In my job, I am routinely asked to look out into the future to predict what technology trends will impact businesses so they can be better prepared. The effect of technology on business operations is becoming much more pervasive. It’s beginning to touch everything. Are you ready?
Here are the top technology trends that should shape an organization’s strategy in 2018:
The top trend that will dominate headlines in 2018 is cybersecurity. The threats are rising, becoming more sophisticated and potentially more harmful. Ransomware threats smashed all other cybersecurity topics in 2017. Now highly targeted phishing attempts, possibly powered by artificial intelligence (AI), create greater risks for shutting down an organization’s operations.
In 2018, we will start to see the emergence of sophisticated malware that leverages AI to mimic writing styles, review appointments and send “directions” for an upcoming meeting to the victim. While organizations cannot completely protect themselves from ransomware and phishing attacks, they can get close with a layered security approach and employee education. Employee education will need to be a reinforced strategy from the top down for every organization to embrace. See how employees can help.
The increasing use of apps and cloud-based computing provides organizations more opportunities to leverage automation to improve productivity in sales, marketing and administration. An estimated 40 percent of our time is wasted by task-switching. Automation will continue to drive out waste and wait in a given process, not just shift it. Organizations will need to look at automating more of their operations in 2018. See 6 questions to consider your opportunities.
- More Connected Devices
We started talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) just before the turn of the century. The impact seemed unimaginable. In some ways, it still is. Now almost anything electric can be controlled from a smartphone and many connect without users even realizing it. Cisco predicts that 500 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2030.
The Internet of Things is the network where the IoT applications use the data generated by smart devices to aggregate, analyze and deliver insight. This helps drive more informed decisions and actions. IoT needs to be a critical part of an organization’s business strategy and will take an increased investment to support in 2018. See 3 simple tasks IoT completes.
- Multiple Data Centers
Regulation and latency demands are leading more providers to build “micro data centers” close to users for better performance. The number of data centers that both big and small players use will significantly multiply over the next five years. Because of this growth, major cloud providers expect to triple their infrastructure by 2020. Organizations will see their data center providers multiply their data centers, based on where their applications reside.
- Hosted & Managed Services
Now almost anything can be purchased “as a Service” (aaS) to the benefit of organizations. No matter the size or needs, organizations can outsource and quickly scale IT. Services like Hosted Voice and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) allow organizations to shift from a capital investment to an operating cost model. With the growing sophistication of Enterprise Unified Communications, companies can off-load most of the complexity to service providers with a UCaaS model like Marco’s to ensure they always have the latest versions and features.
These five trends are not fleeting or far off. They will drive organizations in 2018 and are positioned to have a sustainable impact for years to come. Take a moment today to consider how your organization can better position itself to benefit from these changes.