While piling items into my virtual cart to get my holiday shopping done, quickly clicking and scrolling away and feeling like a tech savvy Mrs. Claus, I couldn’t help but consider how different shopping is now compared to how it was in a not so distant past. Was it only a decade ago that I would have found myself battling mile long lines or paying ridiculous fees to get items shipped in time if I dared to wait until the week before Christmas?
Since those dark days of ye olde mid-2000’s, we’ve seen a wealth of services and technological advancements change the way we shop, do business, communicate and more. As an IT professional, I make it a point to take this time at the end of the year to not only reflect on where the tech industry has been but where it might be taking us in the future.
Things we thought were the stuff of science fiction movies are fast becoming part of what we use in our daily lives, including virtual reality, global currency and artificial intelligence. To keep us looking to the future, here are the top 5 things to look out for in technology for the coming year:
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, which began in 2009, is hardly new, but it and other cryptocurrencies will see a rise in relevancy in the coming year. This is due to several factors, not the least of which is that countries like Russia and China are engaging in cryptos due their own currencies being restricted. While investing in Bitcoin and other cryptos is considered quite risky, there have been enough stories about instant Bitcoin millionaires to entice even casual investors into the Blockchain universe.
ICOs: One of the newest and trendiest financial products to hit the scene, an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is similar to an Initial Public Offering but is tied to cryptocurrency and crowdfunding. Instead of buying shares in a company, adventurous investors can buy coins from a company to fund a specific project.
This crowdfunding and investing platform is considered to be as risky as anything else associated with cryptocurrency but it’s an intriguing concept that allows companies to cut out the middlemen and venture capitalists and seek funding right from the customers who are interested in using their products. As technological applications grow, and more things become possible with a few clicks or swipes, this is an attractive option for clients and customer investors.
Preventative Security Measures: At CompuVision, this is more than just a trend, it’s a way of life. We’ve always put an emphasis on taking steps to avoid crisis instead of simply managing it after the fact. However, in 2018 we’re going to see an increase in cyber security measures across the board with companies giving users advanced notice about data changes and security, specifically when it comes to securing sensitive data from vulnerabilities.
Companies will be engaging in this more because 1) it’s simply the right thing to do and 2) it is an integral part of building and maintaining the trust of users and customers. Without this trust, the whole of the marketing and data industries would see a dramatic loss of business.
Supersized Reality: The line between the “real world” and computer-generated worlds will get fuzzier as augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality gain new applications and wider use in 2018. While we still might not have the personal hoverboards promised to us by Back to the Future, enterprises will have greater access to things like the HP Z VR Backpack which incorporates all three reality types and is said to have practical healthcare and business applications. There will also likely be continuing debate on what augmented, virtual and mixed reality mean. To learn more about the current state of their definitions, read more here.
Acceleration of Artificial Intelligence: As companies struggle to find skilled workers, artificial intelligence will take up more and more of the slack with a wide range of jobs being computerized. This includes the healthcare, manufacturing and even education industries. At the same time, we can also expect to see greater diversity in our workforce and the inclusion of more senior workers along with an emphasis on teaching skills to current workers as opposed to hiring new employees in many cases.
At CompuVision, we’re looking forward to all the exciting developments in IT and making them better and safer for our clients. To all the awesome staff members here at the company and our wonderful clients, you’ve all made this year great and we can’t wait to see what we build together in 2018! Have a spectacular holiday and see you next year!