New year, new trends: IT trends on the horizon in 2017

The new year always brings with it anticipation about what the coming months will bring. As your go-to IT experts, we thought we’d take a moment to provide a rundown of what 2017 has in store for CIO’s.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, & Intelligent Apps
In 2017, systems will continue to get better at learning and changing future behavior for more intelligent devices and programs. Improved processing power, advanced algorithms, and the prevalence of large data sets to feed these algorithms will fuel the explosion of this technology.
We expect intelligence extending to apps as well as products like drones, autonomous vehicles, and robots, all of which can support a new era of technology powering businesses. While some worry about AI threatening jobs, we foresee it empowering us mere mortals to do our jobs better. By leveraging AI, companies can focus on advanced analytics, running more autonomous business processes, and integrating more conversational interfaces. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2018, the world’s largest 200 companies will all be leveraging intelligent apps.
Virtual & Augmented Reality
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are transforming the way individuals interact with each other and with software systems. They can be leveraged for training, and after Pokémon Go’s success, immersive experiences will never be the same. We see targeted business applications of VR and AR increasing further from last year through at least 2020.
While automation is nothing new, we see the next five years as being transformative for IT automation. This is good news for companies, so long as they appoint an “automation leader” in their IT team or via contractor to build resilient, structured scripts. Data centers already use open source automation tools, but we expect to see more marketing firms and data centers transitioning in this direction, as well.
Internet of Things
The term, “Internet of Things” (IoT), has been around for quite some time, but Internet-connected device proliferation combined with big data means that businesses can automate and refine their operations even further in 2017.
It also means that security takes on a whole new meaning. Security in the world of the IoT must be as agile at the components people are using. It will need to be both fluid and adaptive, and designers will need to consider IT security now more than ever in the early development phases of applications, solutions, and enterprise architectures.
In 2017, the workforce will be more mobile than ever, and we anticipate an increasing number of companies engaging a remote/branch office system. This means that people’s expectations of mobility and the tools they use to connect will continue to be on the rise.
Your company’s customers will also be mobile. This means your IT team will need to respond to this evolution by incorporating data segregation – the ability to isolate personal and business data from each other on the same device – into its technology roadmap.
The introduction of 5G will support the increasing mobility discussed above. 5G technology is expected to be almost incomprehensibly fast compared to current options: Verizon testing indicates that 5G can provide connection speeds 30-50 times faster than 4G! In addition to speed, a 5G wireless network is more responsive, more power-efficient, and ideal to power wearable tech and Internet-connected devices. Fasten your seatbelts, folks!
Cloud Migration
In the past, the conversation surrounding the Cloud has focused on cloud adoption. In 2017, we see this dialogue shifting to cloud-first strategies. Investing in cloud-first technology will mean substantial benefits for businesses, including decreased hosting and equipment costs, increased capacity, streamlined operations, enhanced collaboration, and increased productivity. Perhaps most importantly, cloud-first computing is key to keeping your company agile.
In general, annual company revenue and IT budgets are expected to remain flat, meaning that companies need to figure out how to do more with the trends discussed above without additional resources. This is where an MSP can help. Feel free to contact us if you would like assistance mapping out how your company can leverage these trends to leap frog the competition.