5 IT Trends Businesses Need to Watch in 2018
Leaders who understand technology predictions for business in 2018 can gain real competitive advantages. Greater efficiencies, enhanced customer service, increased profitability and even the ability to completely disrupt a given market are just a few examples.
With a new year right around the corner, our team has complied a list of the five biggest technology predictions for business in 2018.
Potential Loss of Net Neutrality
One of the technology predictions for business in 2018 concerns the potential loss of net neutrality. Net neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites that users want to access. This is the way the internet has always worked.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a plan in November to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet. This would clear the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites. As such, this issue tops our list of technology predictions for business in 2018.
If the proposed plan is voted through on Dec. 14, all internet users will be impacted. However, here are the primary things businesses will need to contend with:
- Small online companies believe the plan would hurt innovation, because telecom companies could force them to pay more for the faster connections. Only the largest companies, they say, would be able to afford the expense of making sure their sites received preferred treatment.
- All businesses that use internet – essentially, all businesses – may see expenses rise, if they are required to pay more to access high-quality websites.
Increased use of Artificial Intelligence
Another one of the technology predictions for business in 2018 involves Artificial Intelligence (AI). In April, the founder of venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures and a top voice on tech in China reported that AI is likely to replace 50 percent of all jobs in the next decade.
We predict that in 2018, businesses will increase use of AI and, specifically, Machine Learning, to maximize efficiencies. For example, we use an application that can look at our service tickets, analyze patterns and recommend enhancements based on the findings.
AI will increasingly enable businesses to work faster and more efficiently, and to decrease man hours.
Heightened Focus on Cybersecurity
Another of the biggest technology predictions for business in 2018 is an increased focus on cybersecurity. Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t prepared for increasingly common cyber attacks. Even the cybersecurity industry itself is struggling to keep up with demand. By 2021, there are estimated to be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions worldwide.
Even smaller businesses have become targets for cybercriminals because hackers know they have fewer defense resources than large organizations. Businesses that aren’t already making a concerted effort with their cybersecurity initiatives must do so in 2018.
Growing Importance of Real-Time Data
Number four on the list of technology predictions for business in 2018 centers on real-time data. In the not-so-distant past, data was harder to come by. It could take employees hours, days or weeks to compile data and extrapolate meaningful trends to guide important business decisions.
Technology now allows businesses to manage data quickly, if not in real-time. Leveraging this technology will be paramount in helping many businesses succeed in 2018. it doesn’t matter whether your business sells products or services. The ability to view critical metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and other important information quickly allows for faster decision-making and action.
Fully Cloud-Based Businesses
Many businesses have been in the process of moving over to the cloud, at least for some functions, for years. However, we’re now seeing – and will continue to see – new businesses opening up that are starting out 100% on the cloud, with no local equipment.
These businesses are benefiting from what cloud services offer – cost efficiency, flexible pay options, increased collaboration and mobility, and enhanced business continuity. However, a fully cloud-based IT model also decentralizes support, because the company is working with so many different vendors. One of our technology predictions for business in 2018 is an increased need for these fully cloud-based companies to either hire a strong IT professional(s) in-house or work with a managed service provider to manage these relationships.
Keep your eye on these technology predictions for business in 2018 to stay current and competitive in the new year.