2017 promises to be an exciting time for companies looking to utilize technology to grow their business. Trends in technology continue to support expansion by offering advances in business intelligence, automation, and (as a top technology research firm describes the trend) “time-to-value impact” or speed of implementation.
The projected investment by companies looking to leverage technology that will take them to the next level is significant. According to Gartner, software spending will grow another 7.2 percent in 2017 to total $357 billion. In Q4 of 2016, IT services’ spending grew 3.9 percent to $900 billion and is projected to increase another 4.8 percent in 2017 to reach $943 billion.
Here is a summary of the technology trends relevant for small and midsize businesses looking to expand over the next five years.
Cloud-First Strategies in 2017
Technology researchers from Gartner report that Q1 2017 overall growth of the global public cloud market will continue to increase as companies “looking for agility, scalability, cost benefit, innovation and business growth” focus on a cloud-first strategy. The research firm further defines Infrastructure services (Infrastructure as a service—IaaS) growth projections will rise 36.8% in 2017. In the State of the Cloud report by RightScale for 2017, 38% of companies in the SMB space are cloud-focused. That is 10% higher than Enterprise markets.
Further, Public Cloud adoption using Microsoft Azure had the largest market share gain with a 14% increase in the first two months of 2017. There is no question today that the benefits the Cloud environment has to offer far outweigh the risks. Find our more about why Businesses are choosing the Cloud-First strategy here.
IBM is looking to the future as the demands of computing gain momentum, challenging even the fastest “regular” computers. IMB’s initiative to build universal quantum computing systems for businesses, researchers, and others, will involve taking the building blocks of computing (or bits) and developing a new system for the quantum computers to use “qubits” to handle the continued demand. IBM scientists are looking to “address problems that are currently unsolvable but hold tremendous untapped value,” said Tom Rosamilia, IBM Systems senior vice president. Rosamilia is referring to further advancements in medicine and chemistry as well as financial data, risk modeling, cloud-based computing security and logistics that requires developing the next level of supercomputers.
IT Security (Crime-as-a-Service)
The threats to cyberspace will continue to evolve as crime syndicates become more sophisticated and tailor their activities to take down large organizations. In a CIO.com article citing the 2017 research report from the Information Security Forum (ISF), the author describes the global business environment and Network Security in the coming year as a perfect storm – of sorts.
Between a global business environment of supercharged connectivity, the expansion of IoT (Internet of Things) and cyberspace becoming “the land of opportunity for criminals,” CIO analysts suggest the only solution for organizations is preparation. It used to be that employees were the weakest link but that is quickly changing as training becomes the proactive best practice.
Here is a quiz to test the knowledge of your staff – your first line of defense against a cyber attack.
XaaS (Anything as a Service)
The explosion of cloud services has redefined how businesses can access technology to scale, automate and operate more efficiently. Enter XaaS, or Anything as a Service. The acronym refers to an increasing number of services that are delivered over the internet rather than provided locally or on-site. If it is delivered through the internet, it is likely to be transformed into a service model. Some of the more recent acronyms that have become mainstream: IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a Service), CaaS (communications as a service), NaaS (network as a service) and MaaS (monitoring as a service). The service model market is quickly becoming an emerging industry on its own. If you believe your aging technology is holding you back, maybe it’s time to look at upgrading for 2017. Maybe it’s time for a FREE ASSESSMENT of your environment.
In 2017, the next level of artificial intelligence (AI) is developing. Referred to as machine learning, this technology provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning, similar to data mining, has helped streamline business processes. Companies are saving significant time and money to utilize this technology that automatically generates “learned” information and relays that specific data to designated departments.
These computer programs can change when exposed to new data. In the business community, this technology is used to streamline “Contact Us” forms and used to advance such tools as Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana. Machine learning programs will continue to become more advanced in detecting spam in your inbox. Expect to see less and less of the user-generated content that’s used to plague inboxes.