Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

By Michael Ioannakis, CMO, MiracleTek

An IT company today provides its customers with a number of innovative solutions and products brilliantly powered by new technologies. The IT growth seems unprecedented at times, but it is hard to argue on the benefits IT has brought onto many different sectors. Here, we have tried to mention a select few tech solutions that are expected to play key roles in driving the future of businesses.

Cloud

One of the major shifts, particularly in enterprise, is the movement toward ‘cloud technology’. It is ‘trending’ as a necessary part of business. But the term itself,has much hype and perhaps misunderstanding associated with it. Many organizations recognize cloud technology as something perplexing.

Whether it’s an entire CRM or HRM solutions, enterprises today have immense potential of automating nearly all daily operations thanks to highly sophisticated, yet easy to use applications. These are offered by cloud service providers.The result is increased employee productivity, streamlining of processesand data management from one protected, secure and safe location. The cloud industry is expanding and has been ‘clocked’ at more than 22% CAGR. By 2018, it will be a $127b industry. The giants in this space like Google, AWS and Microsoft have cemented their position as organization-wide solution providers. Their broad offering and proven integrity make it difficult for new entrants to make a mark.

Consequently,new entrantsare sticking to niche markets, often providing private cloud solutions.Private cloud is a dedicated systemof virtual machines, applications and data specific to that organization - normally hosted on-site.It provides greater control over securitybut limited ability to scale according to business needs. Itcan fall short in offering true mobility of data and cannot scale on-demand as quickly as a public cloud solution.

Mobility

Smart devices in the world today havepast 3.6 billion. An average employee handlesup to three separate devices at work. Over half of the connected devices in corporate networks are mobile. Most devices carry sensitive company data, giving clear indication how much employees engage with their work ‘on the go’. This behavior is a direct seedof cloud computing’s capability, surpassing barriers of traditional hardware and providing accessibility of data on any type of device.

This trend will continue as more companies move from a 9am to 5pm working day, to one where employees pick their own hours and choose their own working environment.

BYOD

Another emerging trend is the preference for working on personaldevices. It started with checking emails on vacation and expanded to accessing and sharing company data from remote locations. It is a challenge for companies where they must decide between security of company data and productivity and freedom of employees.

Manycompanies realize this opportunity as research suggests that 90% of all US based companies will employ an elaborate BYOD strategy by 2017. If done right, it’s an excellent cost saving policy where the company is freed from buying new equipment and reimburses employees for the cost for work-related mobile data usage.

Internet of Things (IoT)

A relatively new trend is the internet of things (IoT). This is a future where the device would “know” you. Imagine youenter a room and your TV turns on to your favourite channel, lighting regulates to your preferred setting and the A/C control adjusts and regulates temperature accordingly.

It’s an exciting future to look forward to, but we are still a way off in determining how it affects human life on a business or macro level. Today, one of the fundamental arguments in‘IoT enabled’ devices is the lack of adherence to a single operating system. This impedes ability to communicate with each other and realizing the true potential of IoT. As BYOD, demand for mobility and data protection becomes a priority when companies consider a move to the cloud, privacy and security remains a key consideration. Research suggests87% of companies cite cloud security and privacy as their biggest concern.

A growing trend in cloud security is adopting the relatively new phenomenon, ‘Security-as-a-Service’ solution. The breadth of solutions is expanding as companies turn to cloud or managed services.

Alternatively ‘hybrid clouds’ are trending, where a combination of private and public cloud is adopted. This allows companies to keep private data close to their chest, and off-load some resources to the public cloud in case of urgent expansion requirement.

It will be interesting to see how the realm of security in enterprises shifts when smart wearable items become commonplace and the IoT really takes off.

Conclusion

Adopting cloud technology (either fully or on a hybrid basis) is a fait accompli. Businesses today are becoming Virtual to connect anywhere, anytime. Therefore there is huge upside in establishing a mobility strategy in particularly with the rise in the ‘remote worker’, and withthe desire to automate processes. Companies will have little choice but to adopt a BYOD policy with the variety and usage of devices and continuallyembrace current security trends.

With businesses today focused onproductivity, cost management and balancing flexibility for employees; it seems that thoughtful consideration of the above mentioned trends will support their endeavor.

Organizations must shift fromold style’ paradigmsand embrace technologyto operate as a 21st Century,modern organisation. This provides a solid platform for modern management techniques to be deployed, employee engagement and enterprise productivity.

Quotes: It will be interesting to see how the realm of security in enterprises shifts when smart wearables become common