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It is safe to say that 2017 has been quite an exciting year for digital transformations. The business world has been greatly impacted by technology trends such as user experience, AI bots, smart machines and big data.

Whether you own a startup or run an established business, as an entrepreneur, it is vital for you to stay updated on the technology trends influencing the local and global business environment. Here are some of the business technology trends that may have a significant impact on businesses in various markets all over the world in 2018:

Make space for more IoT

According to Gartner, there are over 8.4 billion so-called ‘Things’ floating around the internet today, indicating an approximate 30 percent increase from the year before (2016). But IoT is simply the start. The real fun begins when you start connecting these things and allow them to supply data. Analysts see some key trends related to IoT in the coming year. These include edge computing, 5G cell and analytics revolution. All these trends will be primarily driven by IoT.

If you’re running out of options in analytics and data, don’t worry. IoT is generating a bulk of information that is capable of transforming nearly everything, from healthcare to manufacturing to the functioning and layout of complete cities. You will see improved efficiency and profitability in every sphere with the intervention of IoT generated data. For example, a company discovered that could massively cut down the expenses involved in managing a fleet of over 150,000 trucks (down to 3 cents/mile from 15 cents/mile).

Blockchain

Blockchain can be described as a decentralized, tokenized and shared ledger aimed at eliminating conflict in business because it is not dependent on individual participants and applications. This technology promises to transform industries. While blockchain discussion is mostly about financial opportunities, it has numerous possible applications in healthcare, supply chain, government, content distribution and other areas.

If you’re planning to take on a shared-ledger project, make sure that your team is aware of the essential cryptographic skills required for understanding blockchain.

Immersive user experiences

2018 will witness a massive advancement in certain technologies including VR or Virtual Reality and AR or Augmented Reality. The former puts the user in a unique digitally-executed environment while the latter enables real-time integration of the user environment and digital information. In the coming year, masses will start taking to MR or Mixed Reality, that includes and further extends both VR and AR.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) to become mainstream

Whether you look at toddlers or aged adults, everyone is using Siri, chatbots and Alexa. Hence it is quite possible that AI might soon start feeling like stale news, especially to the conventional users.

But if you look at the business environment, AI still holds a lot of power in almost everything, including analytics, robotics, marketing and customer service. In 2018, businesses will stick to AI and use it for connecting, surprising and communicating with their audience in unique and efficient ways. This may include quicker, smarter and cheaper automation of content such as emails as well as industrial manufacturing. Major software firms including IBM Watson, Salesforce Einstein and SAP Leonardo are already in the process of introducing embedded AI into their respective platforms.

Digital clones

Wondering what a ‘digital clone’ is? Well, think of it as something that represents an actual, real-world system or entity. When we talk about digital twins in the backdrop of IoT, it is associated with real-world objects, offering data on workers, improving operations, responding to changes and adding value. Analysts estimate approximately 20 billion linked endpoints and sensors by 2020, indicating that digital clones may exist for several billion things in the future. For business, this could mean billions of savings in operation and maintenance repair.

FaaS

There has been tremendous growth in the Framework-as-a-Service industry with infrastructure, software and several other things. But in 2018, you may find ‘failure’ to be listed on the service menu. Why? This is because failing quick is considered to be among the most critical success factors in today’s fast-paced digital transformation world.

Failure, when viewed from the perspective of a service, will offer quick prototyping, visualization and other rapid fail methods which could help businesses plan and strategize faster and more efficiently. The capacity to identify something that isn’t working out quicker and moving on would be the main differentiating factor between a winner and a loser in digital revolution.

There is no denying the fact that technology is fast changing and new digital trends are coming up almost every other day. In 2017, we saw the rapid adoption of new technologies like AI bots, increased worth of cryptocurrency and big data tapping. The technology trends discussed above are likely to have a huge impact on almost all businesses in the coming year. In order to survive and succeed in the business world in 2018, companies would need to keep pace with several digital transformations, especially those that are most relevant to their industry. Several other technology trends may also show up later in the year, particularly in the cybersecurity space. Businesses will need to combine all these trends in order to move forward confidently.

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