We live in a tech-driven world where our day to day activities like reading news, commuting to work, social interaction, etc.are influenced by all kinds of technologies. In fact, technology is not simply growing at a steady rate, it’s accelerating.
In the past few years, we have seen monumental achievements in all kinds of industries on the back of new-age technologies like machine learning, cloud computing, etc. However, talking about 2018 in particular,the following are the top 5 tech trends to watch for:
1. Big Data and Analytics
Data is becoming more and more important with each passing day thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and the Internet. To be more precise, in every single minute:
- 527,760 photos are shared on Snapchat
- Netflix users stream 69,444 hours’ worth of videos
- 103,447,520 spam emails are sent
- 2,657,700 GB internet data is used by the US citizens
These stats and many more can be seen in the infographic Data Never Sleeps 5.0. However, the essence of all this is that since the data generation rate is growing exponentially, there is a huge potential for the businesses… and they know it.
Tech Giants including Google, Facebook are already using Big Data analytics to learn about user behavior and optimize the digital ad placement accordingly. However, now new-age startups like Kristalytics, Zansys technologies, are also emerging on the blogosphere to offer affordable but powerful analytics services to the SMEs to improve their marketing campaigns and as well as their products/services.
2. Artificial Intelligence
When the world first saw Sophia, the first robot citizen walking on the face of the earth, there were mixed reactions. As she announced her citizenship status in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the world looked at her with awe. Some were spellbound by the android that appearedso powerful and intelligent by today’s standards, while others were uncomfortable with the very idea of granting citizenship to someone non-human.
At any rate, artificial intelligence is becoming more and more powerful with each passing day, and we are sure to find it in new areas of our lives including healthcare (robot surgeons), education (advanced and well-calculated curriculums), and even personal life (AI assistants that monitor your vitals, calendar for events, etc.).
The reason why AI is finding so many applications today is that it has matured a lot. For instance, Tailor Brands is a unique AI-powered logo design toolkit that allows startups to create perfect and professional company logos in a matter of minutes. The program simply takes their inputs including their industry category and design preferencesand filters through hundreds of thousands of design combinations to offer just the few that fit the bill. The user can then select the one they like the most and after making a few minor changes (if needed), they can simply download the file and use it for their websites, blogs, etc.
Even the tech giants are using AI extensively. For instance, you will find it in Amazon’s Alexa that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand and process a user’s voice commands, Spotify that uses AI to greatly improve its user recommendation algorithms, etc.
3. Virtual Currencies and Blockchain
The popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is so high that even someone who isn’t from tech or finance industry knows about it today. In fact, over the past few years, a great number of investors have jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon and poured money liberallyonly to make massive ROI.
The reason why virtual currencies are so popular is the blockchain technology that’s essentially the foundation of the entire system. It’s a decentralized system in which there is no central bank, no government organization to monitor or regulate the currency. Thus, the power lies with the users/investors only, and that’s a big deal.
It’s not just the investors, financial institutions and governments across the globe are realizing the potential of blockchain as they understand they can use it to make big-ticket purchases such as real estate, commodities, etc. more secure and safe. In fact, a number of top banks have invested in blockchain to use it for live trade tracking, credit-default swaps, etc. including Barclays, JP Morgan, State Street, etc.
4. Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS model has been a boon for the startup industry. Now, even SMEs in the remotest corners of the world with shoestring budgets can actually do some serious business online and aren’t held back due to the lack of enterprise-level software thatwere once accessible to onlythe top players in the market.
Today, there is a slew of bookkeeping, payroll management, supply chain management, and productivity tools for professionals on the Internet that the startups can invest into on a subscription basis without having to worry about creating an IT infrastructure and maintenance costs. It’s a perfect marriage of convenience and affordability, which is why it’s easily one of the top tech trends to watch for this year.
5. Process Automation
Automation is one of the most popular buzzwords in the tech industry today, and for a good reason. After all, it’s what that makes mundane and time-consuming business tasks easy to manage and process, eliminates human error, and helps get more accurate results.
As the name suggests, automation is a technology which can be anything – AI, machine learning, or even any type of standard software programming, that “automates” processes like invoice payment reminders, payroll management, social media content publishing, etc.
Automation allows a business to give a big push to the overall productivity and cut costs by shrinking the staff to handle just the core business operations. It was one of the most-talked-about technologies in 2017, and there is no reason it won’t be in 2018 as well.
So many new and innovative tech-based products are launched on a daily basis, that it can be challenging to keep track of them all. However, it’s a good thing, as it means that our future holds limitless possibilities and a better tomorrow. Let’s see that 2018 brings us!