The holiday season is a time for reflection and for looking ahead. In 2017 a lot changed in IT, especially where it concerned the cloud. Bitcoin has taken the world by storm. Social media have locked horns with fake news. Meanwhile more and more businesses are using cloud solutions. Innovations are appearing in quick succession. Now we are nearing the close of this year, it is indeed interesting to look ahead. What can we expect from 2018? We take a look in our crystal ball and discuss the five developments that we expect to hear of more next year.
IT is traditionally associated with servers, networks, data protocols and shop talk. The ‘T’ in IT, as it were. Because of this, the added value for organisations and users are often secondary considerations. As a result most business managers traditionally view IT mainly as a necessary expense. The cloud changes all that.
Being able to purchase applications directly that can be used without the assistance of a technical team, has resulted in a different take on IT for many business managers. The result is a movement of business-driven IT, with businesses setting up their workspaces based on business requirements and growth objectives. IT is no longer a necessary expense, but a strategic contribution to the expansion of a business. In 2018 this shift will bring growth opportunities to both users and IT providers.
A list with trends wouldn’t be complete without the mention of AI. In 2017 we saw many innovations in the field of computer learning, virtual assistants and Go. Large companies such as IBM, Google and Microsoft made large investments in the AI race. And even several start-ups are active in this area and launch intelligent apps in analytics, process automation, and improving user experience. We also spot AI more and more in equipment, from household appliances to unmanned drones. There is no doubt about it, we will hear and see a lot about AI in 2018.
The workspace will become digital. That’s stating the obvious, you might say. But not so much, when you realise that for the majority of employees their workspace is still linked to their desktop or laptop. Use of the cloud is becoming more widespread, but in many organisations it’s limited to things like e-mail or individual applications such as a CRM tool. In such cases the workspace is still mainly the desktop. Thanks to new applications it is increasingly possible to combine various platforms, such as public and private cloud applications. This will enable a new generation of flexible, secure and digital workspaces.
2018 is expected to start a new chapter on security and privacy. The GDPR, which will take effect on May 25, plays a central role. Not only will there be new regulations concerning personal data records and processes, the “privacy by default” mantra will mean a major readjustment for many software developers. At the same time it will greatly simplify the lives of IT businesses and compliance officers, because the same privacy regulations will apply to all member states of the European Union. What the impact will be of the GDPR on the Privacy Shield between the EU and the US? This will become clear in the course of 2018.
The interaction between various developments has allowed people, businesses and equipment to be better connected and to cooperate digitally.
Analysts such as Gartner have called this evolution the “Digital Mesh”. Predictions are that in 2 years 20 billion machines and sensors will be connected with the Internet. Add to that the increasing power of AI, and a world of opportunity rises. Technologies such as blockchain also play there part in this (r)evolution.
We are convinced that there will be interesting developments and innovations in the year to come. Some developments are as yet still in their infancy, others already unmistakably influence our daily lives. This is going to create interesting new opportunities for IT partners and business managers. How these opportunities could help you and your business to expand, we will find out in the next few months.
Looking for more information? We would love to tell you more about the uses for your business and can put you in contact with one of our specialized IT partners.