Technology trends: What we can expect in 2017?
Submitted by Richard Dickenson on
To say that technology is evolving at a fast pace is a gross understatement. With over 53% of the world population connected to the internet, a sizeable portion of the planet’s 7.3 billion inhabitants are able to communicate and conduct business around the clock. Access to technology means faster and more sophisticated innovations.
Over the past 50 years we have seen more technological advancements than we’ve witnessed in the past 10,000 years. If the current trend continues - and there is no sign that it is slowing down – over the next five years, we are likely to see even more. Let’s start with the widely-touted (and true) observation that an iPhone is more powerful than the Command Module of the Apollo 11; the first spaceflight that put humans on the moon. Given their respective technological capabilities, comparing an iPhone with the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) is a little like comparing an F/A-18 fighter jet aircraft with the Wright Brothers' first plane.
Skype, Facebook, Twitter, AirBnB, Tesla and Uber are just some of the companies that have changed the face of the global economy in less than 15 years. At the same time, new start-ups are continuing to push the boundaries, challenging conventional axioms and disrupting old business models. When it comes to the speed of technological innovation, 15 years can seem like an eternity. No-one could have anticipated the emergence or significance of social media and this makes it virtually impossible to predict what we can expect 15 years from now. To stay relevant and connected to their customer base, businesses must adopt in order to adapt and as we enter the first few weeks of 2017 we take a look at the year ahead and the technology trends businesses should keep an eye out for.
The hacking scandals that have plagued businesses over the past few years will continue as weaknesses are systematically exploited by a growing army of hackers. Small-to-medium-sized businesses in particular (typically with less security in place) will be seen as a rich-picking ground as their emails can be hacked whilst employee phones and websites remain unprotected. Companies are also vulnerable through their increasing reliance on the cloud to store data. It is hardly surprising, therefore that one of the biggest trends in the upcoming year will be bolstering security and protecting customer’s private data.
As the cost of making payments continues to drop, the percentage of online sales continues to grow. According to consultancy firm Twenga, in 2015, 77% of UK internet users (92% of the UK population) made a purchase online. Payment using a credit or debit card was the most popular with 49% of consumers choosing this method. Closely behind in second place with 40% share was PayPal (or other similar services like Apple Pay or Google Pay). With the growth in online shopping seemingly unstoppable, more and more businesses are veering towards online payment solutions in an effort to capture a bigger slice of the online market.
The ubiquity of smartphones means that businesses are increasingly offering services that are compatible with mobile devices. Dedicated mobile applications are no longer exclusive to big companies as organisations begin to capitalise on an app’s ability to help support and provide information to its customers.
Mobile apps can now offer voice and video communication allowing better communication with customers. Easy to use platforms such as PowerApps (Microsoft) and Appy Pie allow even unskilled users to create an app. The ability for a customer to show a company’s representatives the problem through video chat boosts customer engagement and will no doubt give an organisation an edge over its competitors.
Cloud computing can no longer be thought of as a new technology platform shrouded in mystery. The benefits, business value and relevance of the platform is well recognised. The latest research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) reveals that the overall Cloud adoption rate in the UK today stands at 84 per cent, with almost four in five (78 per cent) of Cloud users having formally adopted two or more services. Cost savings, while still important, are no longer the leading driver of a move to cloud. As business demands change at ever faster rates, companies look to cloud for agility and will increasingly dispose of on-premises infrastructure.
As cloud technology continues to gain kudos it will eventually be adopted by conservative industries. Once the bigger players have taken the plunge, the organisations that have avoided cloud previously will adopt it in droves.
Landmark technologies, your new partner for a new year
Landmark Technologies has helped many businesses by developing solutions designed to support their growth. As one of London’s fastest growing providers of workplace technology solutions to businesses Landmark has been in the vanguard of technology solutions developing highly robust and secure systems from Cloud computing, IT support or VOIP telephone systems for a number of top-tier organisations in the City of London and overseas.
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About the author
Richard gained a Bsc from UEA in Business Management, since then he has worked within the Serviced office Industry for over 10 years. He enjoys the diversity of products and solutions at Landmark Technologies disposal in an ever evolving industry.
Richard is currently Captain of Chelmsford 3rd X1 Hockey team (who are challenging for Promotion) and in the Summer he plays cricket for Great Totham as an all-rounder. For his sins he is also an Everton fan.