Usually, once the end of a year rolls around, IT departments begin the task of cracking open that crystal ball to somehow predict what the future holds—and truth be told, predictions concerning technology abound as many people in the IT arena take a moment to reflect on the past year while preparing for what lies ahead.
Here’s what we know and can report without question: 2017 has been a year chock-full of disruptive measures (think lots of cybercrime and ransomware attacks) which has made it difficult and challenging for IT departments to keep up with the demands of businesses—all while attempting to adapt to rapidly-evolving trends in technology. Still, every dark tunnel has a light of hope, and 2017 has taught us some good lessons, beginning with the notion that we need to be ready for 2018’s disruptive technologies that will come at us at a breakneck pace.
What are we getting at here? IT professionals must clearly understand the battles they’re likely to face in 2018, and we suggest that getting to know these trends is the best way to kick off a new year.
In this informative post, we’re going to focus on IT trends, specifically as they relate to businesses, that are here to stay in this new year. We’re going to talk about factors related to data, digital transformation, business IT infrastructure and more, and also divulge just how TechPulse can enhance your business’ IT efforts in 2018.
As we move through 2018, here are some of the top tech trends IT personnel will face:
- BYOD is here to stay
- Employees have taken control over the use of tech in the workplace
- MultiCloud is here…and it’s complex
- It should always be assumed that an IT environment can been compromised via a hack
- Keeping up with the security landscape will only get more daunting
- Finding talent to defend against these problems is hard, and the market is only getting more competitive
With regard to that last point is where TechPulse comes in, offering a myriad of powerful and effective IT protection approaches, but we’ll go into more detail about that later in this post.
Data and Technology Trends for 2018
Since we mentioned “factors related to data” in the beginning of the blog, let’s take a closer look at how that comes into play with regard to technology trends in the new year. Among the biggest challenges CMOs—and all marketers—face is the transformation of data into “actionable insights;” consequently, it’s one of the hottest topics CMOs discuss. According to the Data and Marketing Association, the data and technology trends being tracked for 2018 include:
- Agility – Because things are in a “fluid” or “liquid” state right now (in other words, they’re always morphing and constantly changing), IT professionals must possess the ability to roll with the punches and be agile in order to keep up with the demands of “always-on” content-driven consumers and businesses.
- Focusing More on Data Quality – While there’s always talk about the sheer volume of data accessible today, the big issue is determining which data not to use—in other words, which data to ignore. From the dataset being irrelevant for a current business need to concerns about the data being inaccurate or even corrupted due to poor practices, there are a number of reasons data can or should be ignored. To weed out inaccuracies, companies in 2018 should have a clear test case established when examining or onboarding data.
- Tackling Cybersecurity Before a Crisis Hits – We agree with the fact that acting responsibly and giving proper notice and choice regarding data use is central to building customer relationships, and part of acting responsibly includes taking steps to secure data—especially sensitive types from hacks and other breaches. This makes data security a top concern.
- Integrating New Data Into Existing Data Streams – There are new types of data that can provide insight that didn’t exist prior to now, from wearables to facial and voice recognition.
- Incorporating New Analytical Tools Into Existing Business Practices – From augmented reality and machine learning to artificial intelligence, there are new tools and techniques emerging every day that marketing entities can use to better understand businesses, consumers and competitors. Those entities on the forefront of understanding and integrating these tools can help their firms gain a competitive advantage.
Trends for Digital Transformation in 2018
The year 2017 was an “eventful” one for digital transformation, with user experience (UX), big data, smart machines and change itself proving to be major players amidst the business landscape. As we get deeper into 2018 tech trends, we will get a sense of what’s ahead with regard to digital transformation—barring any unexpected disruptions, of course.
Here’s a peek at that:
- The IoT Will Push Us to the Edge (Quite Literally) – Over and over again, what is known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) keeps popping up when we talk about future tech trends, and this is the reason it sits at the top of our digital transformation trends list. More than 8.4 billion “things” are on the Internet today, up more than 30 percent from just a year ago; however, it isn’t so much about the things, but rather what we do with these things once they are connected and supplying data. Three of the main trends we see—the analytics revolution, edge computing and 5G cell processing—are all driven by the IoT at their core.
- AI Goes From Newbie to Mainstream – With everyone from babies to senior citizens using Alexa, Siri and customer service chatbots, it comes as no surprise that artificial intelligence may soon begin to feel like old news. On the business side, so much power remains in AI, in everything from customer service and robotics to marketing and analytics, and as such, companies will continue to use AI to surprise, connect and communicate with their clients in ways they may not even appreciate or realize.
IT Infrastructure Trends for 2018
In a nutshell, IT departments in 2018 and beyond will no longer be responsible for just keeping the lights on – they will be strategic deliverers of services.
Indeed, as the fast pace business continues to increase, in-house IT teams will need to deliver secure new cost-effective services that meet business requirements. The result is that IT’s function is shifting dramatically from simply keeping the computer systems running, to enabling the business.
In outlining the key IT infrastructure trends and challenges in 2018 for data center managers, we would also like to stress that how IT departments make decisions today will have a major impact on the future.
- Geoplanning – Location is now a key factor in planning project performance, data security and infrastructure management.
- The Intelligent Edge – As the number of devices on enterprise networks multiplies, it makes sense to shift computing power closer to where these devices reside.
- Intent-Based Networking – With more devices and greater volumes of data, businesses need more flexible infrastructure.
- The API-Based Economy – Application programming interfaces communicate easily between systems to enable workloads to move around more easily.
- Reputation and Digital Experience – Ready to efficiently and effectively address latency and performance issues in the network.
- Beyond Traditional IT – IT has to be able to keep up as companies attempt to become more responsive and competitive, entering new markets and operating at a lightning pace.
- Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) – IT delivers comprehensive services based on business needs, risk and value.
- Cautious Cloud Adoption – For companies with reservations about migrating to cloud services, implement in increments.
- Capacity Optimization Everywhere – Because when things are out of sight they’re out of mind, IT personnel have to go back and look at what they did to “right-size” on-premises and off-premises environments.
- Extended Infrastructure Management – Use IT team and tools to identify workloads, performance, configurations and business cycles.
How TechPulse is Enhancing Business’ IT Efforts in 2018
TechPulse manages all of your business’ IT needs—from internal network implementation to unlimited 24-hour support. Clients gain the peace of mind that comes with having an enterprise-class IT department just a call or email away.
Discover for yourself how TechPulse can take your business into 2018 — and beyond — in secure fashion by contacting us today. Give us a call at 1-800-656-3144