5 Tech Trends to Keep Your Eyes On

August 23, 2017 |

The technology readily available to us is impressive and extensive, and advancements and adoptions are not slowing down anytime soon. We can expect some trends that have been in the marketplace to continue growing and expanding while we witness newer technologies develop at accelerated speeds. Here, we explore five big tech trends and what they could mean for business development and growth in international markets.

1. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

The goal for both augmented and virtual realities (AR and VR) is to enhance and enrich experiences. VR involves a headset – think Occulus Rift – and immerses the user into a virtual world (be it imaginary or ‘real’), while AR creates an experience for the user by superimposing computer-generated enhancements atop real life through different devices, for example, your smartphone.

With so much media attention on games like Pokemon Go, the popularity of AR and VR has been on the rise since 2015. As more and more content is created and the technologies become streamlined, the market is anticipated to grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion by 2020 (Source). Although the buzz has mostly been around gaming, adopting AR and VR can mean big opportunities for the industry. Many companies are already using these technologies to reach a critical mass in healthcare delivery, product design, safety training and so much more. In these new realities, the possibilities for growth are endless.

2. Humanized Big Data 

While big data has been a hot topic for several years, many industry experts expect humanized big data to come swiftly to the forefront of research and investment. Big data’s strength is a quantitative and numeric approach to collecting and analyzing data while humanized big data shifts these principals to create a more empathetic and qualitative methodology with a high degree of visualization (Source). This allows for people who are not “data experts” to easily interpret the information and derive clear and actionable insights from it.

 

 

 

3.  Blockchain 

As the foundation for the digital currency bitcoin, blockchain is still in its early stages but is gaining considerable traction in terms of investment. By 2021, the blockchain technology market is forecasted to grow from $210.2 million in 2016 to more than $2 billion in 2021 (Source).

So what is blockchain? At its core, this technology is a distributed database of transaction books that allows participants in a network to share a digital ledger while preventing them from tampering with any of the transaction records (Source). The implications of this technology are enormous. For example, in the financial industry it is estimated that the annual savings for banks will be $8 to $12 million (Source). Beyond the financial industry there are many positive implications for organizations with complex global supply chains.

4. Machine Learning 

 

Machine Learning, which is giving computers the ability to learn through data without being explicitly programmed, has made huge strides in the past few years. Google’s “RankBank”, a machine-learning system that helps Google process some of its search results, is just one example (Source). We expect to see further growth and development in the near future. Based on investment trends and research data we may soon be experiencing more platforms that deliver value on a whole new level (Source).

 

5. Internet of Things 

 If you’ve heard an inanimate object described as “Smart”, it is part of the Internet of Things (IoT). The core tenant of IoT is machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Via cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors, it is virtual, mobile and an instant connection between an environment of objects (Source). It has the potential to make everything in our lives, from our homes to our streets, “smart”. The future applications for this technology seem limitless.

While we have been hearing about the revolution that is IoT for years now, the average person isn’t living in a smart, connected home. A key issue affecting the advancement and success of this technology is intense competition, lack of collaboration and security concerns (Source). The basis for IoT is interconnectivity, and not just between devices but between customers, partners and suppliers. Single company models won’t work here and collaboration is not an option but a necessity and we see successful companies seeking multiple agile partners to co-create solutions (Source).

*If you’re a company focusing on IoT in Western Canada, join ICT West at IoT Solutions World Congress. Please note that there is a slight cost involved ($2500 CND), but it will definitely be worth it. Contact us to learn more and register here.

 

Fitting it together

How these trends and technological advancements affect your company will depend on your goals and objectives, but it is important to take advantage of these new developments where and when you can. Whether it is simplifying your supply chain model with blockchain or training staff using VR, the opportunities for growth and innovation are very real and incredibly exciting.