4 trends to watch and follow this yearIt’s no secret that we love technology—after all, we have chosen a field of work that lets us eat, sleep, and breathe technology all day every day. The New Year gives us the perfect excuse to indulge our obsession even more by taking a look at the new tech trends we think will be big in 2016. We think these four trends will emerge in 2016 as forces to be reckoned with and the start of each technologies emergence into the tech fore.
Artificial IntelligenceWe’re not talking robots taking over the world—not yet—, this is the AI that is already here and helping us everyday. AI like Facebook’s facial recognition software, Amazon’s Echo, and Apple’s Siri. How will AI affect your business in 2016? It’s all about machines with the ability to learn and make decisions. From algorithms to artificial neural pathways, a “digital workforce” is coming that just might be able to take some of the burden off human employees. Group chat platform Slack wants its own Slackbot to get smarter and be able to do more for and with users in the comming years. Imaging being able to tell an intelligent computer agent to research and summarize a topic for you. It's not far off even with today's natural language systems (like what powers Google).
With the massive amounts of data businesses are bringing in now from all directions, automation of some tasks (like research) makes sense. Don’t expect early AI tools to be perfect, it’s going to take years before AI can replace tasks we do today—like building complex reports from disparate data sets—but the foundation has been laid and it’s coming.
Virtual RealitySome of the first—and most popular—uses of VR will be video games and entertainment, but business applications like training and industrial design tasks are coming in the near future. VR allows new employees to be trained for difficult and dangerous jobs in an immersive environment without risk. Immersive presentations to be made with 3-D data visualizations with multimedia product demos. With products from Google, Samsung, Facebook out or launching soon, expect new apps, advances, and uses of VR very soon. What will start as toys will become business critical tools in a few years. We'll probably look back at 2016 as the year VR broke free of entertainment and became a business tool.
Cloud ServicesCloud services aren’t new—but as more and more companies make the move to the Cloud, 2016 will be the tipping point when businesses realize they can’t afford not to leverage the cloud for data, applications, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). With all the benefits the cloud offers, from affordable scalability to unparalleled security and flexibility, taking your company’s data storage, applications, and backup into the cloud is a no-brainer this year. New hardware and software for cloud services will make it easier than ever for businesses to deploy apps and services to cloud data centers. On the cloud front watch out for hybrid solutions that combine local and cloud-based infrastructure seamlessly into web-based applications. In 2016 scaling up a website to meet sudden demand will be as simple as hitting enter and adding new virtual servers to your cluster of physical servers.
Tech IntegrationYou’ve heard of the internet of things—smart devices that can be controlled via the Internet (like cars, thermostats, and security systems). Until recently these devices haven’t had the ability to communicate with each other. In 2016, look for this to change. Like your car telling the light, thermostat, and alarm you’re home and to turn lights on, heat up, and alarm off before you even get to the door.
Apps, too, are becoming integrated with each other. Now, rather than using one app for one task, and another for a different one, you’ll see more multi-purpose, combination apps that put more functionalities at your fingertips. Technology is moving towards full integration, where everything communicates with everything else to make life easier. So what does this mean for business? Christened the “digital mesh” by Gartner, this interconnectivity will bring increased agility to companies. Agility, with new complexities. Expect whole new toolsets to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot the digital mesh.
Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just looking for the best new tech solutions for your business, these four areas of technological advances are where you’ll want to be in 2016. Contact Microserve today to take the first steps.
Cartoon from XKCD.
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