Five IT Trends That Could Transform Your Business in 2018

MARCH 8TH, 2018

Companies across the globe are making radical changes to put customers at the heart of virtually everything they do. For many, this fundamental shift in focus calls for adopting an all new arsenal of technologies and tools. In this post we'll examine five IT trends organizations can use to transform their business operations around the customer experience.

1. Serverless Computing

The cloud has changed the way we build, deploy, and manage applications. Serverless computing is the next evolution of that paradigm. A relatively new cloud model, serverless computing enables you to run applications and servers without the headache that comes with maintaining them. Operating systems, virtual machines, and day-to-day maintenance tasks all fall on the shoulders of the cloud vendor. By abstracting the server functions from physical responsibilities, serverless computing helps organizations push applications to market faster and remove IT management overhead without sacrificing the cost and capacity benefits of the cloud.

2. Artificial (Business) Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is no longer the futuristic tech that only big enterprises with deep pockets can afford. In its “State of Artificial Intelligence for Enterprises" report, Vanson Bourne found that 80 percent of respondents are currently using some form of AI. There are more than a handful of AI-driven tools you can start using to transform your business operations right now. For example, Tetra combines AI with speech recognition and language processing algorithms to translate phone calls into indexable text. Upon hanging up, detailed notes of the conversation can be delivered straight to your inbox. This luxury might come in handy for professionals who have trouble recollecting information from lengthy conference calls yet have to communicate via phone on a regular basis. Data is the engine that drives artificial intelligence. And thanks to our exceedingly active digital universe, we are producing that data at a frenetic clip. While there is plenty of room for improvement, now is an opportune time to learn how AI can be incorporated into your existing business strategy.

3. Intelligent IT Security

Speaking of artificial intelligence, this technology has been identified as the catalyst for another trend that seems to be picking up steam. AI and machine learning are lauded for their ability to quickly analyze data and uncover new insights. In theory, this makes it possible to detect vulnerabilities and exploits in a way that mitigates future attacks considerably faster than traditional security mechanisms. Perhaps the biggest selling point here is that over time, intelligent cyber security systems can be trained to be as knowledgeable and efficient as your most valuable IT security experts.

4. AR Apps

Augmented reality (AR) offers exciting possibilities by layering virtual objects on top of real-world environments. The Pokémon Go phenomenon provided a small sample of what was possible in this realm. From training employees to personalizing the customer experience, AR has virtually untapped business potential. And thanks to Apple, it's now in easy reach for businesses of all sizes. With AR support bundled into iOS 11, companies can empower their developers to create interactive user experiences using artwork, posters, signs, and other physical images captured by the camera.

5. Mature Social Media

Social media has been under fire lately, with criticism seemingly coming from all angles. Critics have slammed social platforms for their role in allowing misinformation and so-called “fake news” to spread like wildfire. Furthermore, research that offers alarming insight into the impact on mental health has some pundits questioning just how useful (or harmful) social media really is. With pressure from investors and regulators mounting, social networks may have no other choice than to clean up their act. Meanwhile, industries abroad are beginning to realize that networking opportunities exist outside of traditional social media channels. Blackboard, for example, is a powerful social networking platform that connects institutions, teachers, and IT departments with cutting-edge educational tools. Then there are projects like Nextdoor, which helps local residents stay connected and informed about what's happening in their respective communities. Whether it's tapping into existing channels or private platforms built from the ground up, businesses are recommitting to using social media as a tool for connecting, sharing, and learning. Conclusion Technology moves at breakneck speed. It's literally evolving on a daily basis and changing the way organizations and their IT teams operate in the process. From serverless computing to intelligent cyber security solutions, these trends can have profound implications on how we conduct business moving forward.