas of interest for business will be marrying of the Internet of Things together with artificial intelligence, digital transactions (block chains), cognitive computing and security applications.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) is the creation of an immersive artificial environment which the user can interact with and move about inside. Augmented Reality (AR), however, is a blend of real life with virtual reality. AR has seen greater adoption rates, with the release of devices such as Google Glass. However, the release of Oculus Rift in March 2016 led to a renewed focus on VR.
Taken together, VR and AR are creating an altogether new customer experience and have many potential applications for business. In the past, the focus on VR and AR has been with the gaming industry. Recently, we have seen major investment from tech giants with projects including Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. According to Digi-Capital, $2.3 billion has been invested in AR and VR in the last 12 months (data to end of Q3, 2016).
Today, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what can be achieved in all industries with VR and AR. I anticipate increased investment in these technologies in 2017 and we will begin to tap into their vast potential in consumer and business applications. AR and VR have a bright future.
These are the technologies I expect to play a major role in 2017. I also expect we will see something unexpected, something beyond our imagination. What are your expectations for 2017? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.