We’re approaching the tail-end of 2016, which means quite a few things for businesses. Above all, however, this time of year signifies the need to begin preparing for the quickly approaching new year. Every new year is full of new opportunities, possibilities, and experiences; the businesses that will be able to capitalize on them will be driven by the right technology strategy.
It’s important that business leaders fully weigh their choices when it comes to the solutions and services they adopt. It’s never too early to begin forecasting what is to come in the ever-changing, always-advancing world of technology. In fact, now is the perfect time to begin strategizing if you have yet to do so in order to stay ahead the curve.
To that end, here are our top seven tech predictions for 2017:
1. Internet of Things (IoT)
It goes without saying, but the IoT market will continue its incredible growth trajectory into 2017. Not only did research firm Gartner predict last year that the IoT would consist of 4 billion connected devices this year—a 30 percent increase from 2015—but that this figure would climb to 20.8 billion by 2020. Needless to say, more objects and devices will become Internet-enabled (or gain connectivity capabilities), which will either lead to greater network strain and performance issues or more innovative operational capabilities, depending on what steps companies take.
2. Over-the-Top Technology (OTT)
Not only do we predict continued massive growth for the OTT services market (which is expected to experience a 17 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between now and 2020), but we expect to see more emerging players in this space. Additionally, we expect to see more consumer-focused OTT messaging services (like Snapchat) become more business-centric.
3. 5G Technology
While it’s common belief that 5G won’t be publicly rolled out until around 2020, we believe that strategic developments will be released before then. As of right now, we’ve seen major players like AT&T reveal their plans to hopefully get the ball rolling in 2017. For example, in a recent presentation, AT&T SVP of Wireless Network Architecture and Design Thomas Keathley said that the company recently agreed on “a detailed work plan for Release-15, the first release of 5G specifications,” for next year.
4. Mobile Payments
Just about 20 percent of Americans currently use mobile pay solutions like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay; however, we expect that number to increase in 2017 as awareness of and trust in mobile payment services grows.
5. Value Chain Partnerships
As technology continues to advance, and as customer expectations grow, we expect to see more companies strategically collaborating in the form of value chain partnerships. More companies will identify and capitalize on this opportunity to support each other as needed in order to maximize operations and improve the customer experience (CX) (after all, the CX is becoming organizations’ greatest competitive differentiator today, if it isn’t already).
6. Digital Migration
When it comes to the topic of digitization, we like to let the numbers speak for themselves. Research shows that nearly 80 percent of businesses perceive digital transformation as their top strategic priority this year. We expect this figure to grow in 2017 as businesses work to restructure their core architectures and reprioritize their budgets to keep up in today’s digital era. One huge move we expect more companies to make next year: mass migration from archaic copper lines to digital frameworks.
We expect to see the emergence of network security solutions that are designed to more optimally meet the needs of today’s next-generation networks. Considering the growing number of connected devices that leave networks inherently exposed or insecure, we expect this heightened level of security to better safeguard sensitive data and defend against all kinds of sophisticated hacking methods (i.e. DDoS, cyber extortion, etc.)
What do you expect to see for 2017? The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be.
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