With 2018 almost here, we look ahead to the new year to highlight four key technology predictions and trends that managed and cloud service providers can expect to shape customer budgets and spending in the next 12 months.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will demonstrate its value
AI will take a huge step forward in the approaching year. With the incredible explosion of data in the last couple of years, AI has been able to advance to a point where computers are now able to learn very much in the same way as us humans do.
The rise of AI will be apparent as we start to see computers take on more and more tasks that in the past have been done by humans, over the next 12 months. This is all possible as AI allows computers to see, read, listen, speak and gauge emotions – as we do!
Next year, it’s also predicted that technology will start to ‘hear us better’ through conversational AI chatbots. These chatbots will use AI to build on their emotional intelligence, to better respond to our requests with human interpretation and empathy. This is key for businesses using chatbots for customer service, product recommendation, lead generation or research.
And on top of this, 2018 will be the year that AI starts to demonstrate ROI for organisations. In the coming year, businesses will really start to reap the benefits of AI solutions as it starts to automate more monotonous tasks; freeing up employees to spend time more valuable tasks.
IoT devices will surpass mobile devices
Although IoT has been a term we’ve become accustomed to over the past couple of years, it really has just got started.
In 2018, it’s expected that the number of mobile devices around the world will be surpassed by the number of IoT devices and with this, IoT will become more available; meaning it is not only used in business, but also in our daily, personal lives. More people will start to use their mobile devices to connect with IoT “smart” devices within their homes, which also lets us predict that smartphones will have a bigger role in IoT in the coming year.
The growing number of IoT devices and heavy usage of smartphones to control these leads to a major concern about security. Numerous cyber-attacks made headlines during 2017, and it’s predicted these will become more frequent in the years to come. As IoT spreads throughout homes and businesses, new vulnerabilities to security breaches will emerge, so organisations and individuals need to consider carefully how they can make data and devices safe with solutions like IBM MaaS360.
Blockchain benefits more industries
In 2018, we will see blockchain applications across multiple industries provide organisations with a new set of highly valuable data analytics that is extremely accurate, and offers privacy and identity protection. This will be powerful for the finance, healthcare, and property industries, amongst others.
As an example, finance and property sectors will be able to streamline analytics around the mortgage approval proves by sharing accurate income and expense metrics with credit lenders via blockchain; rather than going through the painful manual process. And by using blockchain, applicants’ anonymity will be ensured, whilst metrics are made available for analysis across the lending process to efficiently determine creditworthiness.
Predictive analytics will become more of a necessity
Data visualisation was a big analytics trend for 2017 and will continue to be so in 2018. However, as businesses get smarter due to visual data, predictive analytics solutions will become more of a necessity than an option.
Predictive analytics estimate future data probabilities, make sense of current inefficiencies and study strengths to determine the best possible routes for operational success, based on a number of scenarios. This is undeniably a desirable capability to almost every industry.
Dependent on the industry, businesses can harness the power of predictive analytics and data visualisation in different ways. For instance, hotels will want predictive analytics to predict the number of guests to expect on a certain night to adjust their prices, maximise occupancy and increase revenue. Marketers will use predictive analytics to determine customer purchases and take advantage of cross-sell opportunities. And bankers will demand predictive analytics to generate credit scores, incorporating all the data relevant to one person’s creditworthiness into a predictive model.
Ultimately, 2018 will see opportunities for MSPs to provide predictive analytics solutions to a wide variety of clients. Learn more about the future of analytics for 2018 in the blog here.
The key takeaway
The common theme that runs through each of these predictions is one of constant forward progress. Now more than ever, it’s clear that service providers who stand still in what they’re offering will quickly fall behind and lose business.
You can use leading-edge innovation to keep you and your clients at the forefront of technology when you partner with IBM.