The time is fast approaching when industry experts cast their eyes over the IT industry and attempt to work out which technologies will have the biggest impact on businesses through 2017.
We attempt to help CIOs and their business peers make sense of the five key technology trends affecting organisations during the next 12 months.
1. Great devices to support cloud at the core of the enterprise
While the technology industry is focused on leading-edge developments, such as automation and the Internet of Things, many CIOs still struggle to make the most of existing IT. The cloud might have been around for almost a decade but many CIOs are only now showing how on-demand IT is boosting business productivity.
IT decision makers will continue their good work through 2017, running new business projects on scalable, on-demand platforms. Mobile devices will be key to helping business make the most of new services. Forrester research suggests 70 per cent of employees use smart phones for work and 40 per cent rely on tablets. Look for devices with enhanced security and collaboration capabilities.
2. From big data to cognitive analytics – the move towards actionable insight
CIOs view big data as an over-hyped concept, but they also recognise the power of data to help create new business models. As with the cloud, organisations are finally making the most of big data investments, a trend that will pick up pace through 2017, especially as more things continue to connect to the network.
The rise of yet another trend – cognitive analytics – will help the enterprise make these smarter decisions. The International Institute for Analytics says cognitive analytics is set to become the next buzz phrase. Access to the right data at the right time – whether that is through the latest mobile devices or high-powered PCs – helps employees improve productivity and performance.
3. Here come the robots… But first make way for agents and touchscreens
CIOs will be more than aware of the growing trend for automation in both the IT department and across the rest of the business. Automation has a direct impact on productivity, allowing employees to push routine and repetitive tasks to computers or robots. Next year will see machine-learning move to the next level.
Gartner says CIOs should explore how they can use autonomous agents to augment human activity and free people for more productive and valuable work. Touchscreen technology will provide a key route into this more productive era. Super-thin touchscreen PCs continue to evolve and the latest developments from the best business computer providers will create a new level of responsiveness.
4. New investments in business PCs will produce big benefits
Employees looking to make the most of new working practices will need powerful tools to help them work in the most productive manner. Mobility will remain a key focus for IT decision makers, who must find ways to allow their staff to access analytical data securely from any location.
An investment in mobile solutions must be backed up with a commensurate commitment to desktop computing. As a previous Tech Page One article has demonstrated, research from Principled Technologies suggests modern PCs produce 145 per cent better system performance than legacy kit. By using new features, such as the latest processors to self-encrypting hard drives and from touchscreen displays to ISV-certified workstations, your firm will stay ahead.
5. Software-defined everything becomes a business reality
Software-defined refers to the abstraction of the control layer from hardware. It is an approach that allows firms to make the most of their existing IT assets and to help the business boost productivity. Software-defined systems have already had a big impact on data centres and networks.
Expect 2017 to be the year when software-defined approaches improve productivity across the enterprise. Software defined security, for example, is climbing Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. The analyst also expects software-defined storage to mature through the next 12 months. Such developments mean your workforce will stay connected and secure, whether employees access information from mobile devices or powerful PCs.