Technology trends driving 2017 – A digital focus

digital transformation

For many, 2016 was a year that was less about technological innovation and more about businesses embracing the digital revolution. Information security, mobile, cloud technologies, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just some of the concepts that took centre stage last year as they finally entered mainstream business in South Africa, as businesses globally continued to embrace digital.

However, irrespective of which technologies were (are) being implemented, a core standard should remain – ensuring that all information, no matter the source, is secure.

With data becoming the new currency of the digital world, companies must start taking significant steps towards refining their organisational strategies around technology, and ensuring a fundamental focus is placed on the protection of information assets. And they must start NOW.

Despite the opportunities that mobile and cloud provide, if focus is not placed on securing these platforms, then organisations stand to lose significantly – whether that loss is reputational or financial. The truth is, we are hurtling at breakneck speed towards a reality where data will equate to power, and securing it will become the highest priority for business users and consumers’ alike this year.

The mobility trend:
One of the biggest business drivers which will continue well into this year is that of mobility. Companies today need to cater for the ‘always-on-demand’ requirements that mobile users have come to expect. People are using apps to access virtually every aspect of their lives, and if a business does not have some sort of app integration within their business model, it risks losing relevance to an entire generation of potential customers. And the reality is that this trend will only continue – especially as devices and bandwidth become more affordable in South Africa.

Everything Cloud:
Another element driven by mobility is cloud-based solutions. What used to be something that only the most ‘future-forward’ companies were implementing two years ago, has now become an integral part of business and a strategic business decision. Services and solutions, by the very nature of what they are, and the world we currently live in, must evolve to become more cloud-friendly and enabled. This, however, is putting pressure on organisations to ensure that their offering is designed in such a way that it can embrace the benefits of the cloud. Ultimately, these business solutions contribute to making on-the-go decision-making much more accurate and that much faster.

The growth of IoT:
Another significant trend that gained ground last year, and will likely continue into 2017, is that of IoT. Today, almost everything can be found online. With the online accessibility of data, the world has reached a tipping point where IoT, and the related devices, will unlock significant business and consumer potential in the future. In fact, we likely have not seen anything near the best that IoT can offer us. However, this level of and overwhelming prevalence of data, of information, of access to everything – and with every electronic device connected to the internet in some way – continually logging and recording data, security (and the privacy of our data) – will need to be continually re-evaluated in the context of an entirely connected world.

The Augmented Future:
Lastly, 2017 will likely be an exciting year for Augmented Technology. In fact, this could be the next game changer of our era. Accurate and relevant information, readily available, right in front of us, will no doubt change the world.

Considering this digital evolution – and in the face of this kind of information influx – business is going to have to evolve and adapt like never before, in order to keep up. While the possibilities are endless, one must ask – do we as humans have the capacity to process all of it? There is no doubt in my mind that we are rapidly approaching a time where we will no longer be limited by technology, but instead by our own imaginations. The future is very bright – but also a little scary.

Jessi Rudd, Technical Business Analyst at PBT Group

Edited by: Darryl Linington
Contact:
Darryl@techitout.co.za
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Follow @DarrylLinington on Twitter

Editor of Tech IT Out. Former radio host of Cliffcentral.com. Former Editor of IT News Africa and ITF Gaming. All round techie, gamer and entrepreneur. For Editorial Enquiries Contact: Darryl@techitout.co.za or via +27788021400.