Technology is changing the way businesses conduct their daily operations. It is due to these latest technology evolutions that businesses are moving at a faster pace and are acquiring a competitive edge. As we all know, 2017 witnessed a rise in some amazing technologies such as Block-chain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
In 2018, there is a lot more in store for businesses looking for a chance to become game changers in their industry. We thought it was time to discuss the top technology trends that are set to dominate the business world this year.
Trend 1: Adoption of Digital Twins across Industries
Digital twin is nothing but a digital replica of a physical asset. The virtual replica developed is integrated with a physical asset so as to have a flawless exchange of information and analytics. Since the internet is used in almost every business activity, digital twins are bound to reach new heights in the business world. Looking forward to 2018, more businesses are said to converge the physical and virtual world in the entire product lifecycle.
In the product lifecycle, the virtual counterpart will help forecast the health of the equipment, downtime and in return help in reducing its costs. In 2018, a lot of industries will be implementing this technology. Short term benefit of implementing digital twins is that it helps in asset management. The long term benefits include operational efficiency which eventually improves your customer experience.
Trend 2: Rise in Artificial Intelligence Based Decision Making
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been evolving for quite some time now. According to Statista, the market for robo advisors will be worth $255 billion by the year 2020 and AI analytics will also be worth $70 billion. Over 70 per cent of the technology teams across the UK will be using AI in one or more business applications or services in 2018. Additionally, technology experts also believe that AI will be implemented by many industries in their managed IT services for enhancing their decision making process.
E-commerce companies on the other hand can use AI for providing personalised pricing based on their customers’ past purchases and online behaviour. We already know about financial companies using AI and robo advisory for portfolio management. Hence, this technology is bound to grow this year. Additionally, experts have also predicted the increased use of AI powered chat-bots which would help customers make a faster and a better decision. In the near future, experts predict that all products, services and business activities will be self-improvising.
Trend 3: Mixed Reality for Improvising Digital Experience
As we all know, Snapchat spectacles and Google Glass were widely popular a year back. This made businesses realise the importance of an immersive experience. Due to this, many companies are now offering their customers mixed reality. Mixed reality is a combination of physical and virtual worlds. Recently, Microsoft launched a new mixed reality headset which can stream VR games, run universal applications and do so much more. Several other companies are working to achieve the same and so much more at some point.
Trend 4: Blockchain usage will not just limit to BFSI
Blockchain has continued to be one of the most wanted digital technologies in recent times. In 2016 and 2017, a lot of financial industries and banks implemented Blockchain technology. Moreover, other industrial sectors are looking to implement the Blockchain technology in 2018. Blockchain is beneficial for tracking data exchanged between autonomous vehicles in the automotive industry. Also, it is said to be extremely helpful in improving the health care records in the healthcare sector.
Blockchain technology can also be used by the educational sector to secure data of students. Recently, Sony Global Education partnered up with IBM to build a new educational platform that uses Blockchain to secure and share the records of the students. Also, Oaken Innovations exhibited the concept of Blockchain enabled tollbooth. This allows Tesla cars to automatically pay on the toll booths. Here, both the car and the tollbooth have ethereum nodes that trigger a M2M transaction.
On the other hand, Renault is working on its first digitalised car maintenance program, which uses Blockchain technology to log all car repair jobs at a single place. Furthermore, Toyota along with MIT Labs is researching Blockchain technology at full throttle. Businesses that use public cloud for the storage of their data are usually vulnerable to cyber attacks because of centralised storage systems. But once businesses start implementing Blockchain, it will help in decentralising storage and making data more secure.
Blockchain is also leveraged by IMF and several other government departments worldwide. Dubai has been the leading country in implementing Blockchain technology and is expected to be the world’s first Blockchain powered government by the year 2020.
Trend 5: Edge Computing
Globally, companies have already started to adopt edge computing. However, this technology is set to boom in 2018. Edge computing places the data and services away from centralised points and puts them on the logical extremes of a network. However, edge computing does not replace cloud computing. It enhances cloud and makes it smarter with analytics that edge devices capture. The main purpose of businesses that invest in the development of IoT applications is to follow an on-device approach to compututing and analytics.
When there are devices that perform computing tasks, the load and dependence on the Cloud is lowered. It also reduces latency for mission critical applications. Another benefit of edge computing is security. With edge devices storing the sensitive information, vulnerability is reduced manifold.
Businesses functioning globally are always in a hurry to launch technology led products in the market. Technology trends such as Cloud, Big Data, Analytics, Blockchain, AR and AI are changing the way businesses function and are helping to build products faster.
Last year witnessed several product innovations across various industrial platforms such as healthcare, retail, finance, education, entertainment, manufacturing, to name just a few. Most of the technologies developed in 2017 are expected to dominate the business world in 2018.