According to industry analyst firm Gartner, technology spending is expected to grow to $3.7 Trillion dollars in 2018, with communications services ($1.387 billion) and IT services ($931 billion) making up the majority of this spending. In contrast, enterprise software and data center are among the categories forecast to see significantly less spending. Shifts in IT spending towards the Cloud had changed the landscape for buyers, vendors and technology solution providers alike. Here are eight important technology trends that you should be aware of in 2018.
- Cybersecurity - 2017 was a year full of data breaches and ransomware. A 'Cost of Data Breach' study by the Ponemon institute last year indicated that the average cost of a data breach in 2017 was $141 per record lost. Consider how many customer, prospect, employee, member or supplier records you may have within your organization. With the risks so high, Cybersecurity will remain top of mind for all IT Executives this year.
- Cloud Computing - According to Forbes, 80% of IT budgets will be committed to the Cloud this year. SaaS solutions will continue to help Sales, Marketing, HR and Finance leaders become more productive, and communications and collaboration applications (email, VoIP and conferencing solutions) will connect more employees across more companies and supply chains. IaaS will host a range of solutions including websites, e-commerce applications, online backup and more.
- Software-Defined Networking (SDN) - Analyst firm IDC predicts Software Defined Networking to top $8 billion in 2018. As more companies rely on technology for communications, customer experience and remotely hosted cloud solutions, cost-effective network performance becomes critical. Increased cost savings combined with improved connectivity make Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) a popular choice for companies expanding to multiple locations or those reviewing their networking expense.
- Internet of things (IoT)- The Internet of Things (IoT), as well as other smart devices, will emerge in consumer and business technology markets. From security systems to smart cities expect more and more connected devices to contribute to efficiencies from the factory floor to the warehouse door.
- BlockChain - This distributed trust technology will go beyond Bitcoin and other distributed ledgers to drive efficiencies in select industries including Healthcare and Financial services. Blockchain technology uses encryption to link a continuous series of records. By securely confirming agreement to complex transactions, BlockChain technology will begin to rattle in 2018 for many larger organizations. It may take more time before this technology applies to small and medium businesses. Read our full Blockchain blog post here.
- Big Data - Standards for gathering and analyzing information and connecting the dots between demographics, geography and other insights begin to provide companies of all sizes competitive advantage.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) - AI will appear in the form of process automation, chatbots and other computer-to- computer conversation and learning will creep into the technology stack in 2018. Businesses may find AI emerge in popular productivity applications throughout the workplace.
- Digital Transformation - Companies wanting to stay on the edge of technology will look to digital technologies to fuel growth and efficiencies. Expect large businesses to acquire their digital counterparts, while small business will deploy technologies to improve customer experience and ensure employee productivity.
As technologies like these become more prevalent in business operations, it is more important than ever to ensure you have right services, and service providers, in place to address your unique business needs. Our team is here to help you determine how your business can best benefit from emerging technology trends, and match you up with optimal solutions for your present and future requirements.