2018 is going to be another exciting year for the tech sector, as well as for businesses wishing to invest in technology to help future-proof their interests. With a huge array of the tech that’s already available to us dropping in price, practical products will take centre stage.
Businesses will be able to focus on solutions that add real value, delivering productivity and return on investment. Today’s customers expect customer service excellence at the touch of a button. They want to place orders 24/7 and demand fast delivery too. This year, technology will step up to the challenge.
Automation technology has had really positive effects on business and it will continue to grow, building on existing infrastructures to enhance productivity. There has been an understandable reticence to fully adopt automation, primarily based on fears of job losses, but 2018 is likely to see a tipping point, as customers start to rely ever more heavily on automated services and trust that their personal data is secure following the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May.
Machine learning is infiltrating all technology. Giants are leading the way, with Apple embedding machine learning into mobile through iOS apps, and the Google Brain Team’s TensorFlow available on the Cloud. Advancing software to become even more useful, machine learning will allow businesses to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks. Building out from that, AI will continue to evolve, with the likes of Alexa and Google Home moving further into the business environment.
Robots are big business. Quite literally on the cusp of becoming ‘everyday’ tech, last year it was estimated that 1.3 million industrial robots would have arrived in factories by now. And that upward trend is set to continue, with edge computing adding even more value for the business.
This all directly relates back to what developers should be focusing their attention on – delivering tech that can make a greater impact, providing solutions to day to day business problems. Using automation, machine learning and AI, the Virtual Assistants we’re already becoming accustomed to in our homes will be able to take on greater roles in the industry.
No matter what your business, preparing and becoming an early adopter can offer a real competitive edge. Investing in tech is just the beginning. To take full advantage of the benefits available, and to ensure resistance to these amazing changes and opportunities is kept to a minimum, all staff need to be included and enabled. Engaging with universities through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) is equally important.
Working together, 2018 will be great for tech and we have an exciting year ahead.