5 Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

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posted by Jessica
on Jan 13, 2017

2016 was a big year for tech. We’ve seen innovations and advancements across the board, from virtual reality to wearables; and there have even been deliveries made by drones and robots. In 2017, many experts predict big movements in fin tech and the Internet of Things, and many SMEs are in a prime position to benefit from these trends. Here are five major tech trends business owners can expect to see shaking up the game in the next twelve months.

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1. Cybersecurity Remains a Priority

The steady uptick in cyber-attacks and the increasingly risky and destructive nature of breaches has sent jolts through organizations throughout the world. It’s painfully clear that traditional perimeter-based security approached no longer work. Making matter works, hacking for hire is on the rise.

With many businesses now making the switch to cloud solutions, more attention is needed when it comes to cloud computing and security. As businesses tend to use multiple cloud-based providers, there are lots of integration and data transfer mechanisms that aren’t always properly understood – or worse, they have been configured poorly, allowing unauthorized access to critical data.

There’s a need to update risk management frameworks to ensure organizations are not only are protecting critical data, but also guarding the underlying compute platform – especially devices at the edge of the perimeter where attackers gain access. Businesses also need to gain better understanding of the platforms they use from a security context. Furthermore, a more ‘pragmatic’ cybersecurity solution is needed to cater to businesses of all sizes.

2. The Rise of FinTech

Since early 2016, there’s been a growing prominence of financial technology or fintech in the startup community. The same trend is being witnessed around the world, with government acting to introduce regulatory sandboxes and advisory councils to keep up with the blossoming industry.

Danielle Szetho, chief executive at FinTech Australia, told SmartCompany the emergence regulatory sandboxes for fintech startups in a number of regions will allow these companies to “facilitate innovation whilst still keeping a decent level of oversight and management”.

In 2017, experts believes consumers will receive even more choices when it comes to financial products, as regulators are looking to allow more competition into the banking sector. Regulators in the UK, US, and Australia have strongly indicated they want to make it easier for challenger banks to get their licenses and give the big guys a bit more of a run for their money, and give consumers more options to choose from.

However, experts also warn quick growth can also increase the risk of unscrupulous operators.

3. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

In the past few years, artificial intelligence has increasingly found a place in a wide range of industries and applications. From Siri and Cortana to cybersecurity, smart homes and even smart toys, the technology has become pretty ubiquitous in a way that no longer seems like science fiction.

It is expected that in 2017, AI will start to move ‘big data’ aggregation in a direction of making people’s day=to-day lives easier. In wearable devices, for instance, AI is already aggregating wide amounts of data, analyzing it quickly and making predictions about one’s health. In cybersecurity, AI can be used to predict cyberattacks; while businesses can use machine intelligence insights to deliver more engaging experience to customers and make better business decisions.

Emerging AI areas include computer vision, natural-language processing, machine learning, deep learning, knowledge representation, expert systems, biometrics, and video analytics.

4. The Internet of Things Continue to Evolve

The internet of things (IoT) is one area of tech it’s likely you don’t even realize you’re using as ‘smart’ devices are quickly becoming the norm for new products coming into the market. In the past years, IoT devices have continued to be integrated into various facets of businesses and impacting virtually every sector of the economy.

As more and more devices are connected to the net, IoT will continue to blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds, driving new conversations and ideas across horizontal ecosystems. Experts believe IoT will be an accelerator for innovation and foundational piece of several emerging future scenarios, i.e. autonomous vehicles, smart homes, smart cities, connected health care, and many more.

5. Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

In 2016, we’ve seen some major steps forward for virtual reality and augmented reality technology. Oculus Rift was released, to positive reception, and thousands of VR apps and games followed. We also saw Pokémon Go, an AR game, explode with over 100 million downloads. The market is ready for AR and VR, and we’ve already got some early-stage devices and tech for these applications, but it’s going to be next year before we see things really take off. Once they do, you’ll need to be ready for AR and VR versions of practically everything—and ample marketing opportunities to follow.

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