Love them or loathe them, this is the time of year for predictions and trends. Now, we’ve all lived through the ups and downs of hyped technologies, so we’re taking a distinctly pragmatic view on the most hyped trends in tech. Doing something because it’s cool is not exactly a business strategy. So, let’s bring things down to Earth and into the enterprise. Here we’ve taken three of the hottest trends and discussed what they might actually mean for you in 2017.
Trend 1: The robots are coming!
The hype: AI is dangerous, AI is not dangerous, we can’t control it any more, AI is now smarter than us and AI will take most of our jobs! This past 12 months, we’ve heard all this and more about AI.
Our take: Assume your job won’t be taken over by a robot just yet (!) and focus instead on how virtual assistants can improve customer experience. Let’s look at the two main forms of virtual assistants: bots and voice interfaces. Gartner tells us that by 2020 the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse! Considering that’s just three years away, let’s take that with a pinch of salt. More realistically, Gartner indicated a growing proportion of these will be voice-based with more than 30% of web searches being done without a screen. We’ve been championing voice user interfaces for a while now. Check out this recent post on why voice interfaces are worth the hype.
Trend 2: AR is taking over the real world!
The hype: AR went stratospheric last year with Pokémon Go. Device manufacturers are buzzing: Snap Inc. (Spectacles), HTC Vive and Apple to name just three major players who have indicated or are strongly rumored to have significant advances in store for 2017.
Our take: We don’t doubt the hype. AR/VR is going to affect much more than gaming. Retail experts estimate that as much as 40% of people would pay more for a product they experienced via AR. By 2020, Gartner predicts 100 million will be shopping in augmented reality. But are enterprises ready? Preparation for this megatrend needs to start now. As well as strategy and rock-solid use cases, companies need to consider if their development processes are fit for purpose.
Trend 3: Everything will be connected!
The hype: We’re surfing the IoT wave and all indicators are pointing to continued explosive growth.
Our take: Looking beyond the predictions of billions upon billion of connected, smart devices, it is possible to detect some notes of caution. For example, mobile network infrastructure may be unable to cope, the security issues are ongoing, collaboration between fragmented platforms can be arduous. Despite these stumbling blocks, IoT deployments will go on undeterred. While it’s usual to expect winners and losers in any new technological era, we have to be cautious when we see rollouts with a distinctly experimental quality to them. Enterprises need to be realistic about what it will take for a successful IoT implementation. The key ingredients are: crystal clear reasoning in the form of a digital strategy that’s explicit on the expected business outcomes coupled with the ability to build, test and deploy seamlessly. For more on this, check out our blog on aligning IoT with business.
Powering any new digital experience trend will be a robust development process. Whether you’re looking to overhaul your way of working to become more Agile or you need to focus on specific areas such as automating your testing or nailing DevOps, Apexon can help you achieve those goals. To discuss your particular scenario, get in touch today.