These are exciting times as technology experiences exponential growth in reach and scope. Although 2016 had its share of ups and downs, 2017 looks set for a digital transformation. While cloud computing witnessed overwhelming adoption and algorithms became new buzzwords, new technologies like Big Data, Analytics, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence could revolutionise industries across the board. Tech biggies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple are already revving it up to offer consumers the ultimate experience. Adding deep learning, natural language processing, and neural networks could further add potency to the mix. The lines between the real and the virtual are getting increasingly blurred: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Jarvis to the world—the Artificial Intelligence assistant from the film Iron Man. The following four trends could dominate technology over the next year.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Homes Just imagine your AC switching off to ensure that the power-demanding washing machine has enough electricity or bringing your room’s temperature down to the optimum on a particularly sunny day. Or the dishwasher and the mixer-grinder communicating with each other and deciding just how much power they should share among themselves to account for the effect of a cloudy day on your solar power plant. Connected appliances such as smart fridge, TV, washing machine, and home security systems with cameras and sensors could take centre stage. This is the Smart Home for you in 2017. With the evolution of increasingly sophisticated sensors, exponential expansion in 3G and 4G services (with talks of 5G hovering in the air) and broadband connectivity, there could be a smart revolution in our lives. While the technologies matured in 2016, 2017 could see rapid expansion and acceptability.
Cloud ERP could be the game changer for 2017
With rapid spread of the internet, cloud services could become more affordable for SMEs and small businesses. Overall, this would help the Software as a Service (SaaS) grow, with particular fillip for the ERP sector, which will become more cost-effective and easier to deploy. This should help SMEs catch up with big corporates. Moreover, cloud shift could also affect big businesses. According to a Gartner report, by 2018, at least 25 percent of new core financial application deployments in large enterprises will be public Cloud SaaS. The research firm has further predicted that at least 30 percent of service companies will move their ERP to the cloud by 2018.
“The cloud shift will increase in 2017, carrying on the momentum from 2016. The sector will witness expansion as on-premise computing sees a decline. Data centre business would flourish proportionate to the cloud shift as companies look for cloud service providers to reduce costs and increase flexibility of operations,” said Shashank Dixit, CEO, Deskera, a global leader in cloud technology.
Coming-of-age for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
There has been a lot of talk over these two technologies in 2016; their scope and usability looks set to increase in 2017. Top tech companies such as Apple and Google are already looking for ways to leverage state-of-the-art Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies to make smarter products in areas such as cloud computing and robotics.
Big Data Analytics could steal the show in 2017
Although the concept might be at an experimental stage, it would take off hugely once industry goes in for emerging and allied innovations such as the industrial internet of things. Industry would shed its reluctance of the technology, but I am expecting the process to be gradual. However, of all the sectors, health care could prove to be the dark horse for Big Data Analytics as it seeks to resolve some of the hardest medical problems with the help of this technology. As sensors get affordable, data collection could reach unprecedented levels. This would offer fresh insights into areas as diverse as treatment of diseases to environmental conservation. For Third World countries such as India, the technology offers the scope to cut down on medical expenses and universalise health care and bring in people who had been out of the ambit thus far. Increasingly sophisticated Analytics tools could lead to large-scale adoption and overall increase in business competitiveness.