Check out the business tech trends for 2016 » SMEInsider

Check out the business tech trends for 2016

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In 2016 the Internet of Things and wearable technologies will continue to dominate and it’s likely robotics and artificial intelligence solutions will go mainstream. These are the key predictions in a new report – ‘What’s Hot in 2016 – technology trends’ published today by Advanced 365 (Advanced) in association with Global Futures & Foresight.

Neil Cross, MD, Advanced 365, outlines his top six technological developments that organisations should consider in the next 12 months to drive business innovation and growth.

  1. A new era of cybercrime – Organisations will increasingly be targeted by independent groups of cyber criminals, with the average cost of a data breach exceeding £100 million by 2020. As businesses become more connected, influenced by technology platforms such as IoT, hackers will develop specific malware with potentially devastating consequences. To mitigate risk, it is vital to develop relationships with trusted partners who can provide security assessments and additional forms of due diligence to address these IT challenges.
  2. The rise and fall of apps – Growth in apps is predicted to peak in the short term before consumers switch to virtual assistants in the cloud by 2020. Advanced 365 has developed home and remote control apps in addition to an e-commerce site with back-office data warehousing and reporting facilities for RS Components. Performance data for the company’s Wi-Fi enabled air-conditioning units is sent to the central data warehouse system every five minutes and stored permanently. The improved application architecture has seen monthly revenues increase by 40%.
  3. IoT at the edge – IoT is shifting from a connected device (remote sensors and monitoring) to an intelligent device paradigm (equipment, instruments or machines with computing capabilities). Examples include Pizza Hut testing the world’s ‘first subconscious menu’ using eye-tracking technology to predict customer choices. To take advantage, organisations will need to ensure that their IT infrastructures are sufficiently robust to store, process and analyse increased volumes of IoT related data close to, or ‘at the edge’, of networks.
  4. Mobile technologies, including wearables – Consumers and employees are increasingly demanding access to the information they need, when and wherever they need it. The wearable tech market could reach 385 million people worldwide by 2025 which will see it evolve into a viable mass alternative to smartphones. Almost *three-quarters (72%) of consumers believe wearables represent the future of in-store shopping and 50% expect this technology to provide full health monitoring from implantable devices. Bio batteries, where wearables harvest kinetic energy from users, could also emerge as early as 2016.
  5. Software robotics – Software robotics enable organisations to generate new growth opportunities and enhance existing products and services.  Analyst Gartner believes that by 2017, these autonomics-based managed services and cognitive platforms will reduce the cost of IT solutions by 60% through automating processes currently performed by humans. Businesses should evaluate employee skillsets to determine how Software robotics can augment creative thinking by freeing them from routine tasks. Benefits include reduced costs and better interaction between staff and customers.
  6. Virtual reality (VR) – By replacing how we create, share and experience anything, VR technologies will dominate industries that train through simulation, such as aviation and medicine. VR and adjacent solutions are anticipated to generate mass consumer revenues from software platforms and delivery services, television and gaming content and hardware and distribution channels. Organisations should consider how their existing training processes could benefit and examine whether customer engagement would be enhanced from a more experiential form of interaction.

Cross comments, “The speed of innovation within business technology is creating much uncertainty, particularly for organisations who are reluctant to abandon old processes and systems. Whilst disruption should not be underestimated, businesses which are bold enough to embrace change stand to be rewarded with significant opportunities and efficiencies.

“There remains a real need for businesses to understand how the competitive advantages on which they have based their strategy might erode or be enhanced a decade from now by emerging technologies. Greater collaboration and forming alliances with trusted partners is therefore critical to tackling big issues, such as software robotics and cybercrime. ”

The report – ‘What’s Hot in 2016 – technology trends’ has been written by David Smith, chief executive of Global Futures and Foresight. The report highlights 15 technologies which are most likely to create disruption and opportunities for businesses, whilst including best practice recommendations for a range of industries.